Cheers to New Jersey: Celebrate Drink Local Wine Week


Break out the wine glasses, from Oct 9-15, we’re celebrating Drink Local Wine Week with some of our favorite New Jersey wines.

The Garden State is home to more than 60 wineries and vineyards in four distinct viticultural areas, which is “a fancy way to talk about dirt,” according to Devon Perry, a representative from the Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA). The four American Viticultural Areas (AVA) are the Warren Hills AVA, the Cape May Peninsula AVA, the Central Delaware Valley AVA and the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

Within these areas, there are also six wine trails to follow. Perry suggests visitors use the GSWGA Passport to New Jersey app to “explore the wineries at your front door.” The app helps create an itinerary to help you discover some of the best wines New Jersey has to offer.

Here are some ideas on how one can celebrate New Jersey wine every day of Drink Local Wine Week:

Celebrate Drink Local Wine Week with some of your favorite New Jersey wines. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sunday, Oct. 9:

Warren Hills, Vintage North Wine Trail

Start the week off strong with a scenic train ride along the Delaware River to Villa Milagro Vineyards. Board a steam engine train at the Lehigh Junction Station, where you’ll learn about the railroad from a guide. Once you arrive at the vineyards, enjoy an informative tour that teaches how the wines are made. End the day sampling some of the wines paired with hors d’oeuvres. Then it’s all-aboard the train, which will take passengers past Ol’ Susquehanna Mine. Stop an enjoy the picnic area, or head back to the station. Purchase tickets here.

Monday, Oct. 10:

Outer Coastal Plains, Monmouth-Ocean County Wine Trail

For the chocoholics out there, Fox Hollow Vineyards in Holmdel offers a Flavors of Rosé Chocolate and Wine Pairing tasting. The vineyard is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the tasting room closes an hour before the vineyard. They do not take reservations, so make sure to get there early.

Next stop is Cream Ridge Winery! Reservations are not necessary for groups smaller than six, but make sure to bring chairs since there is only outdoor seating. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try the JerseyBerry Wine – a blend between cranberry and Chardonnay.

Tuesday, Oct. 11:

Cape May Peninsula, Cape May Wine Trail

The Cape May Winery & Vineyard is open from  noon to 5 p.m. Here, you and your friends can enjoy wine by the bottle, featured wines by the glass, a wine flight, or a one-liter carafe alongside tapas from the kitchen.  Indoor seating is available for groups of six or less on a first-come, first-serve basis. Groups of seven or more can book a large-group table here.

Bring your friends to explore the world of New Jersey wines. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Wednesday, Oct. 12:

Outer Coastal Plains, Wine and Ale Trail of South Jersey

Visit Sharrott Winery for Trivia Night with Mindy. Compete for a Sharrott Winery gift card while enjoying food and drinks from the wine bar. Reserve your table here.

Thursday, Oct. 13:

Outer Coastal Plain, Two Bridges Wine Trail

If you like fruit wine, Monroeville Vineyard and Winery is the place for you. Open from noon to 7 p.m., try out the Cherry, Asian Pear, or Sweet Plum wines. Make a reservation here.

Thursday is Open Mic Night at Auburn Road Vineyards. Visit the Vineyard Stage at the Enoteca, its European-inspired wine bar, to hear live music from 7 to 9 p.m. Use the WineFinder to pick the perfect wine for you! Reserve a table here.

Friday, Oct. 14:

Outer Coastal Plains, Wine and Ale Trail of South Jersey

Spend Friday night at Tomasello Winery’s Hammonton Vineyard, where they make over 50 New Jersey wines. The tasting room closes at 6 p.m., and reservations are recommended. They can be made here.

A 22-minute drive brings to Renault Winery & Resort. This winery is more than 150 years old, and one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in the country. Enjoy dueling piano music from the Philly Keys in its tasting room from 7 to 11 p.m. Make a reservation here.

Saturday, Oct. 15:

Central Delaware Valley, Hunterdon County Wine Trail

Visit Old York Cellars to spend the afternoon relaxing in a Wine Cabana overlooking the vineyard. Cabanas seat a maximum of six people, and the reservations last two hours. Make your reservation here.

End your evening at Beneduce Vineyards for Group Therapy. Yes, you read that right Group Therapy. From 5 to 9 p.m., enjoy live music, lawn games, a local food truck, and, of course, a vast array of wines. While the event is “very therapeutic for us all, there is no ‘actual’ therapy involved” according to the website. Reservations are required, you can make one here.

Sunday, Oct. 16:

Outer Coastal Plains, Cumberland County

Sure, Drink Local Wine Week may be officially over, but you’ll need to recover after drinking your way through the state. What better way to do that than a Vineyard Vinyasa at Cedar Rose Vineyards. The hour-long class is followed by brunch and a glass of wine. Purchase tickets here.

Congratulations! If you made it through the week, you are a connoisseur of New Jersey wines. If you post any pictures, be sure to use the hashtag #CheersNJWine.

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