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Wine Time

Wine Time

When you think of wine, you don’t necessarily think of New Jersey, but winemaking here has exploded in the past 10 years, with 46 vineyards now operating in the state. In fact, New Jersey ranks seventh in the nation in total wine production—who knew?! Our climate and soil have always held great potential for grapes, but it took changes to two laws to really fuel the industry’s growth in recent years.

Have you visited a vineyard yet? Check out one of these wineries not far from Red Bank:

Fox Hollow Vineyards sits on 94 acres in nearby Holmdel. It’s owned and operated by the Casola family, sixth generation farmers who decided to diversify into vineyards and winemaking. Open for tastings Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the winery also offers special events like farm to table dinners and paint and sip evenings. foxhollowvineyards.com

Located in beautiful horse country in Colts Neck, 4JG’s Vineyard sits on a farm that dates back to the early 1700s. The Giunco family has been making wine there since 2002 and has taken home gold medals in various wine competitions. Check their website for various wine events on upcoming weekends, including wings and wine, meet the winemakers and in October, a not-so-haunted wine walk. 4jgswinery.com

Working Dog Winery in Robbinsville sells more than 3,500 cases of wine annually, 95 percent directly at their vineyard, so you know they are doing something right. The tasting room is open Friday through Sunday and often features live music. workingdogwinerynj.com

Cream Ridge Winery, in where else but Cream Ridge, has been around since 1988 and has won six Governors Cup Awards. Their tasting room is open seven days a week so you can try their many hand crafted reds, whites and fruit wines (the AlmondBerry is a favorite).

Named after Laura and Rita, the owners’ mothers, Laurita Winery in New Egypt bottled their first wine in 2003 and has been growing ever since. Their tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, and they often host events such as food truck festivals, grape stomping and girls night out. A nice bonus? Active military personnel get 10 percent off.

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