No need for Napa — check out these 5 local wineries

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 6/6/17

Those not from the Garden State may think that our nickname couldn’t be further from the truth, but New Jersey residents are well aware — our state is full of rolling hills, picturesque landscapes and beautiful greenery.

New Jersey has also quickly become known among locals for its popular wineries situated on this scenery, with wineries spanning from Sussex to Cape May counties. This is especially true for Central Jersey, where the backdrops of our counties make for a Napa-esque locale for wineries.

To find out what wineries you can head this weekend for a local wine with a stunning view, read on.

Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes is nestled in the rolling hills of southwestern Hunterdon County. (Photo: ~File)

Unionville Vineyards

Unionville Vineyards, based in Ringoes, is nothing to laugh at. This sprawling winery utilizes nearly 60 acres throughout three counties featuring terroir-driven, site specific wines with several single vineyard bottlings. The winery has received national and local acclaim for its dry, European-style, food-friendly wines.

Unionville Vineyards is open for tastings from noon to 5 p.m. seven days a week, when visitors can choose from a selection of 15 wines for their flight costing $10. Plus, they host public tours of their vineyards at 2:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

If you go: 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes; 908-788-0400, unionvillevineyards.com

Terhune Orchards is also known for their fruit wine. (Photo: ~File)

Terhune Orchards

Terhune Orchards, which also has a wide array of you-pick activities, farm festivals and things to do in the barnyard at its Princeton location, features an on-site winery that pulls from nine acres with 12 varieties of wine, including three fruit wines made from Terhune Orchards’ own apple cider. They specialize in dry whites, fruit wines, dry red wines and off-dry and semi-sweet whites.

Visitors can check out the 150-year-old barn on the farm for the tasting room, in which they can taste five wines for $5 from Friday to Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. They can also purchase a souvenir glass to take home for $3.

If you go: 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton; 609-924-2310, terhuneorchards.com

Old York Cellars in Ringoes is set amid some of the oldest vineyards in New Jersey. (Photo: ~File)

Old York Cellars

Featuring some of the oldest vineyards in New Jersey and 25 acres of preserved farmland, Old York Cellars of Ringoes is known for its award-winning wines and its slew of events, including wine festivals, music under the stars, comedy nights, specialty tasting experiences and the exclusive Vintner’s Club.

No reservations are needed for tours of less than five people from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, when visitors can sample six wines for $7 per person and also add a chocolate pairing for $7 for two people and a souvenir glass for $5.

If you go: 80 Old York Road, Ringoes; 908-284-9463, oldyorkcellars.com

Bottles of wine at Hopewell Valley Vineyards. (Photo: ~File)

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

With a mix of Old World traditions and New World flair, Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington provides quite the quaint atmosphere with its rustic and cozy ambiance that is perfect for sampling wines. Their tasting room features a wood-burning stove, a copper wine bar and lots of large windows to enjoy the views of their vineyards.

Tastings are conducted every day of the week from noon to 5 p.m. and include a sample of six wines from their wine list for $6 per person. They also offer private tours scheduled in advance.

If you go: 46 Yard Road, Pennington; 609-737-4465, hopewellvalleyvineyards.com

Wineries are very popular in Hunterdon County. (Photo: Jenna Intersimone/Staff Photo)

Mount Salem Vineyards

A low-key Pittstown winery that has grown in the area solely from word-of-mouth, Mount Salem Vineyards specializes in Austrian wines that thrive in the climate and soil of Central Jersey such as Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Cabernet Franc.

You won’t find a sign advertising that you have arrived at Mount Salem Vineyards, but once you find this small-batch winery, you can sample five, three or one wine every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

If you go: 54 Mt. Salem Road, Pittstown; 908-735-9359, mountsalemvineyards.com

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