The story of Sky Acres Winery in the Black River Journal Late Summer 2016
By C.G. Wolfe
The tranquil, monophonic intones of Gregorian chants washed over the blushing Petite Syrahs and Cabernet Francs at Sky Acres Winery in Bedminster. Winding down the long drive of the property’s anonymous entrance in Somerset County’s “horse country,” the only hint that you are approaching a winery, is a neatly arrayed, three-acre vineyard of sprouting shoots and twisting tendrils. At Sky Acres, there are no tanks, traditional presses, cooperages, wastewater treatment facilities, or other machinery and outbuildings typically associated with commercial wine production. Utilizing an innovative, sustainable, and forward-thinking new process of winemaking, vintners Meera and Vijay Singh, have compressed their entire winery into the spotless stalls of an immaculately converted, pre-existing horse stable, abutted by woods, rolling green fields, and a tidy chicken coop, creating a “zero footprint winery.”
Vijay Singh describes himself as a “lazy” person, an odd claim for a world-recognized biotech scientist who holds more than 20 patents, has published hundreds of papers, and who revolutionized the production of biopharmaceuticals in the late 1990s, with the Wave Bioreactor, a low cost, labor-saving, innovation in cell cultivation that is used in nearly every biotech/pharmaceutical manufacturing company today.