In 2000, our family purchased this 51 acre farm to supply our retail garden center, Great Swamp Greenhouses. Since then, we’ve planted over ten acres of grapes on a sunny hillside at the top of the property and transformed a large storage barn into a spectacular 7000 square foot winery. The younger generation will take the helm at the new business, and while being the first members to have formal education in the industry, they are proud to carry on a tradition as fourth generation farmers.
Our family has made wine here since our ancestors emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s, and we are dedicated to offering premium quality wine in an entertaining and down to earth atmosphere. Our last name “Beneduce” means “Good Leader” in Italian, and we have our sights set on becoming leaders of quality wine production in New Jersey.
Vineyard Manager and Winemaker
In 2010, Mike graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University with a dual degree in Plant Sciences and Viticulture/Enology. The recently introduced major focused on the hands on teaching of techniques specific to cool climate grape growing and winemaking. Mike also gained experience working at Sawmill Creek Vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of NY, where he learned the arts of pruning and canopy management from a fourth generation grower. Travel experiences to wine regions in California, Oregon, New York, Ontario, Italy and Austria have helped broaden his knowledge of the world of wine. He is currently studying for his Level II Certified Sommelier exam under the Court of Master Sommeliers, and he is an active member of the international gastronomic society the Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Marketing and Event Director
Justen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University, Cook College with a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences in 2008. After college, she started a non-profit organization called Sign of Hope, which helped provide food, school supplies and other essentials to underprivileged children in Zambia. Aside from managing our family’s garden center, Great Swamp Greenhouses, Justen handles the marketing and event planning for Beneduce Vineyards. She recently achieved her Level II Award from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, and is continuing her education in the wine industry at various courses and seminars offered on the East Coast.
Michael Beneduce, Sr.
Michael started his career as a young grower while working at his Grandfather’s farm stand, Amato’s in Madison, NJ. When he was 19, he ventured out on his own and started Great Swamp Greenhouses, which has since grown to become one of the largest retail garden centers in New Jersey. He introduced his children to the art of winemaking as soon as they could walk, making a few barrels each year in a crowded basement for family and friends. Along with his wife Casey, he oversees the production of both Beneduce Vineyards and Great Swamp Greenhouses
We’re lucky to have found a great staff of genuine wine lovers that are here to make sure your tasting is exciting and memorable. Don’t be afraid to quiz them on our wines, they know their stuff!
Ruca- At two years old, Ruca is our winery mascot and official door greeter. She enjoys following her best friend Mike around constantly (until he actually asks her to of course), chasing anything that moves and is constantly expanding her wine palate by lapping up any drops that spill on the floor.
Jen – Our Tasting Room Manager, Jen, is a genuine lover of all animals and lives on her own farm right here in Pittstown. She loves riding her horse, Kelly, and is looking forward to continuing her education in wine by studying for her Sommelier Certification.
Abby – Abby recently graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing. She is very passionate about wine and is also studying for her Sommelier Certification. She also loves to travel, garden and spend time outdoors running and hiking.
Trini – Trini is currently studying to be a speech-language pathologist. She enjoys learning about wine, blind tasting and getting her boots muddy in the vineyard during harvest.
Sarah T. – After earning her Master’s in Wine Marketing & Management from Bordeaux International Wine Institute in France, wine has become both a passion and obsession of Sarah’s. She is always looking to learn (and of course taste) as much wine as she can. Who knew NJ could produce such great wine?! Santé!
Kyle – Kyle graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 and spent several months teaching English in Turkey. He enjoys travel, skiing and good wine. He is afraid of sharks, bears, and the day Sky Net becomes self-aware…
Penny – Originally from Texas, Penny gave up her career at Johnson & Johnson to raise her two boys. With the boys off in college, she joined the vineyard team for fun! She enjoys laughing, reading, history, travel, art and time at the gym. She looks forward to learning more about this ol’ friend “wine” that she has enjoyed over the years and is afraid of snakes, spiders and corks.
Sarah G. – When Sarah isn’t at the winery she works at a library, though her ideal job title would combine both position to read “Wine Librarian”. Someday she wants to own a combination food truck and bookmobile, and in addition to wine she also loves to try craft brews from all over the world.