New Jersey Ag News
‘Muses’ help promote local music, wine
By JANE PRIMERANO
BELVEDERE (June 1, 2015) — Long-time farmer and vintner Robert “Matty” Matarazzo keeps his Four Sisters Winery busy on weekends through most of the year, bringing new faces to his White Township location.
Four Sisters has the advantage of a beautiful location for festivals and weddings, with a rolling lawn between the buildings and the vines.
Music comes to Four Sisters every year in the form of Muses in the Vineyard, a festival of female musicians.
Matarazzo only sells wine and food at this music fest, he said between shifts in the food tent on Sunday, May 17.
He has provided space for the non-profit event for four years, he explained, but all the proceeds from tickets go to the designated charity.
For 2015, that was AWSOM, the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe (County, Pa.)
But the benefits to Four Sisters are tangible. Matarazzo says when special events are held at the winery, people come from farther away than his regular customers and new people discover Four Sisters.
Among the other events at Four Sisters are Cruise Nights, family fun days, the apple wine and music festival, grape stomps and murder mystery nights.
The “murders” will be held under the tent this summer, on its new Astroturf “floor.” These are in addition to the weddings that take place at the winery about once a month.
The weddings are for couples who already love Four Sisters, but they end up introducing family and friends to the winery.
“This is a special crowd,” Matarazzo said of Muses. With all female musicians, generally playing folk music, there is a certain fan base and these may be people who wouldn’t otherwise think to come out to White Township on a Saturday or Sunday.
Muses also has vendors, this year all female “except for the pie guy,” according to Brian McCloskey who has been running the festival since the beginning, along with his brother, Blair.
“We pick the weekend between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day,” McCloskey explained, “because Matty wouldn’t have something going on.”
He books the acts and the vendors, but doesn’t get too many booths because the emphasis should be on the music.