Our New Jersey Wine Travel Guide shares a brief history of the state’s wine country, terroir, where to sip, where to stay and things to do beyond the vines.
Every 50 of the United States produces wine. With four officially designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and 50+ wineries, the New Jersey wine country is one worth sipping in.
WHERE IS NJ WINE COUNTRY?
The major wine growing regions that have emerged in New Jersey include Warren County/Hunterdon County in the north, Hammonton in the south, and Cape May at the southernmost tip, although there are quality wineries outside of the each of those regions.
BEST TIMES TO VISIT
The best time to visit New Jersey wineries is in the late spring/early summer when the vines are filling out and the weather hasn’t gotten too hot or humid. Many wineries host outdoor events with live music and food trucks. It’s also the beginning of the festival season.
New Jersey is home to four federally recognized AVA, more than 50 wineries.
Concentrations of New Jersey wineries exist around the state’s main three AVAs. In Cape May in the south by the ocean, in Hammonton in the agricultural south, and in Hunterdon and Warren counties along the Delaware River in the western part of the state, it’s easy to travel from winery to winery.
TOP GRAPE VARIETIES
White Wine Grapes
- Pinot Grigio
- Vidal Blanc
Red Wine Grapes
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Petit Verdot
- Pinot Noir
POUR INTO MORE OF THE NEW JERSEY GRAPES
NEW JERSEY WINE HISTORY
New Jersey has about 2,000 acres of farmland dedicated to growing wine grapes, and that is steadily increasing.
Like most states, New Jersey produced wine before Prohibition shut down most of the wineries in the country. After Prohibition it took over half a century for the state to become a wine destination.
Hampered by a post-Prohibition law that permitted only one winery per million residents, a Farm Winery Act was put into place in 1981 allowing for more wineries. Now there are over 50 wineries and that number continues to grow each year as does the quality of New Jersey wine.
WHERE TO SIP
With 50+ wineries, New Jersey has a lot to sip.
We’ve shared the best NJ wineries for your grape escape.
MUST SIP NEW JERSEY WINE FESTIVALS
- Old York Cellars
- The Winemakers Co-Op
- The Jersey Shore Wine & Food Trucks Festival
Plan Your New Jersey Wine Vacation
OUR FAVORITES BY REGION
- Willow Creek Winery Cottages
- Château Renault Hotel
- Lambertville Station
MORE: WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING NEW JERSEY WINERIES
BEYOND THE VINES
The four distinct wine regions in New Jersey are home to many fun activities, so if you’re looking for things to do besides sipping in the 50+ New Jersey wineries, we have A LOT OF IDEAS for kids, designated drivers, and those enjoying the wines of the region.
New Jersey is famous for its beaches and family friendly boardwalks with amusement parks. The beach town of Cape May is an excellent spot to sip in some rays.
Visit Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre outdoor sculpture garden in Hamilton with hundreds of life size sculptures, and interpretations of famous pieces such as Monet’s Bridge.
Sip in More of New Jersey
- Exploring Cape May Wineries
- Two Fresh New Jersey Wine Tasting Itineraries for a Grape Escape
- Uncorking the History of the New Jersey Wine Country
- Things to do in the New Jersey Wine Country
- Where to Stay when Sipping in New Jersey Wineries
- Where to Sip When Exploring New Jersey Wineries
Robin Shreeves is a drinks journalist and lifestyle features writer. Her wine writing has appeared in dozens of print and online publications including Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Courier Post, Spirited magazine, Edible Philly, Edible Jersey, USA Today, and Drink Philly. A champion of wines from the mid-Atlantic region, she co-hosts an East Coast Wine chat on the Clubhouse app Sunday nights at 7pm. Her writer’s website Wine & Wonder has a weekly roundup of East Coast Wine News posted each Monday.