The Best NJ Vineyards with Wineries & Live Music For A Day Trip Near NYC

Have those streaming movie nights lost their appeal? Or has the season’s warm weather made you anxious for a change of scenery, so you’re looking for ideas for an escape from the city?

Well, you’re in luck. After moving to New Jersey from NYC, I drove to most of the vineyards in Northern New Jersey. Some visits were for romantic day trips with a girlfriend, while others were during road trips as I explored the various wines and other attractions of the Garden state.

Although all were good experiences, the list of great vineyards that I would revisit is short. And since most vineyards in New Jersey aren’t close to each other, you could waste a ton of time traveling between each to find the right one for you.

Since most other websites list every vineyard, they are not helpful with selecting one appropriate for a full-day trip. So, I’m going to save you a ton of time, and gas, with my top picks.

If you’re looking to spice up your weekend, or your love life, with a good bottle of locally sourced wine, beautiful scenery, and live musical entertainment, then this list will point you to some of the best vineyards in New Jersey that have the total package.

Besides beautiful sights, each vineyard on this list has a winery on-site, wine tasting experiences, and even fresh dishes with local ingredients to accommodate an all-day visit.

And since these vineyards are all less than a 90-minute drive from NYC, they are perfect for a spontaneous road trip, date night, anniversary surprise, or weekend getaway with friends or family!

In case you are new to the world of wine, let’s start with an important fact you should be aware of when choosing a vineyard or winery to travel to. Otherwise, you could end up in the wrong place.

The Difference Between a Vineyard and Winery

If you are not a wine connoisseur, then it is important to know that vineyards and wineries are two very different places:

Vineyards are the farming grounds, or plantation, where grapes are grown and harvested for various purposes including, but not limited to, wine, non-alcoholic grape juice, jams, jellies, and other products for general consumption.

On the other hand, wineries are the licensed facilities where the winemaking process happens, and wine grapes are crushed, fermented, clarified, aged, bottled, and stored for sale to distributors or direct to consumers (wineries are an exception to the Three-tier system for alcohol distribution in the U.S.A.).

So, not every vineyard has a winery on its premises, and not every winery is located on a vineyard!

This is an important distinction to be aware of when you are choosing the right winery or vineyard to visit. One of which winery advertisements and tourism websites don’t often make clear in their marketing. So, take care not to select the wrong place based on a misconception, it could ruin the experience that you were expecting.

All the vineyards in this list have the total package, featuring both a vineyard and winery on the same premises – so you’re covered for New Jersey.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

46 Yard Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534
Wine Bottle Prices $
Driving Time From NYC: 1.5 Hours

Outdoor Seating Area Hopewell Valley Vineyards The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd - Always The VIP

Hopewell Valley Vineyards is hands down one of my favorite vineyards in Mercer County New Jersey. It’s just around a 1.5-hour drive from NYC and is a great choice for a Spring or Summer day trip. And although it’s located a bit off of the beaten path, it makes up for it with its traditional vineyard charm and an extensive wine list with about 18 selections to choose from.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards spans 25 acres, with a winery that offers both indoor and outdoor seating areas for guests. outside the main building, you will find a large seating area with separate patio tables, and a stage where they host live musical performances on sunny days. A few tables are under trees that can offer shade on hot days, but most are uncovered.

Outdoor seating area at  Hopewell Valley Vineyards Photo by C. Nez Byrd - Always the VIP
Outdoor seating area at  Hopewell Valley Vineyards Photo by C. Nez Byrd – Always the VIP

If you can’t find a seat in this courtyard or prefer to get out of the sun, there is a large tent on the other side of the parking lot with more seating. But you will be missing out on any live entertainment, and have to take a long walk to pick up any food orders. They only drop off food near the main building.

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The crowd here is normally full of locals and a mature audience, so you can expect to hear a lot of ’80s rock and pop covers all night. If that’s not your bag, and you’re more interested in sipping wine and chilling, then the tent will be right up your alley!

Main Indoor Seating and Stage - Hopewell Valley Vineyards - Photo by C Nez Byrd

Indoor seating is available in the tasting room, near the front entrances. And beyond the tasting room is a large main dining room, with ample seating and another stage where local bands give live performances.

Here you will find the food service area with a brick oven where they make fresh pizza to order! They typically have small delicious appetizer plates available, such as salads, pita with hummus, and small desserts that you can pair with your wine. Their brownie bites are rocking!

As for the wine, they are one of the very few places where I have found a white merlot and chocolate Porto Rosso. These unique variations of wines are hard to come across anywhere!

Wine and Live entertainment - Hopewell Valley Vineyards - Photo by C. Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Wine and Live entertainment – Photo by C. Nez Byrd

Bottles of wine at Hopewell Valley Vineyards range from $14 – $25, and they carry about 20 different wine choices. While their wine list isn’t as extensive as some of the others on this list, they hold the crown for having the best pricing.

Finally, if you have little ones, Hopewell Valley Vineyards is kid-friendly! You will often find families there with children under 10 years old running and playing around the vineyard grounds. But, of course, they probably can’t enter the tasting room.

If you are looking for a great wine and food menu, a mature local crowd, and live entertainment that is appropriate for all ages, then Hopewell Valley Vineyards checks all the boxes.

Fox Hollow Vineyards

939 Holmdel Rd, Holmdel, NJ 07733
Wine Bottle Prices $$
Driving Time from NYC: 1 Hour

Courtyard Outdoor Seating - Fox Hollow Vineyards - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Courtyard Outdoor Seating – Fox Hollow Vineyards – Photo by C Nez Byrd

Fox Hollow Vineyards is only a one-hour drive from NYC in Holmdel NJ. Spanning 94-acres, it is the largest vineyard that you will find in Monmouth County New Jersey. You can gaze at many breathtaking panoramic views on its vineyard grounds while you enjoy its wide variety of over 20 wines varietals and blends.

Fox Hollow Vineyards has one of the most beautiful gardens of the many vineyards in Nj, which you can enjoy from the outdoor seating in the courtyard. Which makes this a perfect choice during the Spring and summer seasons when these colorful flora throughout the premises are in full bloom. No long walks are necessart here for those who just want to relax and take in some countryside scenery.

Inside the winery, you can enjoy a wine tasting seated at the front counter, or a picnic table amongst the wine barrel storage area. You can also purchase pizzas, salads, freshly made paninis, sandwiches, cheese platters, desserts, and to create some unique wine pairings.

Indoor Tastings and Wine Barrels - Fox Hollow Vineyards - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C. Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Indoor Tastings and Wine Barrels- Fox Hollow Vineyards – The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by Nez-Byrd-Always The VIP

Some items are prepackaged, so be sure to ask for fresh items only if that’s your preference (it is mine as well).

The wines are good and range between $24-$40. So they are a bit pricier than other vineyards on this list. But, the view makes the price tag worth it.

Covered Outdoor Seating Area - Fox Hollow Vineyards - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey - Photo by C. Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Covered Outdoor Seating Area – Fox Hollow Vineyards – Photo by C. Nez Byrd

There is live musical entertainment, normally scheduled on Fridays, which is a great bonus to the ambiance. Indoor seating is limited, so this vineyard is best for when the weather is friendly. Just note that since Fox Hollow requires all guests to be 21 or over, this is exclusively an adult experience.

Overall, this is a great vineyard for a weekend getaway or drinks with adult friends and family.

Unionville Vineyards

9 Rocktown Rd, Ringoes, NJ 08551
Wine Bottle Prices $$
Driving Time From NYC: 1.5 Hours

Outside View at Unionville Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Outside View at Unionville Vineyard – Photo by C Nez Byrd

Unionville Vineyards is a great date night idea if you would like a taste of everything that local businesses in Hunterdon County New Jersey have to offer. It is under a 1.5-hour drive from NYC, and offers some of the best times I have tasted in NJ.

Unionville Vineyards grounds span 88.7 acres. And its winery offers 2 spacious levels with rustic decor with various rooms to wander and mingle with other guests. It is also one of the few kids-friendly vineyards, where children are allowed in the outside picnic, but not inside the winery.

On the upper level of the main tasting building that is open to the public, you will find the tasting room and wine bottles for sale. I’ve tasted numerous wines here, and my reigning favorites are the “Riesling” and “Revolutionary Red” wines. Prices range around $18 – $30 for a bottle, putting them in the middle price range on this list.

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Upper Wine Tasting Room Area - Unionville Vineyards - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C. Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Upper Wine Tasting Room Area – Unionville Vineyards – Photo by C. Nez Byrd

And if you are a connoisseur, then they have some fancy stuff upwards of $150 to satisfy the wine snob in you. Or it could be a good way to make up for not taking your significant other on a date for the last 6 months!

On the lower level, you will find the winery, a seating area, and the occasional live music performances. There is often not much going on in this room, so enjoy your wine here, then head to the rear seating area to find the next hidden gem.

Lower Indoor Seating are at Unionville Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Lower Indoor Seating are at Unionville Vineyard – Photo by C Nez Byrd

With a wine glass in hand, make your way to the rear exit to visit their “Fall Artisan Market.” This seasonal marketplace is set up in a large tent and features local vendors selling handmade candles, jewelry, raw honey, cheeses, and other locally sourced products from nearby farms and merchants.

Fall Artisan Market at Unionville Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Fall Artisan Market at Unionville Vineyard – Photo by C Nez Byrd

If you’re into Brooklyn flea markets or buying random overpriced trinkets, scented candles, black soaps, and types of honey that you never knew existed, then this vineyard should be on the top of your list. Just be sure to check their events calendar to come on a day that this will be there.

With all of the things to do here, Unionville vineyards is an ideal choice if you want variety for a single destination day trip for a couple, family, or with the kids when the weather is nice.

4JG’s Orchards and Vineyards

127 Hillsdale Rd, Colts Neck, NJ 07722
Wine Bottle Prices $-$$
Driving Time From NYC: 1 Hour

Main Building - 4JGs Winery The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Main Building – 4JGs Orchards and Vineyards – Photo by Nez Byrd

4JG Orchards and Vineyards is a 40-acre, family-owned vineyard, located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which is a short 1-hour drive away from NYC. If you want a break from the concrete jungle, then 4JG’s will provide the perfect change of pace with its traditional farmhouse charm that you can’t help but admire.

The vineyard grounds at 4JG’s winery have a rustic beauty, and are perfect for a long, relaxing walk on a summer day. But, what made 4JG’s a hit for me was the wine tour experience.

Estate View - 4JGs Winery - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey - Photo by Nez Byrd - Always The VIP
Estate View – 4JGs Winery – Photo by C. Nez Byrd

At most wineries, you just have the tasting room and vineyard grounds to wander around freely and aimlessly. But 4JG’s takes it to another level with an educational tour of the both the vineyard and the winery facilities.

This tour led us to the barrel room, where the magic happens. Here, they explained their whole winemaking process, the different types of barrels and grapes they used, and how they achieve their unique wine flavors and varieties.

Wine Barrels and Tasting Tour - 4JGs Winery The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by Nez-Byrd-Always The VIP.jpg
Wine Barrels and Tasting Tour – 4JGs Orchards and Vineyards – Photo by C Nez- Byrd

During the tour, they even allowed us to taste wine right out of the barrel while it was early in the fermentation process!

Would I drink a glass of that? No.

Did my date and I love the unique experience? Absolutely!

4JG’s also schedules live musical performances by local musicians on Saturdays but check their website to see if anyone is booked on the day you arrive.

Go to 4JG’s to enjoy a rustic style vineyard with an interactive wine tour that is perfect for some quality bonding time with your significant other, or a group of adult friends or family. Just keep in mind, that they do not permit children on the premises, so this will be an adults-only experience.

Torney Valley Vineyards

Torne Valley Rd & Torne Brook Road, Hillburn, NY 10931
Wine Bottle Prices $$
Driving Time from NYC: 30 minutes

Estate at Torney Valley Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey - Always The VIP

Torney Valley Vineyards is a quick 30-minute drive from NYC, just across the border of New Jersey in Rockland County NY. Although this is technically a NY vineyard, I had to add it because the fastest way to get there from NYC is through New Jersey.

The beautiful Torney Valley Vineyards estate is so elegant that you might feel obliged to drop to a knee and get engaged on the spot. So, I recommend only taking a date here that you aren’t serious about. Anything less might make a trip here a little misleading because love is definitely in the air here.

The vineyard offers an upscale wine tasting experience and has romance written into its DNA. Hence, it has a reputation for being a prime wedding destination choice. This is their value proposition right on their website homepage.

Besides the Victorian gothic-style mansion and beautiful garden landscapes amongst its 15-acre estate, this vineyard also offers outdoor seating and live musical entertainment on weekends from 1 -5 pm.

Entrance at Torney Valley Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey - Photo By Jane K Yelper - Always The VIP
Entrance at Torney Valley Vineyards – Photo by Jane K

They also offer wine tastings and their wine bottle prices range from $19-$23, and they also offer IPAs and sangrias.

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You don’t have to worry about arriving on an empty stomach since they also have a hearty menu with sandwiches, paninis, and even hamburgers. The latter being something that I have yet to find at other vineyards on this list.

Sandwiches and Sangria at Torney Valley Vineyard - The Most Romantic Vineyards in New Jersey Photo by C Nez Byrd-Always The VIP
Sandwiches and Sangria – Torney Valley Vineyard – Photo by Esmeralda C

With possibly the most beautiful estate on the list, Tourney Valley Vineyard is high on my “to-do list.” So, I’ll add my original pictures and experiences to it once I visit.

There are quite a few other vineyards in NJ that are worth visiting. However, if they didn’t make this list, it is because I found that either the ambiance was lacking in some way, the wine was overpriced in comparison to the competition, or it just simply wasn’t a place that I would see myself staying at all day.

The ones that made my list checked all the boxes for a one stop day trip, and are are my all-time favorite vineyards for a romantic getaway.

As explore more vineyards, and revisit old ones, I will add them to this list if they meet my standards. So be sure to bookmark this page and check back on my blog when you want some more date night ideas and tips.

If this article was helpful, please share it to support this blog.

And feel free to connect with me on social media @nezalpha and bookmark this website for more great places to eat, drink, and party!!

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About Author
C. "Nez" Byrd

An expert club promoter, innovative marketing executive, and entrepreneur from NYC. The founder of Always The VIP LLC, a top nightlife trend website, and creative mind leading growth marketing strategies for SaaS, B2B, and B2C companies. He is a sought after blogger, having written authoritative articles on email marketing, SEO Due Diligence, and the nightlife industry who finds deep joy in creating memorable experiences to connect people of all colors together.

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