There’s a lot more to Jersey than just the shore. It’s steeped in history, like the fascinating shark attacks of 1916. If that’s a little too creepy for you, there’s Atlantic City and the Boardwalk or Turtle Back Zoo.
You also won’t want to miss Liberty State Park with a fantastic view of the New York City skyline, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
But, since I know you all are really here for the wine, let’s talk about the varying landscapes that make the state home to some really unique wines and offer the best wine tasting in New Jersey.
For such a small state, the vast terroir is surprising. From the gently rolling hills in the north to the beautiful shores of the Delaware, and finishing with the vast plains in the south, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy the tasting of a lifetime.
Best Places to Go for Wine Tasting in New Jersey
- Working Dog Winery
- Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery
- Brook Hollow Winery
- Mount Salem Vineyards
- Willow Creek Winery & Farm
- Cream Ridge Winery
- Iron Plow Vineyards
- White Horse Winery
1. Working Dog Winery
Nestled in the rolling hills of central New Jersey, this winery started with only three acres of Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.
After relaxing in the evening on a cool day in 2001, this group of friends wondered how they could grow grapes to make their own wine. It worked out a lot better than they thought.
The soil, climate, and topology of this area lent itself to a very high wine production that quickly turned a fun hobby into a successful business. Every bottle is made on the property with care and you can taste the passion they put into every sip.
However, what’s really exciting is that they allow friendly dogs on the lawn, so if you vacay with your furry family members, you can bring them along!
It’s a great place to spend an afternoon trying any of the dozens of award-winning Working Dog wines in their collection.
2. Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery
This sweet story starts back in the 1940s when the Wuerker family emigrated from Germany to Cape May County.
The land has been in the family ever since, and now the third generation is working the 16 acres, producing just as many varietals.
They have dozens of wines with guided, educational wine tastings and lovely outdoor seating. You can even make reservations for tented seating or picnic seating. You can walk in or you can call ahead and make a reservation.
Hawk Haven hosts an annual Rootstock that you won’t want to miss. This is a huge, adult-only concert that happens rain or shine. Purchase lawn or picnic seats now to enjoy an evening of wine and music. At $10 per person for eight artists, this is a steal!
3. Brook Hollow Winery
A 100-foot porch overlooking 2000 grapevines beckons. It’s the perfect place to relax with friends and a glass of wine.
There’s a total of three vineyards on the property, totaling more than 10,000 vines, with a rustic barn, wraparound porch, and gazebo.
The warm and inviting atmosphere complements the exceptional wines you’ll taste. Two dozen wines await from dry to sweet and you’re mere minutes from Columbia Lake and the Delaware River.
Brook Hollow also hosts $10 Friday night dinners with music. Come by to enjoy the annual pig roast, annual clam bake, comedy night, trivia night, and live music.
There’s no shortage of social events here where you can fall in love with your favorite wines and make new friends.
4. Mount Salem Vineyards
This sweet boutique winery doesn’t have the dozens of wines you might find at a larger winery, but what they do have is handcrafted and grown sustainably.
They’ve carefully chosen Austrian varietals that are a perfect match for the terroir, to ensure a fruitful growing season, ending with perfectly ripe grapes and surprising wines.
These cool-season wines produce brighter flavors, exhibiting the sun’s power, despite the cooler weather. Mount Salem was the first to plant these Austrian varietals in the area, and many said it couldn’t be done.
Despite not having any experience at all, this family’s passion for great wine drove them to self-taught success.
This is surely an unusual place for a winery, but the history is as rich as the wine that flows in the glass. The farmstead and the barn date back to 1811 and restoration began in 2000.
Everything has been converted into an energy-efficient operation while still maintaining its rustic beauty and simplicity. This is surely a location you won’t want to miss.
5. Willow Creek Winery & Farm
Willow Creek is the only winery on Cape May Island, a small section of land that separates the Delaware Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
They offer table-side wine tastings, group educational tastings, and private wine-paired events. This 50-acre vineyard is surrounded by water and features a unique microclimate that’s perfect for producing unique and flavorful varietals.
Every vine on the property is at least 15 years old and produces wines of award-winning quality in a setting that couldn’t get any more romantic.
The gardens are “ripe” for strolling, there’s a backdrop of architecturally-stunning villas and an outdoor brick patio for lounging.
Stop in for lunch or dinner and try any of their 19 wines. They also host Fire Pit Fridays and you can choose from any of their eight cottages to book your luxurious Airbnb stay.
6. Cream Ridge Winery
If the name of this winery doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure what will.
Here, you’ll be met with friends who feel like family and wines that taste like heaven. This quaint but modern operation features rustic barns and plenty of outdoor seating.
Like most wineries, you can partake in a complimentary wine tasting, but they also have events like ladies’ night and summer cruise nights. For something really special, attend one of their goat yoga sessions.
7. Iron Plow Vineyards
A short eight miles away are your friends at Iron Plow Vineyards. There are two tasting room locations – one in Columbus and one in downtown Mount Holly.
The estate was established in 1960 with 62 acres of farmland. Breathtaking sunsets can be viewed from the garden terrace and all wines are handcrafted.
Build your own cheese board, fill up on hangover pretzels, or enjoy a tiramisu dessert with your wine flight. And don’t forget a friendly game of disc golf, located just beyond the vineyard.
Nearly every weekend night during the summer, you can enjoy local artists on the grounds with no cover charge.
8. White Horse Winery
This destination winery has 15 different wines and features a wine club for those who fall in love and simply can’t go back home without.
The winery’s mascot, Macie, is an eight-year-old black lab who greets every new friend with a wag of her tail and an escort to the tasting room.
She loves to lounge under the shady oak trees and encourages you to follow along. Sometimes, during her morning run around the vineyard, she sneaks a taste!
Along with your tasting, you can enjoy a charcuterie board, and don’t forget to bring your own leashed and furry friend.
The landscape is lush, the vintage buildings are endearing, and the quiet countryside will make you want to stay forever.