Monday, October 27, 2014

North Jersey Wine Trail + Working Dog Winery

A while back I wrote about the NJ wine passport program, where you go to some 39+ different wineries in NJ, getting your passport stamped at each one, and once you have gotten them all stamped you can send it in for a chance to win a wine tasting abroad. Since I couldn't pass up a perfectly good challenge, I decided to take this on along with Brian and Larissa from the Traveling Mortician and planned some trips to the various wine trails.

NOTE: This post is a little overdue as we visited these wineries a month ago, but I was waiting on clarification about the passport program before posting this update. As it turns out, the winery that gave us our passport gave us an old one from last year. But, the wine association will accept any completed passport book for entry to win the trip, so we made the decision to continue along with the old wine passports as we are now 11 wineries in! 

 Since we had done Laurita winery and Cream Ridge winery as part of the pour and pedal back in June, we intended to finish the rest of the Jersey shore trail and hit up the Colts Neck, Morganville, and Working Dog Wineries.

As our luck would have it, the website for Morganville winery said they were closed for a private event, so off to Working Dog winery we went for our first stop of the day. Arriving a little after 11am, we were the first one's there and had the opportunity to chat with the owner about their various wines.

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Working Dog Winery

For $5 we got to taste 5 of their wines from their wine tasting menu. They had a particularly amazing blueberry wine, so I definitely recommend you try this on your visit! I even purchased a bottle of it! 

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Work Dog wine tasting menu

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Wine at 11 am. Yes Please!

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Work Dog Winery vineyards

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Working Dog Winery had a nice outdoor seating area

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
The Traveling Mortician tasting some grapes

New Jersey Wine Trail - working dog winery
Working Dog Winery
Afterwards, we took a walk through their beautiful vineyards for a bit, then made our way to our second stop. We had realized that the other winery opened that day on the Jersey Shore trail, Colts Neck, was no where near Working Dog Winery. In fact, many of the wineries on the North Jersey trail were a little closer to this winery, so we switched things up and headed to Terhune Farms instead.

Terhune Farms is known for many other things than their wines, particularly their apple and pumpkin picking. Being mid fall, this placed was mobbed with families getting their pumpkins for the season. We found the wine tasting room amongst the crowd and paid another $5 to taste some more wines.

New Jersey Wine Trail - Terhune Orchards winery
Terhune Orchards wine tasting

New Jersey Wine Trail - Tehune Farms winery
Terhune Orchards wine tasting menu
Honestly, nothing from this winery particularly stands out in my mind as our server confused my sheet with Brian's and we didn't really know exactly what we were tasting some of the time. I recommend giving this winery a visit during their off season if possible so that you can enjoy the experience more.

By this time we were starving and I had a nice buzz going, so we set off to Hopewell winery in hopes they served some food with their wine. As it turns out, they have coal fire pizza, but only in the evenings, so the only offerings they had were a cheese platter to go with the tasting, which we immediately purchased for $5.

New Jersey Wine Trail - Hopewell winery
Hopewell winery cheese platter

New Jersey Wine Trail - Hopewell winery
Enjoying wine and cheese at Hopewell winery
The tasting was 6 wines for $5 and they had some great ones. The one that stands out in m mind is the chocolate port wine, as I am a self proclaimed chocoholic and can't pass up a combination of chocolate and wine - 2 of my favorite things! I recommend giving it a try when you visit!

New Jersey Wine Trail - Hopewell Winery
Hopewell winery

After this we were in desperate need of a real meal, so we stopped off at this great little pizzaria near hopefull winery and enjoyed some balsamic arugula pizza. We were gonna call it a day after lunch, but Unionville winery was so close, we just had to make a 4th stop.

New Jersey Wine Trail - Unionville winery
Unionville Vineyards

New Jersey Wine Trail - Unionville winery
Unionville Vineyards wine tasting menu
We finished off with trying 8 of their wines, I recommend the dry riesling, and by now I've had more than enough tastings to last me the day, and Sunday as well...

Stay tuned for my write up on the Cape May wine trail which we completed last weekend!

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