New Jersey Vineyards
What started as a small endeavor in the Garden State has blossomed into over 35 New Jersey vineyards and wineries. Spread out throughout the state, New Jersey has certainly made its mark in terms of the number of wineries that it offers. For many who live along the east coast of the US, the wineries and vineyards of New Jersey are must-see on their travels for excellent wine tasting.
The History of Wine in New Jersey
Vineyards were first developed during the colonial days of the 18th century when wine was competing with beer as the drink that the colonists enjoyed. The first winery known to have been created in the state was started in 1767 by William Alexander and Edward Antill who had learned their craft in Great Britain. Over the next century wineries in the state grew at a relatively rapid rate thanks to the favorable growing conditions.
However, the establishment of Prohibition-era laws at the beginning of the 20th century made it an unattractive location for business that greatly curtailed vineyards and wineries. For the most part, the wine industry in New Jersey was shut down.
However, in 1981 that all began to change with the New Jersey Farm Winery Act which relaxed the laws and allowed the Garden State to really grow as a wine producer. At the time of the act, only seven wineries were operating. Today, there are over 48 licensed wineries with more on the way.
What Makes New Jersey Vineyards Special?
There are a number of reasons why more vineyards are being created in this state, starting with the favorable soil and rolling countryside that allows for all different types of wine grapes to flourish. Interestingly enough, the northern part of the state has some of the best wineries thanks to the growing conditions that are present despite the normally cold winters.
Over 90 varieties of grapes are grown in New Jersey along with over 25 other fruits that compliment the wine that is being produced. For many, the unique combination of wine grapes and other fruits makes New Jersey wines particularly special.
You can find many of the wineries and New Jersey vineyards in the northern part of the state that make for an excellent weekend tour. Places like Pittstown and Warren County are excellent locations to start your journey through the northern areas of the state in search of wonderful vineyards and wineries.
However, great wineries can be found all across the state, so it is a matter of simply picking one area to stay and branching out from there. Towns such as Millville, Hammonton, and Franklinville make up what is known as the southern vineyards of New Jersey and a trail has been established so that you can easily find the best wineries in the area.
When it comes to enjoying the wineries in the Garden State, there are certainly many to choose from and the various events and celebrations that are held in some of the locations will make your vacation a more pleasant one as well.