Warren County Vistas

Along the Vintage North Jersey Trail

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.

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Bread Lock Park
  • A canal boat captain and her daughters navigate the Bread Lock in June, 1863.

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  • Wild Ridge Plants
  • Nursery propagated native plants available wholesale or retail by appointment. Our plants are chemical-free and local provenance. Consulting and growing services, presentations, guided walks.

    , Pohatcong, 908/319-7230

  • Pohatcong Native Arboretum
  • Local roots!

    56 Mine Hill Rd, Washington

  • Jersey Ridge Soaring
  • Take a breathtaking ride with a FAA certified pilot above the Kittatinny Mountains and Delaware Water Gap in our single passenger glider, or take someone else along in our two-passenger glider. Glider rides, glider instruction, gift certificates.

    Blairstown Airport, 36 Lambert Rd., Blairstown 07825, 908/362-1239

    Take a breathtaking ride with a FAA certified pilot above the Kittatinny Mountains and Delaware Water Gap in our single passenger glider, or take someone else along in our two-passenger glider. Glider rides, glider instruction, gift certificates.

    Blairstown Airport, 36 Lambert Rd., Blairstown 07825, 908/362-1239

  • Soups on Main
  • Organic-style, healthy fast-food for cozy dining in, carry out or delivery. Dozens of delicious, hardy soups, salads, wraps and more made fresh every day with ingredients that are locally grown, raised, pastured, and free of any pesticides, hormones, chemicals, or inhumane treatment. Pre-order from our daily menu posted online. Farm to Ladle, Pot to Table!

    199 Main St., Hackettstown 07840, 908/736-6004

More...

This story was first published: Spring, 2013
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