You don’t have to go to California to enjoy vineyard views and wine that’s not from your local liquor store. About an hour south of NYC or an hour east of Philadelphia is Old York Cellars, a fairly new winery tucked away in the rolling hills of Hunterdon County. Turning up the winery’s long gravel drive, you’re almost surprised when you’re greeted with lush farmland and vineyard vines sprawled in front of you. The Sourland Mountains to the south of the winery provide a picturesque setting that is most enjoyed on the deck, where visitors are encouraged to bring food to sit and sip.
Since opening in 2010, this spot has become popular with both local and out-of-town wine lovers. Now that the weather is colder and grape harvesting is underway, it’s festival season and wine lovers can reap the benefits. On September 28 & 29, the winery will host its first Fall Festival, with music and food, vineyard tours, custom wine label making, and a special unveiling of a new corkscrew sculpture installation in celebration of the local land.
Can’t make the festival? Old York offers tastings daily and year-round of its award-winning wines at $5 for six wines. Chief winemaker Scott Gares believes there’s a wine for everyone. I personally recommend the Merlot and Cabernet as the best reds and the Ravat 51 for a delicious dessert wine with a hint of pineapple. Each member of the tasting room staff is friendly and helpful; they want to educate you on each element of the wine-making process and the reason each wine tastes as it does. You’ll feel like a wine connoisseur by the time you leave!
Much like the vineyard clusters of Napa Valley, Old York Cellars is part of the Delaware River Valley Wine Trail, which includes Unionville Vineyards, Hopewell Valley Vineyards, and Terhune Orchards and Vineyards. All within a 20 minute driving distance of each other, each of these locations offers tastings (around $5) of their house-grown and house-made wines year-round. Now, find yourself a designated driver and take your own wine tour of central New Jersey!
Old York Cellars
80 Old York Road, Ringoes, NJ