Did you know ... that Renault Winery is the second oldest continuously operating winery in the United States, that the notorious Nucky Johnson worked at Renault Winery, or that Renault survived Prohibition by legally selling wine?
Renault’s fascinating story dates back to the mid 1800s when phylloxera, a parasite aphid, almost destroyed Europe’s wine industry. Master Vintner Louis Nicholas Renault traveled from the Champagne region of France to the United States in 1855 to save his vines from the sap-eating insect. He first set up his vineyard in California, but his grapes were destroyed. Renault heard about a grape on the East Coast rumored to resist pests and diseases. He purchased land in Egg Harbor and established his vineyard in New Jersey.
By 1870 Renault became the largest champagne distributor in America. Renault Winery rapidly grew in fame, earning Egg Harbor the nickname “Wine City.” In 1919 John D’Agostino purchased the winery, with a plan to survive Prohibition. D’Agostino received a special permit allowing the production of wine for religious and medicinal purposes. For the 14 years of prohibition Renault Wine Tonic was sold in drug stores nationwide labelled “not to chill the tonic, as it would turn into wine which is illegal.”
Over the last century, Renault Winery has transformed into a family friendly resort with the addition of a 50-room hotel, 18-hole golf course, wedding sites, banquet facilities, a restaurant and a growing list of amenities. Renault offers daily historic tours, wine tastings and special events like murder mystery dinners, live music, festival, and much more throughout the year.
In early 2018, Joseph’s Restaurant changed from a fine dining Italian Restaurant to Joseph’s Pub & Grill, offering guests a casual dining experience. In early April, Executive Chef Stephen Golden took over the kitchen at Joseph’s. Chef Stephen is a graduate of The Philadelphia Restaurant School with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He has worked at several renowned establishments in the Atlantic City area including Caesars Hotel & Casino, The Tuckahoe Inn, The Crab Trap and The Atlantic City Country Club, to name a few.
Chef Stephen explains, “Our vision for Joseph’s is to create a friendly, more casual, atmosphere for our guests. We still offer our dining room for larger groups and are proud to be a dining destination for special occasions, but also want our guests to come any day of the week to enjoy a great meal before or after a round of golf, on their lunch break or when they’re out for a scenic joy ride.”
Renault Winery, 72 N. Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, 609-965-2111, RenaultWinery.com