Growing Grapes in New Jersey

New Jersey is the fifth-largest grape growing and wine producing state in the country. There are more than 50 vineyards and 24 wineries scattered all over the region. Together, they produce approximately 1,000,000 gallons of wine every year. New Jersey’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean provides good climatic conditions where the winds blowing into the region are cool and the temperatures are mild. There are also very hilly areas in New Jersey, providing good sun exposure to most of the areas. Soils in New Jersey vary from limestone-rich shale and slate to gravels and sandy loams. Grapes are grown all over New Jersey, but the two major grape growing areas are in the Musconetcong Valley in the west and southern New Jersey near the Delaware Bay. Vitis vinifera varietals, which love mild Mediterranean climate types, are grown in New Jersey. Growers prefer wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay. Cold-hardy French-American hybrids and native American varietals, such as Seyval, Chambourcin, and Vidal and Concord, Delaware, and Niagara, which are also used for wine-making, are also grown in New Jersey.

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