Fall is a fantastic time to visit New Jersey’s wineries. The culmination of the hard work done in the vineyards during the growing season (it was a good season, by the way) is underway. The harvest is happening in the fields, and visitors will find vineyard workers picking grapes to be turned into this year’s vintage. On the winery crush pads, winemaking teams are out there crushing tons of grapes into juice.
The intoxicating aroma of fermentation is in the air.
And yet, in the midst of all this picking, crushing, fermenting and activity that happens during the busiest time of the year, the wineries are more than happy to entertain those who support them year-round.
Visitors will find the usual live music, delicious food and tastings, but during this special time, it’s set against the stunning backdrop of the changing colors of the vines. Plus, all of the cozy fire pits will return.
But the real draw is the special events and activities that only happen this time of the year. Below, we’ve included highlights from the packed roster of events Garden State wineries are offering.
Fant-Tastic Feast at Brook Hollow Winery. On October 30, Brook Hollow hosts an evening of fun, frights, food and dancing. Costumes are encouraged. Prizes will be given out. And plenty of food will be served. Guests can purchase wines by the glass or the bottle, or partake in Witches Brew Sangria, as they enjoy the (slightly) spooky festivities.
Halloween Savor & Swig – A Grazing Affair at Sharrott Winery. Create a grazing board (sort of like a cheese board on steroids) on Sharrott’s open-air patio on October 28. Included in the evening is a glass of wine, a board, food to add to a board, and the ability to wrap it all up and take it home.
The Nerds at Federal Twist Vineyards. On October 10, live music at Federal Twist, one of the state’s newer wineries, gets a visit from the iconic New Jersey band The Nerds. The band, that once sold out Carnegie Hall, plays a mix of classic rock and newer tunes, dressed of course, a little nerdy.
Hawktoberfest at Hawk Haven Winery. Hawktoberfest is an annual harvest-time celebration of wine. This year’s celebration will be held on October 9 and 10 at the winery in Rio Grande right outside of Cape May. There will be live music, food trucks, and specialty wine tastings that include several vintages of Hawk Haven’s Chardonnay and also the Bordeaux Blend “Q” available on a first come first serve basis.
Holiday Sign Paint & Sip at White Horse Winery. On November 10 head to White Horse to create a custom holiday sign — no artistic painting experience necessary. Included in the event are the wooden sign, custom stencils, paint, tools and a complimentary glass of wine.
In addition to events at individual wineries, some multi-winery festivals are happening that bring several wineries together for an open-air day of sipping and socializing.
9th Annual Stafford Wine Festival. On October 9 and 10 at Heritage Train Park in Manahawkin on Long Beach Island, 8 New Jersey wineries will gather to pour wines and attendees can purchase and walk away with full bottles of their favorites. Chestnut Run Farm, Cream Ridge Winery, DiMatteo Winery, Monroeville Vineyard & Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Wagonhouse Winery, Villari Vineyards and White Horse Winery will all be there among crafters, vendors, food trucks and live music.
Grand Harvest Wine Festival. Also, on October 9 and 10, further up north in Morristown at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 9 wineries will come together outdoors. Cedar Rose Vineyards, DiMatteo Vineyards, Plagido’s Winery, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terra Nonno Winery, Tomasello Winery, Valenzano Winery, Villari Vineyards, Villa Milagro Vineyards, and Wagonhouse Winery will be there to sample and sell wines. There will be live music, artisan crafters and activities for the kids.
Sip Into Autumn Festival. Spend a festive Fall afternoon enjoying a variety of NJ wines at the “Sip into Autumn Wine Festival” taking place October 16 & 17 from 12:00pm – 5:00pm at Veterans Park in Bayville, New Jersey. Come wine down at this great new event with some of New Jersey’s best wineries as they toast the Fall season in style! Participating wineries are: White Horse Winery, Villari Vineyards, The Vintner’s Wife Wagonhouse Winery, Salem Oak Vineyards, and Valenzano Winery
For full details, including prices for tickets and safety precautions, visit each winery’s individual website. And for more information on events at other New Jersey wineries, visit our events page.
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