So you finished your tasting and now you want to kick back and relax with a glass of wine and a scenic view. While everyone has his or her own criteria of what makes a winery beautiful, I think that we can all agree that first and foremost, it must have picturesque views of the vineyards. Other factors that I’ve considered in assembling this list include the pleasantness of the seating area, the ambiance of the tasting room and the overall appearance of the grounds. For a more in-depth evaluation of my selections, simply click on the winery’s name to go to its individual blog. And so based on these factors, I humbly present my list of the most beautiful wineries in New Jersey for 2023:
Check out my top 5 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjNY_9bWaOk
Everything about Laurita Winery is eye-catching – from its majestic tasting room to its seemingly endless acres of vines. Constructed out of two 150 year-old barns, the tasting room sits proudly at the apex of a small hill and its outdoor patio area takes full advantage of the breath-taking vineyard views. A short walk down the slope brings you to the shaded picnic grove where the kids can romp in the playground and the adults can rock out to live music on the outside concert stage. Laurita Winery is beautiful both inside and out, which is why I gave it the number one ranking.
To fully appreciate Laurita's beauty, check out this video clip: https://youtu.be/ROwAto00oiQ
If you love listening to live music in a gorgeous outdoor setting, then look no further than Alba Vineyard. While the tasting room has a sterile feel and a less-than-appealing barrel room, the arbor area by the outside stage with its sunken patio design is beyond stunning. But don’t content yourself by just sitting there – take a walk out to the rock sculpture/garden area so you can fully appreciate the panoramic vineyard views set against the backdrop of rolling hills (a rarity in this notoriously flat state).
Here's a video clip of Alba Vineyard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdQphd_Ib-o
Yes, Autumn Lake Winery has many gorgeous acres of vines but what truly makes it special is the crystal blue lake for which it’s named. This is the place for connoisseurs who are not merely content to sit and sip wine but rather wish to explore the beauty of their surroundings. Stroll by the shores of the lake or enjoy a hike past the vineyards (stay on the trail please!) and into the surrounding woods. While Autumn Lake has the smallest sized tasting room on this list, it comes with a cozy vibe and unbeatable lake views.
To fully appreciate Autumn Lake Winery, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebrb3QZO77M
Willow Creek Winery is the go-to place for those seeking an up-close vineyard experience. Enjoy food and a wine flight on the patio as the grapes ripen on the vines just a few feet away or soak up the sun in an Adirondack chair on the great lawn. Other highlights include an outdoor bar and live music tent and a unique tasting room with a beer hall atmosphere.
See more of Willow Creek Winery here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1acaDA6eli0
While the grounds around Cape May Winery’s tasting room are somewhat boxed in, clever landscaping makes the most of every square inch of this property. Cape May might not have the vast acreage of some of the other wineries on this list but there are still plenty of vineyard views to behold. You can climb up to the upper deck and take in the full scope of the vineyards or hang out in the pretty garden/fountain area where you can also listen to live music. The tasting room also offers several different experiences from quiet fireside couches to the succulent delights of the tapas room.
Check out more of Cape May winery here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPzcFvbZp5E
Big and beautiful with a shimmering pond, gorgeous grounds and tons of event space, Renault Winery should have easily made my list. Sadly, it lacks one critical component – vineyards. Yes, there is a small plot of vines close to the outdoor concert area but that’s it. It’s almost as if the vineyards were an afterthought among the golf course, hotel, wedding venues, restaurants, etc. Still, the property itself is amazing and you’ll never want for something to do.
Here's a recent video clip of Renault Winery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1yhCKS6jjE
Sharrott Winery’s tasting room is spacious and stylish with views overlooking a horse farm and their ever-expanding vineyards. And the vibe is downright cool. Sharrott’s a fun place for people of all ages to enjoy live music and watch the remarkable sunsets from the back porch.
I need to make a video of Sharrot Winery but in the meantime, here's a clip from their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sharrottwinery/videos/323443718837043