This post contains affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, Red Shoes. Red Wine. will earn a small commission for the referral at no cost to you. Read more about affiliates & disclaimers here.
During Memorial Day weekend, I took my mother and husband to New Jersey to meet family. Having never been to New Jersey and with several days to sight-see, I jumped on the opportunity to visit local vineyards and wineries. You know I can sniff out a winery within a 100 mile radius, right?
We stayed in Atlantic City, a bustling casino town on the Jersey Shore, so we visited six wineries within a reasonable driving distance in the Hammonton area on one of the days we were there. We visited Renault Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Plagido’s Winery, White Horse Winery, Sharrott Winery, and Tomasello Winery. A full list of New Jersey wineries can be found on the Garden State Wine Growers Association website (and yes, they have a passport program). Usually when I travel by air and visit wineries, I only buy wine that we can drink before we head home, or leave with whoever we are visiting. But I finally wisened up and bought a VinGardeValise Petite wine suitcase (holds 8 bottles). And I filled that baby!
What we thought of the winery: Renault is one of the oldest wineries in the state, so as bad luck would have it, we arrived during a gas leak and couldn’t enter the building. We were able to visit the beautiful vines and gardens. I’ll be back!
What we thought of the winery: DiMatteo is a small vineyard with a cozy tasting room…and a big heart! Staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and we lost track of time enjoying their company and wine tastings.
What we tasted: Everything…seriously, everything from their Vidal Blanc and Traminette and Jersey White to Chambourcin (our first introduction to this locally prevalent grape) and Cabernet Franc. Everything was lovely, and quite different from what we are used to in Texas.
What we brought home: Jersey White, Vidal Blanc, and Blueberry Wine
What we thought of the winery: Gorgeous sprawling vineyard, huge industrial building for wine tastings and production, and super friendly staff. At Plagido’s we enjoyed an 1892 Chocolate pairing with our extensive wine tastings and really enjoyed talking to the sweet girls hosting our tasting in the tank room.
What we tasted: Chardonnay, Reverence, Vino de Casa, Merlot, Chambourcin, Coeur d’ Est, Cab/Merlot Blend, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, Niagara, Plagido Red, Concetta’s Casalinga, Homestead, Blueberry, Balckberry, and Pole Dancer
What we brought home: Antonia Rosso
What we thought of the winery: Not sure if I walked into Texas or Kentucky with the prize horse themed property and chic barn elements, but White Horse is absolutely lovely! The woodwork around the tasting room is tastefully clever and beautifully crafted. We felt very at ease here and could’ve spent the entire day enjoying their live music and vineyard dogs. And the wines were excellent!
What we tasted: 2016 Chardonnay (stainless steel), 2014 Chardonnay (barrel fermented), 2014 Chardonnay (lightly oaked), 2016 Vintner’s White, 2016 Rose, 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve, and 2014 Nebbiolo
What we brought home: 2016 Chardonnay (stainless steel)
What we thought of the winery: Family owned and charming. Live music, sprawling vineyards, cozy tasting room that spilled into the tank room, friendly staff, and fierce winery cat. We loved it here!
What we tasted: Pinot Grigio, Vidal Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Dry Rose, Chambourcin, Trio, and Just Peachy Sangria
What we brought home: Chambourcin and Just Peachy Sangria
What we thought of the winery: Perfect event space, and a wall of wine that will make you weep. It was hard to narrow down which wines we wanted to try because their list was incredibly extensive! But we tasted wines we had never heard of, blueberry wines, and chambourcins from the local area.
What we tasted: 2013 Outer Coastal Plain Blaufrankisch, 2014 Outer Coastal Plain Chambourcin, Tomasello Cape May Red, 2015 Outer Coastal Plain Rkatsiteli, Sparkline Blueberry, Tomasello Blanc de Blanc Brut, 2015 Outer Coastal Plain Dry Riesling, and Palmaris 2013 Outer Coastal Plain Petit Verdot Reserve
What we brought home: 2013 Outer Coastal Plain Blaufrankisch and Tomasello Cape May Red (magnum!)
A productive day indeed! What I couldn’t pack in my VinGardeValise Petite wine suitcase (read all about how I pack my wine suitcase here), we drank or left with family, and we headed home via Philadelphia with full suitcases and full hearts.
Until next time, New Jersey!