2017 Wine & Spirits Guide

Photography By Carole Topalian | August 31, 2017
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There’s no doubt about it: a local libation movement is on the rise in NJ.
 

Statistics help tell the story. The number of wineries has increased 50% in the past five years; 57 vintners now operate statewide. Breweries have quintupled in count since 2007 with more than 80 New jersey hop meisters now fine-tuning their craft on a daily basis. And, thanks to recent changes in legislation, spirited entrepreneurs are concocting an enticing range of locally crafted hard ciders, rum, vodkas, gins, whiskies and more. An added twist: many of these spirits feature ingredients from local farms, mills and orchards.

 

You can feel the excitement in the air
–and in the glass–these days when
it comes to local libations.

But perhaps even more important than the numbers, though, is the energy. Walk into a winery tasting room on a sparkling fall day and feel the vibe while you taste and tour Listen to a spirit maker describe his or her latest product. Talk to the owner of a wine and spirit emporium about what’s new on the local shelf. You can feel the excitement in the air-and in the glass-these days when it comes to local libations. It’s an arena brimming with intrepid entrepreneurship, creativity, flavor; and delicious tales to match. We hope our annual guide helps you discover and enjoy a liquid taste of New Jersey this fall. —N. Painter

WINE FRIENDS AND EVENTS


GARDEN STATE WINE GROWERS ASSOCIATION
Established in 1984 and serving as an advocate, resource and cheerleader for all things related to New Jersey wines, the GSWGA hosts numerous festivals statewide. Check their website for upcoming trail weekends, festivals and other winery events. newjerseywines.com

SHAWANGUNK WINE TRAIL
The Shawangunk Wine Trail is home to 15 uniquely diverse wineries nestled between the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson River, just 60 miles north of NYC. Their member wineries produce award-winning red and white wines, and distilled spirits. Join them for their upcoming Wreath Fineries at the Wineries event during November and December. shawangunkwinetrail.com

WINE RECOMMENDATIONS:

4JG’s ORCHARDS & VINEYARDS
2014 Chambourcin Riserva
A soft texture with spicy attributes, this wine bursts with flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry.

 

HAWK HAVEN VINEYARD
2016 Chardonnay
The perfect choice for fall, with a great balance between notes of bright pear and autumnal flavors like spiced apple and caramel.

 

 

UNIONVILLE VINEYARDS
2013 Home Vineyard Chardonnay
A Double Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, showcasing citrus blossom, lime oil and wet stone.

 


WORKING DOG WINERY
2015 Cabernet Franc
An estate grown, dry red with notes of cola and black fruit. Boasting a long finish and great aging potential.

 


 

WINE

Four JG's VineyardsFOUR JG’S ORCHARDS & VINEYARDS | 4JGs Orchards & Vineyards is located on a historical farm in the sprawling horse country of Monmouth County. Owned and operated by the Giunco family, this vineyard offers internationally award-winning wines. 4JG’s wines are grown and handcrafted from grapes grown on the estate with uncompromising quality. 127 Hillsdale Road, Colts Neck, 908.930.8066. 4jgswinery.com
 

Four Sisters Winery

FOUR SISTERS WINERY | Owned by Robert J. (Matty) and Laurie Matarazzo, Four Sisters Winery is named after the couple’s four daughters. The winery has received over 100 state, regional and international awards since opening in 1984. Wine tasting is available on weekdays, and wine cellar tours take place on weekends. 783 County Road 519, Belvidere, 908.475.3671. foursisterswinery.com
 

Hawk Haven Vineyard

HAWK HAVEN VINEYARDS | Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery is nestled in lower Cape May County on a beautiful hundred-acre farm. Visit us daily, year-round for wine tastings, tours, and special events. We offer a diverse assortment of estate-grown, award winning wines in red and white varietals. Come and experience what everyone is talking about! 600 South Railroad Avenue, Rio Grande, 609.846.7347. hawkhavenvineyard.com
 

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

HOPEWELL VALLEY VINEYARDS | A local gem of New Jersey this vineyard is located at the base of the Sourland Mountains, providing stunning views. The Neri family brings three generations of Tuscan winemaking experience to the beautiful Hopewell Valley. By blending Old World traditions with New World flair; they create award-winning wines. 46 Yard Road, Pennington, 609.737.4465. enjoyhopewellvalleywines.com
 

Old York Cellars

OLD YORK CELLARS | Nestled in the beautiful Sourland Mountains of Hunterdon County, Old York Cellars is the perfect vineyard escape. Guests are invited to bring something to eat, and enjoy the vineyard views while sipping award-winning wines. In addition to wine tasting, Old York hosts an array of events, from music to yoga. 80 Old York Road, Ringoes, 908.284. WINE (9463). oldyorkcellars.com
 

Sky acres winery

SKY ACRES WINERY | Sky Acres Winery uses innovative processes for the centuries-old art of wine making. Wine is made in the patent-pending GOfermentor™ that automatically handles the difficult job of cap management. It is completely sealed, so oxygen cannot degrade the wine during fermentation and aging. The processes generate almost zero waste; there is also a research vineyard. 1680 Black River Road, Far Hills, 908.377.2244. skyacreswinery.com
 

Terhune Orchards

TERHUNE ORCHARDS | The vineyard and winery, part of the 200-acre Mount family fruit and vegetable farm, offers award-winning red, white and apple wines made from estate grown Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc and their own fruit. Visit the tasting room, found in their historic 150 year old barn and enjoy pick-your-own activities. 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, 609.924.2310. terhuneorchards.com
 

Unionville vineyards

UNIONVILLE VINEYARDS | Unionville Vineyards produces world-class estate wines from grapes grown at seven unique sites across three New jersey counties. Nestled in Ringoes, in pastoral Hunterdon County, Unionville has, for 25 years, developed an excellent reputation as a champion of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir; Syrah, and other Rhone varieties. 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes, 908.788.0400. unionvillevineyards.com
 

Villa Milagro Vineyards

VILLA MILAGRO VINEYARDS | With miraculous views of two states and the Delaware and Musconetcong rivers, visiting Villa Milagro is like a local escape to the world’s leading wine regions. Sip their boutique, old-world style wines and be transported. Visit to enjoy food & wine parings, wine classes, alfresco dinners and more. Bienvenidos! 33 Warren Glen Road, Finesville, 908.995.2072. villamilagrovineyards.com
 

Working Dog Winery

WORKING DOG WINERY | Dedication, hard work and ingenuity have been the driving force behind Working Dog Winery’s rapid success. With 110 acres, the winery offers scenic walks, beautiful sunsets and a tremendous venue for both individuals and families. Enjoy their warm hospitality and insightful tastings all while discovering old world style in Newjersey.610 Windsor Perrineville Road, Robbinsville, 609.371.6000. workingdogwinerynj.com
 

SPIRIT RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

HEATHERMEADE DISTILLING
Tree City Vodka
This high quality artisan vodka is distilled from locally farmed New Jersey corn for a smooth Flavour to enhance any vodka drink.

 

 

SKUNKTOWN DISTILLERY
Spicy Pepper Vodka
Spicy vodka, skillfully infused with Carolina reaper pepper ensuring crisp, sweet pepper character with the perfect spice for a Bloody Mary.

 

 

SILK CITY DISTILLING
Bourbon Whiskey
Aged 12 months in American Oak, and made with locally sourced corn, rye and barley Fermented and distilled on site.

 

 

SOURLAND MOUNTAIN SPIRITS
Gin An herbal blast with light woody spice & a touch of citrus. Bold, balanced, and beautiful botanicals.



SPIRITS AND HARD CIDERS

Ironbound Hard Cider

IRONBOUND HARD CIDER | Made exclusively from fresh-pressed apples, Jersey Ciderworks’ Ironbound Hard Cider has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity with just a hint of metallic funk. The dance of carbonation, combined with the richness of tannins, produces a satisfying mouthfeel and a clean, fresh apple finish. No added sugar: No added sulfites. Gluten free. 360 County Road 579, Asbury, 908.940.4115. jerseyciderworks.com
 

Nauit Spirits

NAUTI SPIRITS | Located on a 60-acre farm between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay Nauti Spirits Distillery offers artisan spirits, handcrafted from ingredients harvested from local farms. The facility features a tour; tasting room and bottle shop, and innovative cocktails, using fresh ingredients, created onsite daily 916 Shunpike Road, Cape May, 609.770.3381. nautispirits.com
 

Silk City Distillers

SILK CITY DISTILLERS | I Established in 2014, Silk City Distillers is a true handcrafted, farm-to-bottle distillery that uses locally sourced corn, rye and barley combined with additional hand-milled grains to create a mash that is both prepared and fermented, then distilled, barreled, bottled and labeled in house. 321 River Road, Clifton. silkcitydistillers.com
 

Skunktown Distillery

SKUNKTOWN DISTILLERY | Skunktown Distillery provides unique vodka, rum and whiskey made with organic and non-Genetically Modified fruits and vegetables. They also create new-to-market recipes with a focus on locally grown, non-GMO ingredients to ensure clean, eco-conscious products which bring the taste of the American heartland to everyone’s glass. 12 Minneakoning Road, Flemington, 908.824.7754. skunktowndistillery.com
 

Sourland Mountain

SOURLAND MOUNTAIN SPIRITS |The first farm distillery in New Jersey since Prohibition, Sourland Mountain Spirits opened in 2015 and operates from the same site as Brick Farm Tavern and Troon Brewing Company. Being surrounded by farms has allowed the distillery to develop a program of incorporating the freshest ingredients into carefully crafted, local spirits. 130 Hopewell-Rocky Hill Road, Hopewell, 609.333.8575. sourlandspirits.com
 

Tree City Vodka

TREE CITY VODKA BY HEATHERMEAD DISTILLING | Founded by Cranford natives and using state of the art equipment and their own expertise, Tree City Spirits refines their vodka by combining age old processes with modem technology. They emphasize balancing premier ingredients with consistent processes to create their signature, local corn vodka. 835 Fairfield Avenue, Kenilworth, 908.514.8429. treecityspirits.com

Article from Edible Jersey at http://ediblejersey.ediblecommunities.com/drink/2017-wine-spirits-guide
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