Grape growing and wine production in the state of New Jersey predates the founding of America. From the mid-1700’s to today, there have been numerous waves of grape growers and winemakers throughout the state. The most recent wave is speculated to have started in the mid-1900’s, picking up substantially after the turn of the century. Production of NJ wine is currently more expansive than ever.
The industry has reached a size and stature that make it a major force in the growing agricultural and tourism sectors of the state. In the last decade or so, the number of wineries has more than doubled, from 22 in 2004 to over 50 in 2014. The acreage of wine grape production has increased from about 500 in 2002 to over 2000 acres in 2014. Vineyards and wineries are continuing to emerge each year and many believe this trend will prevail in upcoming years.
Although New Jersey is small geographically, three regions of the state have been designated as distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): the largest and youngest, the Outer Coastal Plain AVA (est.2007), includes most of the southern half of the state; the Central Delaware Valley AVA and the Warren Hills AVA are considerably smaller, bordering the Delaware River in the northern half of the state. See the site selection page for more information regarding these AVAs.