Warren County boasts more preserved farms than any other county in New Jersey. The county’s gentle hills are not only a haven for rural tradition and idyllic vistas, but also sanctuary for progressive ideas in agriculture. A portion of the western part of Warren County, along the Delaware and Musconetcong rivers and their tributaries, has been designated by the federal government as a wine grape-growing region. The soils and terrain of this part of the county, the Warren Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA), are most suitable for French-American hybrid grapes like Cayuga, Seyval Blanc, Chambourcin and Leon Millot. Take a leisurely ride from one Warren County winery to another and find out what happens with those grapes!
According to Bob Matarazzo, owner of Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere, the ability to grow French-American varietals allows him to produce superior Leon Millot and Seyval Blanc. The Frontenac grape is a favorite for blending with the winery’s popular Warren Hills Red. Many of Four Sisters’ blends bring the fruit forward, some with a crisp finish and balanced acidity.
At Brook Hollow Winery in Columbia, owner Paul Ritter recently added five acres to his vineyards, which now host Noiret and Traminette, two grapes—one red and one white—developed at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station at Cornell University, in Geneva, NY. Both hybrids, bred to flourish even in the cooler extremes of North Jersey’s growing season, provide excellent fruit structure for the quality dry wines that Ritter produces.
Using sustainable and organic practices, Villa Milagro Vineyards grows vinifera, varieties of grapes that thrive in Europe and California. Unlike hybrids created specifically for challenging climates, vinifera struggle with the shorter number of growing days, cold winters and moist summers of the East Coast. Even so, Villa Milagro successfully grows seven of these varieties—including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sangiovese—from which it makes European style blends. The limestone soils at the winery are well drained, wicking away summer rains that threaten vine roots; and a gentle southern slope increases sunlight exposure in the vineyard, effectively extending the growing season.
You'll find more great wineries and events along the Vintage North Jersey wine trail.
Warren County's Montana Mountain, Merrill Creek Reservoir, and the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors.
View original artifacts, postcards, and correspondence that illustrate the history of the township and its inhabitants, including former resident and namesake John Insley Blair. Museum collections are on display on a rotating basis throughout the year, and lovely gift shop items are supplied and crafted by local companies and artists.
Located just one mile south of I-80, the inn includes comfortable guest rooms, wireless internet, exciting contemporary dining and intimate Fireside Tavern in a restored 1769 stone gristmill. An on-site meeting house provides a unique campus setting without distraction.
Family owned and operated, Orchard View Lavender Farm offers "cut your own" lavender during the bloom season, handmade artisan lavender bath & body products, lavender culinary products, lavender household products, honey, lavender teas and tea accessories, aromatherapy jewelry, lavender essential oil, lavender baked goods, home decor and so much more. The lovingly restored colonial village setting is perfect for weddings, special events and intimate affairs.
The UACNJ facilities in Jenny Jump State Forest, near Hope in Warren County, are 1,100 feet above sea level, one of the few dark sky locations left in the state.