New Jersey is a stunning holiday destination that attracts thousands of tourists and holidaymakers each year. It has an old and interesting history when it comes to winemaking—at one time, there were over 100 small vineyards in New Jersey before Prohibition.
Today, there are still some award-winning wineries and vineyards in New Jersey worthy of their high notoriety. Whether you come by train, ferry boat, or car, NJ wineries are located in every section of the state. Regardless of where you find yourself in the gorgeous Garden State, you are guaranteed to be in driving distance of a “visit-worthy” New Jersey winery.
A Brief History of Wine in New Jersey
The history of New Jersey wine starts in 1758 when Great Britain’s Royal Society was on the hunt for a decent bottle of wine that resembled the high-quality wine of France. They decided to offer £100 to any colonist who would produce a red or white wine of the standard they were looking for.
At the time, no one came forward to take on this challenge. The British then raised the prize to £200, and two New Jersey residents came forward. From this moment onwards, New Jersey wine and winemaking has become a rich part of the culture and is something to be revered and celebrated.
New Jersey has the most wonderful climate for wineries and vineyards to flourish in and the British clearly knew this! It has rich, deep and sandy soil, the winters aren’t too cold, and the growing season for grapes is one of the longest in the U.S. The outer coastal plain of South Jersey is actually almost the exact same climate and soil structure as Bordeaux in France. And anyone who knows anything about world-class wine will know that Bordeaux is the home of some of the best bottles of wine in the world. This means that New Jersey has a lot to offer in terms of international standards of wine.
Wine and wineries in New Jersey really came into their own in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Master Vintner Louis Nicholas Renault was a representative of the ancient champagne house of the Duke of Montebello in Rheims in France. He travelled to New Jersey in 1864 and bought land in the Egg Harbour area in order to start his own vineyard. By 1870 he had introduced New Jersey to his Champagne. Renault Winery grew from strength to strength and has now won awards for its wines and has quickly become the largest distributor of champagne in the United States.
How Many Wineries Are In New Jersey? New Jersey now has over 50 world-class wineries and vineyards and is one of the most self-sufficient wine regions in the United States.
What Wine is New Jersey Known for?
NJ wineries produce a wide variety of wines. Some of the most popular wines you’ll come across in New Jersey include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc and Chardonnay.
The majority of wineries that New Jersey offers grow Vitis Vinifera grapes and produce or stock more than 80 varieties of wine. New Jersey also has a bunch of different fruit-based wines to offer, such as raspberry, cranberry, apple, and blueberry wines. These wines are more unusual and certainly in keeping with wine industry trends of trying new and different flavours.
The Top 10 New Jersey Wines
- Willow Creek Winery Pinot Grigio
- Cape May Winery Pinot Noir
- Cape May Winery Lighthouse Blush
- Sharrott’s Wicked
- Valenzo Wines Zinfandel
- Unionville Winery’s Revolutionary Red
- Unionville Winery’s Chardonnay
- Renault’s Merlot
- Melovino Meadery’s The Witch Doktor
- Bellview Winery’s Petit Verdot 2015
What is the Oldest Winery in New Jersey?
The oldest winery in New Jersey is Renault Winery and Resort. This stunning resort and winery have been going for over 157 years. They have so much to offer, from world class golfing, unique wines, tasting tours and a tasting room, to artisanal cuisine, festivals, events, twelve unique event venues, and so much more.
This venue is not something to be missed, the next time you are visiting the beautiful state of New Jersey be sure to add Renault Wineries to your list of places to visit.
Address: 72 North Bremen Avenue Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Phone Number: (609) 965 2111
What is the Largest Winery in New Jersey?
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The largest winery in New Jersey is the well-known Tomasello Winery. They have 10 different locations which all offer a wide array of events, functions, venue hire, tastings, tours, and of course, world-class wine.
Tomasello Wineries have various events happening each year, such as Opera Galas, food pairing events, tapas and sit down gourmet dinners, and various different styles of events hosted in their tasting rooms by their highly trained staff and owners.
They have a large range of top quality wine to try and take home: red wine, white wine, rose wine, sparkling wine, fruit wine, Moscato wine, speciality wines, a la mode fruit wines and even some artisan cider should you be in the mood for a beverage that isn’t wine.
Here are the names and addresses of their 10 varying locations, should you wish to visit them in the near future:
- Abma’s Farms – 700 Lawlins Road Wyckoff, NJ 07481
- Alstede Farms – 1 Alstede Farms Lane Chester, NJ 07930
- Cranford – 109 Walnut Avenue, NJ 07016
- Hammonton Vineyard – 225 North White Horse Pike Hammonton, NJ
- Historic Smithville – Across from 1 North New York Road Smithville, NJ 08205
- Johnsons Locust Hall Farm – 2691 Monmouth Road Jobstown, NJ 08041
- Lambertville – 1 North Union Street Lambertville, NJ 08530
- Mount Holly – 5 Washington Street Mount Holly, NJ 08060
- Village Greene – Across from 1 North New York Road Smithville, NJ 08205
- Wemrock Orchards – 300 Hwy 33 & Wemrock Road Freehold, NJ 07728
The Top 10 NJ Wineries to Visit
- Beneduce Vineyards, in Hunterdon County
- Renault Winery, in Atlantic County
- Unionville Vineyards, in Hunterdon County
- Hawk Haven Vineyard, in Rio Grande
- Tomasello Winery, Hammonton (Atlantic County)
- Villa Milagro Vineyards, in Warren County
- Working Dog Winery, in Mercer County
- Willow Creek Farm and Winery, in Cape May County
- Ventimiglia Vineyard, in Sussex County
- Brook Hollow Winery
Now you know where to find the finest wines in NJ, it’s time to go and drink them!
Born amidst the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley, Chloe’s love for wine was instilled from a young age. This passion led her to the picturesque wine regions of France, where she immersed herself in the rich wine culture and traditions.
Chloe’s dedication to the craft culminated in her becoming a wine sommelier, a testament to her deep knowledge and appreciation for wines.