The Cape May peninsula has a unique climate. For the tender European wine grapes (Vitis vinifera), the Mid-Atlantic region is hostile: too cold, too humid, and too rainy. But lower Cape May's climate is moderated by two large bodies of water, the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay. The configuration and climate parallels a famous French wine-growing region, the Bordeaux, which lies between the Atlantic and the lower Gironde River. Like the the area known as the Medoc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc do very well in this climate.
The Atlantic and Delaware Bay support the grape vines in a number of ways. First, the winters are not so cold. Temperatures rarely dip below zero farenheit, the killing zone for Vitis vinifera. Second, we have an extended growing season, usually 200 frost free days, which allows many varieties to ripen into late October. Third, we have water-borne breezes that dry out the canopy, reducing fungal disease. Finally the loamy sand soil drains quickly, so vine roots are not standing in "wet feet" after the frequent and often severe thunderstorms.