New Jersey Dining August 03, 2017
The Underrated Wine Region In New Jersey You’ll Want To Visit Again And Again
New Jersey has wonderful wineries scattered throughout the state but one particular region is home to a wide range of wineries, including some of the Garden State’s best. Though you may be surprised that an area often referred to as the “Pine Barrens” produces an abundance of sweet, fresh grapes, the word “barren” is quite a misnomer.
The Pine Barrens aren't actually barren.
The Pine Barrens, also known as the Pinelands, spans over one million acres in South Jersey. The area got its name when European settlers were unable to cultivate their traditional crops, but it actually supports a wide range of plant life. It also has a unique micro-climate that seems to be well suited for grape growing.
New Jersey is actually fifth in the nation when it comes to wine production.
Many of our fantastic wineries are located in the Pinelands including Valenzano (pictured), Sharrott, Plagido, Amalthea, DiMatteo, Balic, Bellview, Tomasello, Renault, Coda Rossa and Laurita Wineries. Many of these wineries offer tours, tastings and unique events. Read on to discover some of the area's best wineries and learn all about what they have to offer.
Valenzano Winery- 1090 Route 206, Shamong
Valenzano winery offers FREE tastings with any purchase. You can also enjoy a tasting for $10 if you'd just like to sample wines without buying a bottle. Their tasting room also offers a light, flavorful menu of foods that pair well with the wines including Bavarian pretzels, cheesesteak dumplings and calamari. They also offer full gourmet dinners on Thursday nights and events like a Plant Nite (8/23) where you can make your own terrarium and a Wine Festival (9/16).
Renault Winery - 72 N Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City
Renault Winery is a New Jersey State Historical site and one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in the United States. You can enjoy a 40-minute tour for $5 and a wine tasting for $5 more, including a souvenir glass. Renault Winery also offers a luxurious resort, gourmet restaurant, horseback riding and a golf course. They'll be hosting a murder mystery dinner on 8/19 and every Sunday brunch features live jazz music.
Laurita Winery - 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt
In addition to fantastic wines, Laurita offers spectacular events. This weekend, they're hosting an Irish Festival with live music, dancing and displays. Admission also includes a tour, dance lessons and children's activities. On the 19th and 20th of this month, you'll find an epic eighties-themed food truck festival with a wide range of dining options, live music and fireworks. There's also a charming inn and gourmet marketplace.
Sharrott Winery - 370 S Egg Harbor Road, Hammonton
This award-winning winery offers $8 tastings that include six wines and a souvenir glass. They also offer free live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Depending on which day you visit, you can purchase a cheese platter, pack a picnic or savor some food truck masterpieces. Tonight's truck, Moocheez, offers mouthwatering melts, fries and mac n' cheese. Tours are available Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 and 2:00.
Tomasello Winery - 225 N White Horse Pike, Hammonton
While this winery is located in Hammonton, there are a variety of tasting rooms where you can sample Tomasello wines. You may be familiar with the outposts in Smithville/The Village Green and Lambertville, though I'd definitely recommend giving the winery itself a visit. Here, you can add a cheese plate or decadent truffles to your tasting experience. Visit on August 12th for a very special event where you can taste the Tomasello Almond Joy Martini and other unique cocktails while dining on tapas. The same day, the winery will be hosting a paint party.
Amalthea Cellars Winery - 209 Vineyard Road, Atco
Tastings here are done by flight (5-6 samples) and cost $6. You can choose from either white, red or off-dry wines. You can also mix and match multiple flights - $10 for two or $15 for all three. Tastings include tours that will take you from the carriage room to the crushing room to the candlelit barrel cellar. They also offer a fresh draft program (Cantina Mas) that promises a new table wine blend of the finest quality, every season. Many say it's the best $7 bottle of wine they've ever tasted.
Were you surprised to learn that the Garden State was such a major producer of wine? For more vineyards and wineries in New Jersey, check out
this list. If you live in North or Central Jersey, you might also want to check out this local wine trail.