© Candice Boblett – Cabernet Franc at Plagido’s Winery, Hammonton, NJ
New Jersey wines regularly receive critical acclaim and high scores in major wine publications and competitions. Today, there are over 1,500 acres of growing grapes, 50 wineries open, and another half dozen or more expected to open within the next year.
What makes New Jersey’s wine industry noteworthy is the diversity of grapes grown here. Due to the different growing conditions in the state, New Jersey will never be known for one varietal. Instead, like its population, it offers a unique and diverse group of wines for every palate in its different wine regions.
New Jersey vintners specialize in growing and producing wine from the Vitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca or French hybrid grape varietals. Leading white varietals are Albarino, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Petit Manseng, and Riesling. Leading red varietals include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Blaufrankish. Major French-American hybrids that flourish in New Jersey include Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, and Vignoles.
There are four American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in New Jersey. In order for a region to be approved as an AVA, it must be able to prove its identity as a region that is beneficial to grape growing. Some of the criteria used by the Federal government to determine whether an area meets this standard include distinct climate, soil type, elevation, and other physical features, as well as a history or wine grape growing.
The four New Jersey AVAs are Cape May Peninsula, The Central Delaware Valley AVA, which is shared with portions of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Outer Coastal Plain AVA covering nine southern counties, and the Warren Hills AVA.
New Jersey wines have taken the top awards at some of the world’s most noted international wine competitions. New Jersey wines consistently score well against California wines in the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Competition, including three best-of-class awards for varietal wines in recent competitions.
A visit to a New Jersey winery is an experience that cannot be found elsewhere. Visitors enjoy great wine, musical entertainment, and tremendous views of the vineyards, with each one of the six wine regions of the state never more than an hour’s drive, wherever one is in the state.
Enjoy a taste of the Garden State at New Jersey Wine Country.
Learn more and plan your trip at newjerseywines.com
The Garden State Wine Growers Association is a non-profit organization of New Jersey-based wineries, vineyards and allied businesses. It serves as a centralized information repository, resource and clearing house for industry members, and offers a unified voice advocating for issues important to the entire range of New Jersey winery and vineyard operations.