Today, we come to you with a review of Unionville Vineyards. Unionville resides in Ringoes, New Jersey which is located in the scenic Hunterdon County. Not only does Unionville offer delicious, estate-grown wines, they are also a member of the New Jersey Winemakers Co-Op (https://www.thewinemakersco-op.com/). Unionville opened their doors in 1993 and first planted their vines in 1988.
We planned on stopping in, doing a tasting, and purchasing some bottles before heading off to the next winery of the day. What was planned to be a short visit turned to two hours of delicious wine tasting, an engaging tour of the property and wine making process, and meeting and greeting with many experts in this industry. Oh, and did we mention that we opted to join their wine club as well?!
Our tasting was conducted by one of their tasting experts, Karen. We’ve visited Unionville before and got to know Karen during one of the prior visits. What a great brand ambassador she is! Not only is Karen knowledgeable and passionate about Unionville wines, she’s extremely charismatic and takes the time to walk you through every step of the wine tasting journey. After doing another tasting with Karen, we knew that we would need to join their wine club and pop back in frequently for more visits.
Unfortunately, we forgot to grab our tasting sheets and notes from this trip. Here is what we tasted (from memory, so we apologize for any mix ups):
2016 Chardonnay- Fruit forward, we believe this is done in stainless steel. If there is any oak, it is very light and not used to overpower the beauty of the fruit.
2014 Pheasant Hill Chardonnay- Bright and balanced, fruit comes from their Pheasant Hill vineyard. We had to leave with a bottle of this gem.
2014 Eureka- Riesling blend, we believe there was a small percentage of residual sugar in this one. Still would classify it as an off-dry and not sweet.
Fields of Fire- Their Rose offering, beautiful dry rose that has bold and bright fruit on the palate. Opted for a bottle of this as well.
Revolutionary Red- Red blend, easy drinking red wine that is available.
Syrah (cannot remember the vintage)- This beauty was decanted before serving, high in tannin and bold, it was delicious after a bit of oxygen. We can imagine this aging well.
2014 The Big O- What a name! This was a bold, red blend that we enjoyed. We’ve purchased before and enjoyed it after a little decanting as well.
2017 Cool Fox Lady- White, dessert-style wine. Not 100% sure, but we do not think this is a fortified wine.
As we noted above, we left with a bottle of the 2014 Pheasant Hill Chardonnay and the Fields of Fire Rose. We also purchased two of their 25th anniversary wine glasses (large and deep bowl which is great for swirling).
After our tasting, we were pleasantly surprised to hear about a tour that was coming up. The tour was free, so of course we opted in to join! We were lucky to have Zeke as our tour guide. Outside of giving educational tours, he is heavily involved in the wine making operations at Unionville.
Zeke gave us a full experience tour, first talking through the process of the vineyard operations in great detail. We then moved to the lower level in the barn where you will find large tanks of wine fermenting. It is here where we ran into John Cifelli, General Manager of Unionville Vineyards and Executive Director of the New Jersey Winemakers Co-Op. We hope our paths cross again very soon!
Our experience tour then led us to the crush pad and finally to the building where their crushed grapes are being stored. During each step in the tour, Zeke provided an educational lesson of the entire wine making experience which was fantastic to hear about!
All in all, it was a fantastic visit to Unionville Vineyards and one that we will always value. We are excited to be wine club members and look forward to many future experiences here. Hats off to Karen, Zeke, and John for a great customer experience!
Please see below for our rating of Unionville. We apologize to John in advance as our rating system has changed! If we were still giving out a numbered rating, this experience would have definitely warranted a 10!
Have you been to Unionville Vineyards before? Let us know your thoughts!
Wine is calling, we must go!
Nick & Ed