Exploring the Finest Wines of New Jersey

When it comes to finding the finest wines in the United States, many people overlook New Jersey. However, this state is home to some of the most exquisite wines in the country. Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin are some of the most important varieties planted in New Jersey. Today, more than 50 wineries operate in this state, producing a wide range of wines that have won top prizes at some of the most prestigious international wine competitions. The federal government has established certain criteria to determine if an area meets the standard for wine production.

These criteria include climate, soil type, elevation and other physical characteristics, as well as the history of grape cultivation for winemaking. With more and better wines than ever, as well as a growing consumer base that is increasingly open to trying new things, New Jersey is ready for its moment in the spotlight. When it comes to choosing a wine for cooler weather, many people opt for red and white wines with a little more body. Cream Ridge stands out in this regard, as it produces wine from native grapes such as Catawba and Old World grapes such as Elderberry. In addition, you can find many excellent fruit wines, such as apple, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, plum, raspberry and strawberry; as well as blushed wines, port wines, iced wines, spiced wines, sangria and various sparkling wines. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience with New Jersey wines, consider taking a day trip to one of the state's many wineries.

Most New Yorkers head east to the north shore of Long Island for local wine tours, but New Jersey wineries are a little closer and much less predictable. In most wine-growing regions of the world, a stop at four wineries would mean trying wines made from five or six grapes. However, in New Jersey you can sample a much wider variety of wines. Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy now serve only New Jersey wines at state dinners in Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton. Every year they host the winners of the New Jersey Wine Competition, including the presentation of the Governor's Cups for the best red, white and dessert wine. So if you're looking for an unforgettable experience with New Jersey wines this fall season, consider taking a day trip to one of the state's many wineries.

With both topics in mind (choosing New Jersey wine and New Jersey fall wines), I thought I'd recommend some New Jersey wines to enjoy with the cold temperatures and color of the leaves.