Take a taste bud tantalizing tour of New Jersey’s vineyards & brewpubs.
Whether your drink of choice is a full-bodied red wine, a crisp and refreshing white wine, a roasted malt dark lager or a perfectly balanced pale ale, you can linger over your favorite libations in New Jersey’s vast array of wineries, vineyards, breweries and brewpubs. So gather your friends for a trendy grains and grapes tour of the Garden State!
No finer time (or place) for wine.
New Jersey’s more than 40 wineries and vineyards produce over 1.5 million gallons of wine annually. So—although it’s the fourth smallest state in the nation—the Garden State has distinguished itself as the country’s seventh largest wine producer.
If you’re planning a multi-day connoisseur’s getaway, you can explore any—or all—of the state’s five distinctive wine trails. The Vintage North Jersey Grand Wine Trail spans the entire upper region of the state. Covering the southwestern corner of New Jersey is the Two Bridges Wine Trail. The Pinelands Reserve Wine Trail meanders its way up the middle of the lower half of the state. Clustered in the southeastern tip of New Jersey is the Cape May Wine Trail. And, last but not least, creating a swath across the center of the state is the Jersey Shore Wine Trail.
Only have one day to spend in the Garden State? Not to worry. You can pick and choose individual wineries and vineyards to visit. History buffs will appreciate the fascinating legacy behind Renault Winery, one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in the United States. Aficionados can choose from several New Jersey wineries that earned top awards at the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in 2015. These winners included Alba Vineyard (Double Gold for its Chambourcin and Gold for its Gewurztraminer), Valenzano Winery (Double Gold for its Shamong White), Bellview Winery (Gold for its Petit Verdot), DiMatteo Vineyards (Gold for its Crantasia), Four Sisters Winery (Gold for its Cayuga 2013), Natali Vineyards (Gold for its Banana and Nebbiolo), Sharrott Winery (Gold for its Dry Riesling) and Unionville Vineyards (Gold for its Cool Foxy Lady).
If you’ve always fantasized about becoming a winemaker yourself, many New Jersey businesses can make your dream come true. The Wine Room of Cherry Hill in South Jersey invites you to produce a half or full barrel (yielding 20 cases) of your own wine, which you’ll also bottle, cork and package with a custom label. The award-winning winemakers at Grape Expectations in Central Jersey will guide you through the process of producing your own wine using grapes from California, Italy or South America.
Hop on over for some craft beer!
New Jersey boasts more than 65 breweries and brewpubs, with many more openings just on the horizon. So raise your frothy mugs in a toast, craft beer lovers, as we take you on a quick tour of the state’s stoutstanding offerings.
Cape May Brewing Company is making a name for itself, recently winning five awards from The World Beer Championships in addition to being named New Jersey’s 2015 Brewery of the Year at the New York International Beer Competition. Additional breweries and brewpubs to visit in the shore region include Tuckahoe Brewing Company, Artisan’s Brewery & Italian Grill and Tun Tavern Brewery & Restaurant.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade, New Jersey has also been racking up its fair share of industry accolades, including three medals in the 2014 Great American Beer Festival and another six awards in the 2014 World Beer Cup. While you’re in South Jersey, you can also stop in Flying Fish Brewing Company. The newly opened Third State Brewing is another craft beer producer to keep on your radar.
Thirsty in Central Jersey? Stop in River Horse Brewing Company, identified by thrillist.com as the top craft beer maker in the state. If you’re hungry as well, the area’s brewpubs include Triumph Brewing Company, JJ. Bitting Brewing Company and Harvest Moon Brewery & Café. You can also take a seat in The Ship Inn Restaurant & Brewery, the first New Jersey establishment to brew beer for onsite consumption post-Prohibition.
If you’re looking to organize a pub-crawl with your friends in Northern New Jersey, there is a wide array of brewpubs for your tasting pleasure, including Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant, Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub, Long Valley Pub & Brewery and Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery.
But before you blaze a wine trail, tour a vineyard or savor a draft at a brewpub, make sure you get the latest information—including operating hours—at visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide and sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.