Tasting rooms in New Jersey run the gamut. You can find them tucked away in warehouses, in small airport complexes, and behind shopping centers. While there’s nothing wrong with these locations or the beverages they serve, fall weekends call for something more scenic.
For views of rolling vineyards, orchard rows and fields of grain to accompany your seasonal sips, seek out these farm-based tasting rooms, where some of the ingredients needed to produce the wine, cider, beer or liquor are grown, and where winemakers, cidermakers, brewers and distillers deeply believe in the value of crafting beverages from the Garden State’s own bountiful harvests.
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In 2019, former home brewers Braun Kiess and Dan Aron turned a stretch of commercial farmland into this expansive, 25-acre farm brewery. One of the largest hop farms in the state, Readington Brewery & Hop Farm also grows wheat, barley and fruits that are used to brew a range of craft beers on-site. Take in the entire farm-to-glass process during your visit to the tasting room, a space that features cathedral ceilings, exposed wooden beams and plenty of relaxed seating options.
937 US Highway 202 South
A rustic, 19th-century, red barn turned tasting room is the beating heart of Screamin’ Hill Brewery, which sits on the 170-acre Bullock Farms that has operated as a family farm since 1860. To help ensure the future of the farm, Brett Bullock opened the brewery in 2016 with brother-in-law Patrick Jones and friend Ryan Cole. The goal has always been to grow as many beer ingredients as possible on-site, including barley, wheat, rye, hops, and natural flavorings such as habanero peppers, raspberries and even tomatoes.
83 Emleys Hill Road
Located on an old dairy farm next to the beloved Delicious Orchards, Source Brewing stays true to Colts Neck’s long-standing commitment to agriculture, growing and sourcing local ingredients for their brews. The brewery and taproom are housed in the farm’s 130-year-old barn, which was renovated prior to opening in 2019 to accommodate stainless steel tanks, more than 20 taplines, and plenty of tables. The outside area is just as inviting, complete with Adirondack chairs, a beer garden and games.
300 Route 34
Nestled in the rolling hills of Warren County, Alba Vineyard sits a stone’s throw from the Delaware River, making it an ideal spot for fall leaf peeping. Find a cozy spot on the outdoor stone patio overlooking the 93-acre estate (originally a dairy farm that dates to the 1700s) and its many vineyards.
269 Riegelsville Road
The Beneduce farming family got its start growing roses for New York City flower markets, eventually expanding into a large garden center and nursery. Fourth-generation farmer Mike Beneduce now carries on the agricultural tradition at Beneduce Vineyards, a bucolic winery that has gained acclaim in Jersey and beyond. Try the estate-grown wines (especially the blaufränkisch, a red grape from Austria) in the welcoming tasting room, which got a lively refresh last year. Then bring your favorite bottle out to a table overlooking 25 rolling acres of vineyards.
1 Jeremiah Lane
Sharrott Winery’s elegant tasting room, with indoor seating as well as tables outside on a heated patio, is the kind of place you’ll want to spend a long, wine-soaked afternoon. With vaulted ceilings, large windows, and a stellar kitchen complete with a pizza oven, it’s an ideal fall day-trip destination. The South Jersey winery, opened in 2008, makes dry and sweet wines—and some bubbly.
370 South Egg Harbor Road
Discover a new way of drinking down the Shore on this 60-acre coastal-farm distillery. Showcasing the agricultural side of spirits, Nauti Spirits sources Jersey-grown ingredients to craft vodkas, gins and whiskeys. No matter the season, there’s always a lively crowd to be found in the nautical-inspired tasting room and its adjoining patio, where you’re be surrounded by the very fields where your cocktails originated.
916 Shunpike Road
This family farm turned family-owned-and-operated distillery got started in 2016, when it became the first (legal) distillery to open in Salem County since Prohibition. That’s when Bob Schmid fired up his first still in the old horse barn, where Pine Tavern Distillery’s moonshine, whiskey, rum and brandy are still produced and aged. There is now a second barn structure that houses tables, chairs and a small stage, where a rotating crew of local musicians perform. While you’re at Pine Tavern, don’t miss out on exploring the rest of the property, too, on which the family still grows corn to feed the stills.
149A Pine Tavern Road
When John Coates opened his cidery during the pandemic in 2020, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Unable to welcome guests into the new tasting room, he invited them to picnic on the 8-acre property instead. The cidery became a quick favorite. Taste flights inside the barn-inspired tasting room, then bring your glass outside for a picnic.
3540 Route 206
This Hunterdon County cidery is a dream destination for any locavore. The 108-acre regenerative farm is home to Ironbound Hard Cider, but expect to see more than just apples. Grab a seat in the outdoor cider garden and dig into a flame-cooked meal featuring meats, cheeses and vegetables that are all grown on-site or sourced locally.
360 County Road 579
Shelby Vittek writes frequently about food, wine and agriculture, and is the Libations columnist for New Jersey Monthly.