Unionville Vineyards

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Unionville Vineyards
Unionville Vineyards logo.png
Location 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes, New Jersey, USA
Coordinates 40.422590 N, 74.829264 W
First vines planted 1988
Opened to the public 1993
Key people Kris Nielsen & Patricia Galloway (Founders)
Lindy Eiref, Robert Wilson (Owners)
Cameron Stark (Winemaker)
John Cifelli (General Manager)[1][2]
Acres cultivated 54
Cases/yr 8,500 (2014)
Known for Chardonnay wine
Other attractions Picnicking permitted, pet-friendly
Distribution On-site, wine festivals, NJ farmers' markets NJ liquor stores, NJ restaurants, home shipment
Tasting Daily tastings, tours on weekends
Website http://www.unionvillevineyards.com/

Unionville Vineyard is a winery in the Unionville section of East Amwell Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.[3][4] Originally part of the largest peach orchard in the United States, the vineyard was first planted in 1988, and opened to the public in 1993.[5][6] Unionville has 54 acres of grapes under cultivation, and produces 8,500 cases of wine per year.[7] The winery is named for a former village near where the farm is located.[1][8]


Unionville Vineyards specializes in the use of Alsatian, Burgundy, and Rhône grapes. Wine is produced from Albariño, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cayuga White, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Counoise, Durif (Petite Sirah), Gewürztraminer, Horizon, Marsanne, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Roussanne, Seyval blanc, Syrah, and Vidal blanc and Viognier grapes.[7][9] It is the only winery in New Jersey that produces wine from Counoise, Horizon, Marsanne, and Roussanne – Horizon is a white hybrid grape developed in New York in 1945, whereas the other three varietals are vinifera grapes indigenous to the Rhone river valley of France.[10][11]

Unionville is best known for its signature Chardonnay wine. At the 2010 International Wine and Spirit Competition, which included both blind tasting and laboratory analysis, Unionville's Chardonnay was the only wine from the United States to win a gold (best in class) medal.[12][13] Likewise, their Chardonnay was the highest-scoring wine from New Jersey at the Judgment of Princeton, a wine tasting organized by the American Association of Wine Economists that compared in-state wines to premium French vintages.[14][15] The winery is not located in one of New Jersey's three viticultural areas.[16]

A red and beige barn with the words "Unionville Vineyards" with the intersection of 2 gravel roads in the foreground.
The winery is located on preserved farmland in rustic western New Jersey.
A wood-paneled warehouse with stainless steel fermentation tanks on the left, and rows of oak barrels on the right.
Unionville Vineyards ages most of its wines in neutral French oak barrels.

Licensing and associations[edit]

Unionville has a plenary winery license from the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which allows it to produce an unrestricted amount of wine, operate up to 15 off-premises sales rooms, and ship up to 12 cases per year to consumers in-state or out-of-state.[17][18] The winery is a member of the Garden State Wine Growers Association and its subsidiary, Vintage North Jersey.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Colimore, Edward. "Couple Take Root Through The Grapevine Husband And Wife Find Growth, Fulfillment At New Winery" in The Philadelphia Inquirer (28 June 1993). Retrieved 20 September 2013
  2. ^ Berger, Debby. "Grape growers save winery: Divine strategy" in The Star-Ledger (07 September 2009). Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  3. ^ Corcoran, David. "So Crisp, So Complex, So Unexpected" in The New York Times (17 July 2005). Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  4. ^ Westrich, Sal. New Jersey Wine: A Remarkable History. (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2012). ISBN 9781609491833.
  5. ^ DeVito, Carlo. "Unionville Vineyards Just Keeps Getting Better and Better" on East Coast Wineries (blog) (12 February 2012). Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  6. ^ Schmidt, R. Marilyn. Wines and Wineries of New Jersey. (Chatsworth, NJ: Pine Barrens Press, 1999). ISBN 9780937996386.
  7. ^ a b Toms, Charlie. "Unionville Vineyards Review" in American Winery Guide (29 March 2014). Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Unionville Vineyards full of rich history (and wine!)" in The Hunterdon County Democrat (25 July 2010). Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  9. ^ Unionville Vineyards. "Unionville Vineyards - Classic & Premium Wine List" Archived January 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. (commercial website). Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  10. ^ Reisch, B.I., et al. "Horizon Grape." New York Food Life Number 96 (1982).
  11. ^ Guild of Sommeliers. "Rhone Valley" (4 October 2012). Retrieved 13 August 2013. A review of the wines made by New Jersey's 46 wineries found no other establishment using Counoise, Horizon, Marsanne, or Roussanne grapes.
  12. ^ Heyman, Lois. "Unionville captures gold" in The Food Chain (published by The Courier News) (18 July 2010). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  13. ^ International Wine and Spirit Competition. "Results 2010" and "IWSC History." Archived October 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 July 2013. Among more than 150 wines from the United States that were tasted, Unionville Vineyards' 2008 Pheasant Hill Chardonnay was the only one to win a "gold (best in class)" medal, the top award possible at the competition.
  14. ^ Storchmann, Karl. "The Judgment of Princeton" on The American Association of Wine Economists (academic website) (11 June 2012). Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  15. ^ Tanner, Pat. "Jersey Wines Rise to the Occasion" in New Jersey Monthly (16 July 2012). Retrieved 9 July 2013. Unionville Vineyards' 2010 Pheasant Hill Chardonnay placed second among ten white wines, notably outscoring three French wines that were substantially more expensive.
  16. ^ Jackson, Bart. Garden State Wineries Guide. (South San Francisco, CA: Wine Appreciation Guild, 2011). ISBN 9781934259573.
  17. ^ New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. "New Jersey ABC list of wineries, breweries, and distilleries" (5 February 2013). Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  18. ^ N.J.S.A. 33:1-10.
  19. ^ Garden State Wine Growers Association. "GSWGA Wineries." Archived June 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  20. ^ Vintage North Jersey. "Participating Wineries on the Vintage North Jersey Wine Trail." Retrieved 28 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°25′21″N 74°49′45″W / 40.422590°N 74.829264°W / 40.422590; -74.829264