Have those streaming movie nights lost their appeal? Or has cabin fever started to set in and you’re getting anxious to escape the city?
Well, if you’re looking to spice up your weekend, and maybe your love life a little, then you’re in the right place.
If a good bottle of locally made wine, a beautiful view, outdoor seating, and live music all sound like the makings for a perfect getaway, then this list will point you in the right direction with some of the most romantic vineyard destinations that you will find in New Jersey.
These vineyards are all around a 1-hour drive from NYC, making them ideal for a surprise day trip or date night with your boo. All you will need is a set of 4 wheels, an hour to kill, and a little spontaneity.
And since pretty much every vineyard offers tastings, and you may like red wine while I love white wine, I won’t waste your time dwelling on those details. Each vineyard in this list has its own unique appeal beyond good wine, it all depends on the vibe you are looking for.
So I’ll focus on what makes each special, and throw in a few choice photos from my romantic dates there to help you select one that you will absolutely adore.
Note: Due to the pandemic, indoor dining rules has constantly changed. Please check ahead to confirm availability before visiting.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Hopewell Valley Vineyards is hands down one of my favorite vineyards in NJ and a great choice for a long day trip. Although it is located a bit off of the beaten path, it makes up for it with its traditional vineyard charm.
They have both indoor and outdoor seating, but the real appeal is inside. Beyond the tasting room, the main room has table seating and a stage for live band performances. The crowd is normally full of locals and a mature audience. So you can expect to hear a lot of 80’s rock and pop covers.
Bottles of wine range between $14 – $25, from their menu of about 20 different wine choices. While their wine list isn’t as extensive as some of the other vineyards on this list, they hold the crown for having the best pricing.
In the main room, you will find a food service area with a brick oven where they make fresh pizza made to order! Besides pizza, they have delicious light fare available, including salads 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 come across a white merlot and a chocolate porto rosso. Color me happy.
Oh, and if your date nights must include the little ones, this vineyard is kid-friendly. With their great food menu, mature local crowd, and bands singing pop covers, if you have to choose one destination for the night then this vineyard checks all the boxes.
Fox Hollow Vineyards
Fox Hollow Vineyards has some of the most amazing views that you will find in New Jersey. You can gaze up a breathtaking panoramic view of the vineyard grounds and the nearby garden from the outdoor seating in the courtyard. No long walks required for those who just want to relax and take in some countryside vibes.
Inside, you can have a wine tasting and sit amongst the wine barrels in the winery near the entrance. You can also purchase pizzas, salads, freshly made paninis, sandwiches, cheese platters, desserts, and more to pair with your wine. 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.
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. Overall, this is a great vineyard to kill a couple of hours during your day trip.
Unionville Vineyards is a great date night idea if you would like a taste of everything that local NJ businesses have to offer. They offer an extensive wine list with unique blends and 2 levels of old winery decor to vibe in and get your drink on.
On the upper level, you will find the tasting room and wine bottles for sale. On the lower level, you will find the winery, a seating area, and the occasional live music performance. In the rear, you will find a small seasonal marketplace with tons of goodies from local merchants.
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. 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!
After you have your last wine glass in hand, make your way to the rear exit to visit their “Fall Artisan Market.” This market is set up in a large tent with local vendors selling handmade candles, jewelry, raw honey, cheeses, and other local products from nearby farms.
If you’re into those Brooklyn flea markets or buying random overpriced trinkets, scented candles, and black soaps at Chelsea Market, 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 or a one-stop day trip.
4JG’s is a family-owned vineyard with a traditional charm and an awesome view that you can’t help but admire. It’s perfect for a long walk as you enjoy your glass of wine. But, what made 4JG’s a hit for me was the wine tour experience.
At most wineries, you just have the tasting room and vineyard grounds to wander around. But 4JG’s takes it to another level with an educational tour of the vineyard.
This tour led us to the barrel room the magic happens as they explained the whole winemaking process, the different types of barrels they used, and how they achieve their unique flavors.
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 is where you want to go if you want to take a long quiet walk through a vineyard and an interactive wine tour that can help you do a little bonding.
Torney Valley Vineyards
Torne Valley Rd & Torne Brook Road, Hillburn, NY 10931
Wine Bottle Prices $$
Driving Time: 30 minutes from NYC
The Torney Valley Vineyards estate is so elegant that you might feel obliged to drop to a knee and get engaged on the spot. Anything less might make a trip here a little misleading, so be careful with this one! Love is definitely in the air here.
This vineyard offers an upscale wine tasting experience and has romance written into its DNA. Hence, it’s reputation as a prime wedding destination choice. This is literally their value proposition on their homepage.
Besides the Victorian gothic style mansion and beautiful gardens amongst its massive estate, this vineyard also offers outdoor seating and live musical entertainment on weekends. Their wine bottles range from $19-$23, and they also offer IPAs and sangrias.
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.
This vineyard is actually high on my “to-do list” as my next vineyard experience. But I wanted to share this find with you right away. So I’ll add some of my own personal pictures and experience to it soon.
These are my all-time favorite vineyards for a spontaneous romantic getaway. And as I come across more, I will add them to this list. So be sure to bookmark this page and check back on my blog when you want some more date night ideas and tips.
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Cheers and enjoy