HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Wineries in New Jersey/Wines from NJ

j
jethro Jul 6, 2011 03:06 PM

I am visiting a friend and want to bring various wines from our home state. I am seeing more NJ wine in stores (Alba, Silver Decoy, Tomasello). Are there any you have had that really impressed you? We are more red drinkers, but anything that is tasty works for us.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. s
    scarlet knight RE: jethro Jul 6, 2011 04:16 PM

    There is a winery in Cape May unfortunately called Turdo, also known as Turis. their wines are good, particularly their Italian varietals.

    1. Tapas52 RE: jethro Jul 6, 2011 04:16 PM

      Have you tried Renault Winery?

      http://www.renaultwinery.com/

      1. s
        scholar399 RE: jethro Jul 6, 2011 05:16 PM

        the alba raspberry is a great dessert wine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scholar399
          j
          jethro RE: scholar399 Jul 6, 2011 06:50 PM

          I am drinking Balic Cream Red from Balic Winery in Mays Landing, NJ as I type. It isn't bad, it's growing on me. I have not tried Alba wines yet, going to pick some up soon. I have also not tried Renault. Some Silver Decoy, Hopewell Valley, and Tomasello's are good.

          1. re: jethro
            s
            scarlet knight RE: jethro Jul 6, 2011 07:53 PM

            The Alba dessert wines are good. Try them on vanilla ice cream, too!

        2. p
          p314n RE: jethro Jul 7, 2011 02:03 PM

          i've always been a fan of unionville wines

          4 Replies
          1. re: p314n
            j
            jethro RE: p314n Jul 7, 2011 03:03 PM

            Thank you p314n. This sounds kin of close to Hopewell Valley Vineyards. A nice 2-fer trip for me!

            -----
            Hopewell Valley Vineyards
            46 Yard Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534

            1. re: jethro
              r
              rickster71 RE: jethro Jul 7, 2011 06:08 PM

              I have a good friend that's a sommelier and one thing he's told me is that, "There's no such thing as a good NJ wine.
              After going to the NJ Wine Fest at Allaire State park for a few years I'd have to agree. This state is pretty good for Craft Beer, but the wine scene just isn't happening.

              1. re: rickster71
                tommy RE: rickster71 Jul 8, 2011 05:31 AM

                I tend to agree. Bringing the gift of craft beers rather than NJ wine to the friend might be more enjoyable for everyone involved.

                1. re: tommy
                  MGZ RE: tommy Jul 8, 2011 08:47 AM

                  With the exception of perhaps Flying Fish's ESB and novelty Exit series, I'm having a hard time trying to guess to which NJ beers or breweries you guys are referring. To me, our craft beer industry is nothing special, especially when compared to a lot of other states in the region.

                  As to the OP's inquiry, the Lemberger and unoaked Chardonnay from Laurita winery are the best NJ wines I've tasted. I would avoid the fruit wines put out by many. What about a bottle or two of Laird's Apple Brandy, which I believe is still made here (unlike the Applejack)?

          2. d
            DinnerChick11 RE: jethro Jul 7, 2011 08:36 PM

            I have enjoyed wines from Unionville and Silver Decoy. Give them a try-it's fun to taste wines.

            1. m
              melissa511 RE: jethro Jul 20, 2011 09:07 AM

              Yep, from what I hear, a local craft beer would be a better gift. Here's wine expert Anthony Giglio (who once called Jersey wines "dreadful plonk") in an interview with The Daily Meal earlier this year:

              "New Jersey makes tons of wine, but the problem is they’re using vitis lambrusco grapes, the native grapes, because you can’t use vinifera grapes.

              "Now this is getting geeky, but all the European grapes are vitis vinifera and in the U.S., all the native grapes are vitis lambrusca and those are the ones, that you know, you get Concord grape jelly from. So you go to state fairs or even farmers’ markets where you see the local wines; they’re always going to be sweet. They have to disguise these wines in sugar and fruit wines; even if they have Chardonnay, it’s probably blended with something local."

              Read more: http://www.thedailymeal.com/anthony-g...

              3 Replies
              1. re: melissa511
                MGZ RE: melissa511 Jul 20, 2011 09:40 AM

                Frankly, in trying to make his point, Giglio displayed a clear lack of knowledge. There are wines being made in NJ from nonnative grapes. Importing vines is certainly nothing new, and places like Laurita use those grapes for certain wines. Personally, I thought the idea to use German and Austrian varietals because of climate similarities was a worthwhile experiment.

                I agree that the industry needs to mature and overcome the traditional association with the sweet wines produced by some of the older producers. Nevertheless, the potential certainly exists and the climate is not prohibitive. It's hard to imagine that a region that produces so much, and such a variety of, produce could not develop successful vineyards.

                To me, the great irony in the piece came from the comments on Virginia wines. Almost a decade ago, I sat with a colleague who was in the process of purchasing a nascent vineyard in the Old Dominion. I thought the whole thing was a really cool idea given the fact that he was primarily doing it for fun. Another who was present told him he was a moron, "You can't make anything that isn't sweet and sticky. What are you going to do with that much swill?"

                1. re: MGZ
                  MGZ RE: MGZ Jul 20, 2011 10:02 AM

                  Also, I suppose this is as good a time as any to renew my follow up question to the OP: If a local, craft beer is a better choice, then specifically which are recommended?

                  1. re: MGZ
                    g
                    glutton RE: MGZ Jul 21, 2011 03:55 AM

                    NJ wine is lousy -- let's be honest. I appreciate that folks are trying and as they refine their vines and technique, maybe something good will emerge. But at the moment, the wine is lousy. And the craft beers are non-existent, too. The rec for applejack is a fine one, though that won't appeal to every drinker.

                    When it comes to food and drink, NJ's strengths lie elsewhere. It's a hard state to bring food gifts from. It can't compete with California on the quality, variety, and freshness of produce. It can't compete with NYC on high end restaurants. It cannot compete with anyone on wine. We dont set the latest trends like food trucks, etc. So what can it do? It offers some good, hole in the wall places to eat. Some of them are pleasingly kitschy, some are authentic ethnic eats, etc. These are places like delorenzos, manna, etc.

              Show Hidden Posts