- We are planning on attending several great festivals this season. See below for dates and details. Check back for events we will add as they develop.
- Wine purchases are available at the farm by appointment. Sorry, but we don't offer tastings at the farm. Please contact us for an appointment to purchase your favorite Chestnut Run Farm wines.
Chestnut Run Farm is a small farm and winery in beautiful Salem County, New Jersey. Bob and Lise Clark have owned and operated this farm since 1986. For many years we were growers and packers of specialty produce such as Asian pears, gourmet apple varieties, yellow tomatoes, purple, lilac, orange, yellow and red bell peppers, ornamental Indian corn. Our produce was featured in fine markets and restaurants all along the eastern seaboard.
Globalization of the produce industry made it difficult for a small family farm like ours to compete. Since Asian pears were our real specialty, we experimented with different value-added products and found we could make good wine from these fruit. Since 2006, all of the fruit grown here has been used to make Asian pear, Fuji apple and Japanese plum wines. Chestnut Run Farm uses only fruit grown right here on our own farm to produce these delicious wines.
Over the decades we have been here, we have also grown livestock on the farm. We started with Charolais beef cattle, then went to Boer goats, and finally to Katahdin sheep. Now we raise only Katahdins. Our ewes are grazed on grassland pasture and raise their lambs in this natural setting. Grazing sheep is a way to keep the fields in production while having low impact on the environment. This results in extraordinarily good habitat for songbirds, raptors and other creatures.
You'll see a number of photos of cats on the site, as they are used for rodent control on the farm and are our well-loved friends. Lise is dedicated to the well-being of feral cats and does lots of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) of feral cats throughout Salem County.
You'll also see photos of mandolins, which are Bob's hobby, including playing the mandolin in the Rob Roy Duo and the Philadelphia Mandolin Ensemble, and building mandolin-family instruments shown on this site.
Chestnut Run Farm is a 22 acre, permanently preserved farm located at the headwaters of Chestnut Run, from which the farm takes its name. This small stream runs along the farm's North border, through nearby Woodstown to the Salem River and ultimately into Delaware Bay. This contributes to the ecological significance of this farm.
In 2001, we added this farm to the growing list of permanently preserved farms here in Salem County. In fact, most of the fields and woods in the area surrounding the farm are now also preserved. This preservation ensures that development will not take place here.
This assurance is especially important since the farm is an active breeding site for American Kestrels, North America's smallest falcon. Great Horned Owls also rear their young here, and Bald Eagles are frequent visitors.
In addition to our Asian pear, Fuji apple and Japanese plum orchards, much of the farm is now grass pastures on which our sheep and lambs graze, as well as grass fields on which we produce the hay our sheep eat during winter months. This is ideal habitat for Kestrels and other birds.
Since 1986, Bob and Lise Clark have grown tree fruit on Chestnut Run Farm. We currently grow several varieties of Asian pears, Fuji apples and Japanese Shiro plums. All our fruit is used to make our wines, and only fruit grown on our farm is used in these wines. We buy no fruit, juice or concentrate, choosing instead to grow our own.
This gives us the ability to ensure that only top-quality fruit are used in our wines and that these fruit are picked at their moment of perfect ripeness. It also means that we are not using 'drops', packing line rejects or otherwise inferior fruit in our wines. Only the very best fruit are used in Chestnut Run Farm wines.
As we entered the 21st century, we sought to preserve our farm for generations to come. Chestnut Run Farm has a permanent deed restriction stipulating that this land can never be developed. It will stay in agriculture in perpetuity. In November 2022, as I was replacing the 'Preserved Farmland' sign, I noticed two 'visitors' in the pasture behind the sign. See them in the photo? Two Bald Eagles which are now regular inhabitants of Salem County.
We specialize in fine wines made from Asian fruit species or varieties grown right here on our Salem County, NJ farm. We do not make typical fruit wines, but fine wines made from fruit other than grapes. For this reason, we have dry and semi-sweet wines in addition to sweet wines.
Our wines have repeatedly won gold and double-gold medals in international competitions such as the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition.
Absolutely no grapes are harmed in the making of these wines!
Featured in Wine Enthusiast Magazine: https://www.winemag.com/2020/01/06/best-fruit-wine-guide/
Dry Crisp Asian Pear Wine is a single-varietal Asian Pear wine made from a pear variety developed here on our farm. This wine is very dry and pairs like a Chardonnay.
Semi-Sweet Asian Pear Wine is an off-dry or semi-sweet wine made from a blend of several pear varieties. The residual sugar in this wine is from the pears themselves rather than added, refined sugars. While lightly fruity, this is a fine wine rather than what one thinks of as a typical 'fruit' wine. It pairs well with poultry, light flaky fish, pasta with white sauce, or anything typically paired with an off-dry Riesling.
Semi-Sweet Fuji Apple Wine is our original Fuji Apple wine. This wine was so enjoyed by our dry wine enthusiasts that we later developed the Dry Fuji Apple Reserve to meet their desires. Semi-Sweet Fuji Apple Wine is again, not the typical apple wine, but a fine wine made from Fuji apples. It is sweeter than the dry, with residual sugar from Fuji apples only, but still not a sweet wine. It is fruitier than the dry, but still tart. This wine pairs well with turkey, pork, salmon or spiced shrimp. Our favorite pairing is with salmon on the grill. This wine also serves well as a refreshing sipping wine.
While we make two popular sweet wines, these are not typical sweet fruit wines. Each is distinctly true to the Asian fruit character of our wines.
Shiro Plum Wine is a traditional Japanese Plum wine. Wines of this type are known for their fragrant bouquet and rich mouth feel. In this regard, our Shiro Plum Wine does not disappoint. In fact, it has won multiple gold and double gold medals in international competition. Shiro plums are yellow in color, giving this wine a pleasing golden glow. Bring this wine to your favorite Hibachi or Korean BYOB to enhance those cuisines, or enjoy it as an after dinner wine or nightcap.
Spiced Sweet Asian Pear Wine has a distinctly Asian character delivered not only by the pears, but also the ginger root utilized in its production. This sweet, smooth gingery wine has won many gold and double gold medals in international competition. It pairs well with Sushi, Thai and Indian cuisine, or with any spicy Asian cuisine. Most bottles end up in Sushi BYOBS. It also works well as a satisfying after-dinner wine. For after-dinner enjoyment it can be served either chilled or warmed-up.
Where to Purchase Our Wines
While the majority of our sales take place at wine festivals throughout New Jersey (see the Events section below) or by appointment at the farm, we also sell in select liquor stores in Southwestern New Jersey. Sorry, but we do not ship in-state or beyond New Jersey.
Since stores sometimes run out before re-stocking, it may be wise to call for availability before traveling to a store. Likewise, making an appointment at the farm for purchases may be your best choice.
Bootlegger's Fine Wine and Spirits (Former location of Hops and Grapes)
810 Delsea Drive
Glassboro, NJ 08028
120 Center Square Road
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
1075 Mantua Pike (Route 45)
West Deptford, NJ
Florence Wine and Liquors
302 Broad Street
Florence, NJ 08518
Have a favorite store not listed here? Ask them to contact us. We may be able to add them to our list.
Again in 2024, we'll be concentrating on smaller festivals, where we can personally serve our tasters. We'll post information as the schedule develops.