Best New Jersey Wineries for Live Music
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
The criteria for this list is that each winery provides quality, consistent, year-round, free live music. So without further adieu, here are my picks:
1. Sharrott Winery – From the very beginning this South Jersey winery was fully committed to hosting live music on weekends inside a tent next to their smallish tasting room. But once the weather turned cold, the party was over. So what did Sharrott do? They built a big, beautiful tasting room to accommodate live music year-round so now the party never has to end! Now patrons can enjoy a large, shaded patio area with doors that can be opened or closed up depending on the weather with views of the vast, lush vineyards. Like most wineries, the food can be pricey and the portions small but is always delicious. Due to Sharrott’s popularity, reservations are a must and are limited to two-hour time slots. No dogs allowed. photo - Good Delivery performing at Sharrott Winery
2. Renault Winery – Renault is unique in that it is the only winery with enough space to accommodate full bands. Heck, it’s so big that unlike most wineries, Renault can remain open even when hosting a wedding (or two) An on-site restaurant will keep your tummy full and also offers not just wine but beer, mixed drinks, and of course, Renault’s famous Champagne. While the inside tasting room/bar area is quite comfy, the dog-friendly Champagne Patio Garden is definitely the place to be so Renault strives to keep it open even during the winter months by providing heaters, fire pits, and cabanas. (the last two require an additional fee)
photo - Billy Walton Band performing at Renault Winery
3. White Horse Winery – For years White Horse Winery was the only game in town for enjoying live music in South Jersey during the colder months. Though not as spacious as some of the others on this list, White Horse Winery’s tasting room has a cool, Cheers-like vibe and fantastic cheese boards. In the warmer weather, the music moves out to the porch in front of the grassy courtyard where kids and dogs can romp. There is also another porch in the back that overlooks the vineyards for those seeking a quieter experience. Most music events are paired up with a visiting food truck.
photo - Grouser Girls performing at White Horse Winery
4. Autumn Lake Winery – Hands down Autumn Lake has the best view in which to enjoy live music as their tasting room overlooks a shimmering blue lake. Yes, said tasting room has limited seating in the winter months but in the warm weather with the breeze coming off the lake, it is quite blissful. Autumn Lake has a bring your own food policy on those days when a food truck isn’t onsite and is quite simply the most enjoyable winery for dogs in New Jersey.
5. Hopewell Valley Vineyards – Jazz fans take note, if you want to enjoy free live jazz music on a Sunday afternoon then Hopewell Valley is the place to be. While Hopewell has been promoting “Jazzy Sundays” for as long as I can remember, they also offer everything from rock to country music on Saturdays as well as awesome brick oven pizza. And yes, Fido is welcome outside.
photo - live music at Hopewell Valley Vineyards
6. Cape May Winery – Live music is this winery’s best kept secret. Other than a brief listing under their website’s events calendar, no one would even know that this winery offers free live music every Saturday. In the summer, the music is held in a beautiful garden complex and dogs are welcome. In the winter the action moves inside near the Tapas kitchen which serves up excellent food at typical winery prices. There is a two-hour time limit on tables which are first come, first serve only.
7. Terra Nonno Winery – Just like Sharrott, Terra Nonno was onboard the live music train right from the beginning. They too have upgraded their tasting room by enclosing the patio and adding retractable doors so live music year can be enjoyed year round. Gorgeous vineyard views encompass the stage area and patrons are welcome to bring their own munchies when food trucks aren’t onsite. Best of all, dogs are welcome.
photo - music at Terra Nonno Winery
8. Working Dog Winery – Of course they’re dog-friendly, how can they not be with a name like Working Dog? In the summer months, Working Dog’s huge lawn area provides a nice low-key venue to kick back and enjoy music with kids and dogs but you must bring your own chairs and there is no shade. There is a shaded patio area for dog-less patrons and yummies are provided via food trucks. In the colder weather, the music moves inside the tasting room and seating is limited.
photo - Domino the winery dog waiting for live music to start at Working Dog Winery
9. Salem Oak Winery – One of my fondest live music memories comes from this quant Pedricktown winery during a snowstorm. Excellent food, friendly people, and great music made for a memorable night. A return visit during the summer saw more of the same only this time it was outside in front of the beautiful blooming vineyards.