As the seasons change from summer to fall the air takes on a certain crispness and the leaves change colors creating that perfect fall foliage. An abundance of autumn activities fill people’s calendars like apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, hikes, haunted attractions and more. The fall is also the perfect time to head to area vineyards and sit back and relax with a delicious glass of wine in hand. Walk the vineyards and take in the fall scenery firsthand with friends and family. Find your favorite blend of wine and favorite backdrop for a stunning fall photo. Looking for a venue for your special day or a fun location to host an event or party? Many of the wineries listed below are available to book for weddings, parties and various events to ensure memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you stick to wineries in Monmouth and Ocean counties or take a drive to a winery somewhere else in New Jersey and make a day trip out of it, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious glass of wine and a fun-filled afternoon at the vineyard.
4JG’S ORCHARDS & VINEYARDS
The Giunco family made its first barrel of wine from a handpicked selection of grapes grown at their Colts Neck farm in 2002. The vineyard is located in a historic farming area at 127 Hillsdale Road, Colts Neck, and is named after the four founding family members of the Giunco family. Four JG’s Orchards & Vineyard was founded in 1999 and with the harvest currently in the air, 4JG’s invites you to come experience the beauty of the vineyard while relaxing and sipping award-winning wines. Open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
FOX HOLLOW VINEYARDS
Fox Hollow Vineyards, 939 Holmdel Road, Holmdel, is owned and operated by sixth-generation farmers who make up the Casola family. The Casola family decided to diversify into vineyards and wine making for future generations. The family prides themselves on the cultivation of premium grapes, which are all hand tended and harvested before being skillfully crafted into their fine wines. The Casola family’s expertise in farming is what makes them stand out. See for yourself by stopping in Thursdays through Sundays.
CREAM RIDGE WINERY
Cream Ridge Winery was founded in 1988 by Tom and Joan Amabile and has a tradition of making small batches of wine in their own special way. Since its inception the Amabile family have enjoyed the passion for wine and the joy of spending time with their customers, whom they prefer to call friends. Tim and Jackie Schlitzer currently manage Cream Ridge Winery and bring the Amabile and Schlitzer families together as they move toward the next 30 years of wine making enjoyment. The winery, 145 County Road 539, Cream Ridge, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Laurita Winery takes its name from the first names of owners Randy Johnson and Ray Shea’s mothers, Laura and Rita, to whom the winery is dedicated. A sustainable alternative, Laurita Winery is linked to the local area through tradition, culture and respect for its natural resources. Laurita Winery’s estate grown wines reflect old world traditions and the vision of wine’s place at the table as a compliment to food. According to the site, to sip their wines is to savor the freshness of the taste of grapes at their source. Hours and events vary by week, but the winery, 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt, is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays.