Trail length: 65.9 miles Total drive time: 2 hours 4 minutes
In the heart of South Jersey lies the Pinelands - more than 1 million acres of mostly undeveloped pine forests. And in the heart of the Pinelands lie some great wineries!
Three wineries in the city of Hammonton, and two just down the road make up the "Inner Loop," (indicated in orange on the map to the right) and the addition of three others just a bit further out completes the "Outer Loop" (indicated in red). With eight wineries total, why not split this trail up into two days - there are great hotels nearby!
In 1976, the first vineyards were planted at Amalthea Cellars. Founder Louis Caracciolo's infatuation with winemaking began as a young boy making wine in the cellar of his Italian immigrant grandfather. Emilio brought the art from "The Old Country" at the age of thirteen to the southern New Jersey town of Blue Anchor at the turn of the century. Being exposed to the charm of winemaking at an early age ignited a passion that continues to this day at Amalthea Cellars. Caracciolo often says of his philosophical grandfather, "I came on the scene with an unlit torch and my grandfather passed the flame."
Through the 1980's and early '90's the Valenzano family grew grapes and made wine as a hobby on their 7-acre farm in Shamong township. After a decade of sharing wine with friends and neighbors, Tony Valenzano and his 2 sons, Anthony & Mark decided to convert their hobby into a small business. In 1996 Valenzano Winery became Burlington County's first winery. Valenzano's first vintage was small but sold well. Valenzano Winery has since then acquired 2 new farms/vineyards as their vineyards, and winemaking presence expanded year after year.
As was common during Prohibition, many in this great American wine-growing region became traditional farmers. In the 1930's, our grandfather, Frank Tomasello was a berry farmer in Hammonton. He was known for his raspberries, strawberries, peaches and sweet potatoes. But he had a special knack for growing grapes and a passion for wine. In February 1933, when Frank heard the federal government was repealing Prohibition and was ready to once again issue winery licenses he did not waste any time. He jumped into his truck and drove through a snow storm to Washington, DC to be one of the first in line for a license - he made it!
From "PlagidosWinery.com:" Plagido Tomasello arrived in the United States from Italy in the late 1800's. He made his home in Hammonton, a town in southern New Jersey. He was one of Hammonton's pioneer farmers. Now, over a century later, I am the 4th generation to farm this same land. From our family's vineyard to your family's table, we hope you enjoy this wine as much as we have enjoyed making it.
DiMatteo Vineyards and Winery is located in a major farming area in Southern New Jersey. DiMatteo Vineyards are owned and operated by Frank DiMatteo, Jr. and his son, Frank III. DiMatteo's wine list continues to grow, and many of the wines are award winning year after year. Try one of these delectable wines and you will discover for yourself why this family affair is so successful. Recently, Frank and his father acquired more property and will use it to plant about seven more acres of grapes. They are also in the process of adding another building to the property.
Nestled in the heart of South Jersey, Bellview Winery was a long-time dream of owners Jim and Nancy Quarella. Jim, a successful fourth-generation farmer, learned a love of winemaking as a young man. Now he's turned his skills to crafting award-winning wines. The winery is located on the same farm that Jim's great-grandfather, Angelo Quarella, purchased in 1914 after immigrating from Italy. He named his farm Bellview. Originally just the 20-acre plot on which the winery now sits, the farm has expanded to over 150 acres, 35 of which are planted in vineyards.
Our passion for wine goes far beyond the delicious aromas and flavors that exist within each bottle to the unique experience that takes place when the wine is shared. Moments with family and laughter with friends, infused with the spirit of great wine, make memories that we cherish long after the bottle is gone. Named for the red-tail hawks that live in our vineyard, Coda Rossa Winery is a New Jersey winery located in the heart of Franklinville, that features both New Jersey and California wines.
Sharrott Winery is a family owned vineyard & winery located in New Jersey's beautiful Pinelands. Great wines start in the vineyard in collaboration with Mother Nature. We take great care to use sustainable practices in our winegrowing to improve our little piece of the world. Our tasting room overlooks the vineyards below. Tastings include all of our wines, including our international award winners.
Pinelands Reserve Wine Trail Holiday Trolley Tour Tickets
Join us on Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, to visit the wineries of the Pinelands Reserve Wine Trail. Travelling aboard charming classic trolleys, each tour lasts approximately 6 – 7 hours, with 40 to 60 minutes spent at each winery.
This year's Holiday Trolley Tour offers four options for the East Trail on Saturday and two on Sunday. For the West Trail, two options are available on Saturday and four on Sunday. See ticket listing for specific start times and locations.
Light fare is available for purchase at several wineries. Guests are encouraged to bring lunch to enjoy during the tour.
Trail Details and Ticket Types
"Vintage South Jersey" is a product of the
South Jersey Tourism Corp. (SJTC) SJTC
is a member of NJDMO - an association
of the State of New Jersey's Destination
Marketing Organizations. SJTC represents
the counties of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem in the Delaware River Region of New Jersey, and is the official tourism representative of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.