TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senator James Beach that would require the Department of Transportation (DOT), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, to establish the “Viticulture Trail Sign Program,” passed the Senate today.
“The growth of New Jersey’s wine industry has provided a significant boost to our state’s economy,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “Over 100,000 people a year pay visit to our wineries and the growth of the industry is something that should be promoted. The ‘Viticulture Trail Sign Program’ will showcase the wineries throughout the state, attracting new visitors to the variety of producers in New Jersey.”
The bill, S-1435, would create the sign program to provide awareness and directional guidance for tourists to viticulture in the state through roadway signs.
Under the bill, the DOT, in consultation with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, would establish a publicized visual art competition for aesthetically pleasing, original art to be displayed on the viticulture trail signage. The DOT and the council would select the winning submitted art and the installation of the trail signs would be done as soon as the production has been completed.
“Tourists and residents recognize New Jersey wineries as go-to destinations,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “The success of the industry has resulted in the state becoming one of the largest producers of wine in the county. This program would expand our capabilities to inform tourists of what New Jersey has to offer in the world of viticulture.”
The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 40-0.