Ten of the Best Wineries in NJ

Lifestyle

If you’ve been affected by the transition to virtual learning, or if your favorite summer events have been cancelled, you might be in need of a drink. Although certain amenities are still limited due to COVID-19, there are exemplary wineries in New Jersey where you can still visit and have an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking to sip on a familiar favorite or taste-test an entirely different flavor, these wineries have all the resources you may need. These are 10 of the best wineries in NJ, where you can drink or dance the night away!

 1. Willow Creek Farm and Winery, in Cape May County

Image is from Willow Creek Winery’s Facebook

To begin our list of the best wineries in NJ, we can start with one that is the only winery on Cape Island, meaning that after you spend some time tasting wine or their exquisite meals, you can also enjoy what the town of Cape May has to offer. The included variety of wines at Willow Creek Winery is red wines, white wines, sweet or fruit wines, and red or white sangria. The winery is open daily at noon, all year, for events such as private or group wine tastings, vineyard tours, and weddings. Lunch and dinner is also offered, with a farm-to-table grill menu, ensuring you will leave feeling satisfied with your choices of drinks, food, and activities. 

2. Beneduce Vineyards, in Hunterdon County

 

Image is from Beneduce Vineyard’s Facebook

At the beautiful Beneduce Vineyards, there is more to admire about the winery than its views: everything at the vineyard is done and processed by hand, and done sustainably as well. Their gently processed fruit and expert equipment produce aromatic wines that pair perfectly with food, which you can taste in a tasting room without a reservation. The wines produced include a mix of reds, combination wines, Chardonnay, and rosé. The winery also allows you to let loose by listening to live music every Saturday, attending Sunday picnics, and taking advantage of the food trucks they have on the weekends. With all of these benefits, it is no secret as to why this would be one of the best wineries in NJ.

3. Renault Winery, in Atlantic County  

Image is from Renault Winery’s website

Renault Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in the state with a rich history, but that is only one of its many notable qualities. They have a variety of delicious drinks, including red wines, white wines, champagne, and sangria, which you can savor while dining outdoors, or after doing a curbside pickup. However, the winery has more to offer than just their drinks; they have group getaways and romantic retreats at the family-friendly Renault Hotel, along with a 7,000 yard golf course that passes directly through the vineyards, meaning there is something for people of all ages to enjoy!

4. Unionville Vineyards, in Hunterdon County  

Image is from Unionville Vineyards’ website

According to their website, Unionville Vineyards manages and sources grapes from six vineyards, and the variety of soil types and climates allows the winemakers to craft diverse wines. The wines are versatile and mainly fruity, with a notable example being their “Fields of Fire” wine, which has hints of ripe red grapefruit and strawberry jam. If you want to enjoy these wines, they are available in the winery’s picnic grounds every day from 12 to 5:30 PM, including other drinks and appetizers. Unionville Vineyards even has an event space that they utilize for weddings, fundraisers, picnics, festivals, and team building events, such as the corporate “Creating a Wine Blend” event which involves creating, pitching, and making a commercial for a group blended wine!  

5. Hawk Haven Vineyard, in Rio Grande, NJ

Image is from Hawk Haven Vineyard’s Facebook

Hawk Haven Vineyard’s selection of wines is not your typical red, white and pink; they also feature a signature series, which often have fruity notes of melon, grapefruit, or even black cherry. As a result, there is no secret as to why Hawk Haven wines are sold in select restaurants across Stone Harbor, Wildwood, and Cape May, making their drinks accessible to coastline customers. At the vineyard itself, Hawk Haven is opening up reservations for outdoor seating where you can enjoy wine flights, glasses, and bottles, as well as a charming and rustic scenic view. If you’re hungry for something more, artisan cheese plates are offered daily, and food trucks are on the venue every Friday through Saturday.

6. Tomasello Winery, Hammonton (Atlantic County) 

Image is from Tomasello Winery’s Facebook

Tomasello Winery is a winery that thrives off of natural materials such as sunlight, soil, and grapes, but also their interpersonal connections and adherence to family traditions. The winery possesses a selection of wines that range from red to white, rosé to fruit, or specialty to sparkling, meaning practically anything will suit your palate. To taste these delectable wines, an outdoor courtyard is open, and there are three other New Jersey-based tasting areas associated with Tomasello Winery if you cannot access Hammonton. One of the standout perks of Tomasello Winery, though, is their “social distancing/virtual wine tasting kit”. In their “shop” section and under the “wines on sale” section, their Social Distancing Tasting Kit includes a Tomasello Winery Etched Tasting Glass, a bendable straw, and a grape-patterned mask with a velcro flap, all so you can drink your favorite Tomasello wine without unmasking! 

   7. Villa Milagro Vineyards, in Warren County  

Image is from Villa Milagro Vineyards’ Facebook

Villa Milagro Vineyards is known to be New Jersey’s only organic vineyard; although they cannot grow organic grapes due to a fungal condition called “Black Rot”, their grains and kitchen garden are all organic. The vineyard’s passion for growing unaltered food comes from their love for the land they are cultivating. Villa Milagro means place, or home, of miracles, and after experiencing Warren County’s picturesque views, combined with the amenities Villa Milagro has to offer, you will be enamored with the area too. 

Villa Milagro mainly offers red, white, and “special” wines (such as wine made from honey, or chocolate-infused wine), with a helpful guide about how to pair specific wines with specific foods. If you are interested in tasting any of these wines, your wine tasting experience is up to you: you can do a flight tasting of red, white, dry, or sweet wine, or drink a single glass of wine. Either way, you will get a gift monogram wine glass for you to take home! Another special treat the winery offers is the chance to have a monthly dinner served to you in the vineyard, with a variety of starters, and delectably crafted meals. Villa Milagro offers a winery experience like no other, and their mindful cultivation of their land ensures the winery will be around for generations to come. 

8. Working Dog Winery, in Mercer County

Image is from Working Dog Winery’s website

As the name might suggest, this winery is dog friendly (automatically making it one of the best wineries in NJ), but unfortunately, your furry friend must stay outside. That won’t stop you from enjoying everything the Working Dog Winery has to offer, though! The winery serves a variety of red, white, and sweet wines, with each flavor having its own unique wine assortment. For example, the red wine’s flavor profiles range from soft and fruity to big and bold, white wines make up nearly half of the vineyard, and their “Ugly Duckling” wines are sweet red or white wines. The “Ugly Duckling” wines are made from the same grapes as the winery’s dry red and whites, but with a bit of sugar left behind. Working Dog Winery even includes ideas for pairing their specific wines with your menu, making their drinks customizable for your palate, and adaptable to any event. Every Saturday and Sunday, live music is featured, providing you with the perfect opportunity to unwind after a week of work.

9. Plagido’s Winery, in Atlantic County 

Image is from Plagido’s Winery’s Facebook

On their website, Plagido’s proudly mentions their achievement of being New Jersey’s top winery for two years in a row, clearly making one of the best wineries in NJ. Their artisanal hand-crafted wines, produced using a basket press, can be a contributor: the winemaking method gives the wine an unparalleled taste. The vineyard’s array of wine selections include dry whites, rosé, dry red, fruit wines, and library wines (wines that have been kept away or cellared). Most importantly, what makes this winery stand out is that their tasting room is open daily, allowing for customers to sip wines with vibrant colors and rare flavors. A wine of theirs that probably cannot be found at other wineries is their Empire wine, which is listed as having flavors of black cherry and dark fruit, hints of vanilla spice, and a sweet mocha espresso finish. 

10. Ventimiglia Vineyard, in Sussex County

Image is from Ventimiglia Vineyard’s Facebook

Ventimiglia Vineyard is happily continuing a family winemaking tradition that has been passed down for generations, which immediately gives the winery a welcoming atmosphere. In order to ensure that their wines are of the best quality possible, they use “minimal chemical or mechanical intervention”, ensuring a natural, refreshing drink in every glass and bottle. Their wine selections, which are used in cafes, restaurants, and bars across New Jersey, include white wines, dry wines, red wines, and a bottle of rosé. Whether you’re looking for something fruity or something flavorful, Ventimiglia Vineyard has it all! Currently, the winery is offering socially distant, outdoor tasting on the weekends.

These wineries are the top ten wineries in NJ for anyone who wants to view Jersey’s natural beauty, expand their palate, or spend some time being pampered!

By Jillian Buckley

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