Saturday, June 26, 2010
A MODEST PROPOSAL - NEW JERSEY WINE TRIPS
I have broken up the state of New Jersey into six wine regions or trails or trips. These trails or associations are generally travelable in a one-day trip, some longer than others. The idea is trying to break the wineries into small bite size regions that have some geographical identity or pattern easy for day-trippers to manage without long intervals of travel (where possible).
I have given these wine regions names. They are not official, and New Jersey does not have individual trails. Still, I think it makes visiting the wineries fun and doable.
Northern Wine Alliance
This is the most far-flung of all the wine groups. I named this an alliance rather than a trail, since the wineries are not close together, but are in the same geographic region, in the north western part of the state.
All of these wineries are located north of the Trenton area, and are an easy day-trip. This small group of wineries are among the best in the state. All have achieved excellent reviews and ratings. Hopewell Valley and Unionville make exceptional dry whites and reds, and Alba makes wonderful Riesling and some of the best dessert wines in the country.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Central Jersey Wine Trail
This wine trail is generally located in the southern portions of Mercer and Monmouth counties, south of Trenton. All three grow their own vines, and make excellent red wines that will be getting better. These are all a lovely daytrip from Trenton and the surrounding region.
North of the Atlantic City Expressway
This is the largest concentration of wineries in the state, all of which are located just north of the Atlantic City Expressway. This is a fun, easy day-trip for folks from the Cherry Hill/Philadelphia region. But being near the Expressway makes this one of the most easily accessed wine regions in the state. This group of wineries includes some of the oldest (Amalthea, Renault, Sylvin Farms, Tomasello) and some of the newest (the rest). A great variety of wines will be had on the trail from fun picnic wines to sophisticated dry reds.
South of Atlantic City Expressway
These wineries are all an easy day-trip from the Cherry Hill/Philadelphia area. All are located south of the Atlantic City Expressway.
Cape May Wine Trail
Certainly one of the up-and-coming little regions in New Jersey. All three wineries produce solid wines, and are popular destinations in one of New Jersey’s premiere shore communities. Easy day trip and fun.