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Outer Coastal Plain AVA: American Viticultural Area Spotlight

jersey-wine-01-300x225Located in southeastern New Jersey, Outer Coastal Plain AVA is the largest, and oldest, of the state’s three federally recognized wine-producing regions. It stretches through 2 ¼ million acres of sandy, fertile terrain, offering exceptional conditions for wine vineyards. To put the size of Outer Coastal Plain AVA into perspective, New Jersey’s second largest AVA region, Warren Hills AVA, is just 144,640 acres.

About Outer Coastal Plain AVA

The terrior of Outer Coastal Plain AVA is greatly influenced by the nearby Atlantic coast. The region is shaped like a triangle, resting along the state’s Atlantic coast. Due to the constant warm coastal air blowing inland, vineyards here experience a longer growing season than most other AVA regions. The mild year-round temperatures combined with well-drained, fertile soil offers ideal conditions for vineyards.

It’s believed that vineyards were first placed here during the mid 1800s. Winemaking continued to grow and thrive until prohibition was enacted in 1920. This was a devastating blow to the winemaking throughout the country, including Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Once prohibition ended over a decade later, the industry slowly began to rebuild. On March 12, 2007, the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Beureau designated the Outer Coastal Plan as an American Viticultural Area. Since then, the region’s total area of planted vineyards has continued to grow with each passing year.

Outer Coastal Plain AVA Varieties

Some of the wine varieties commonly produced in Outer Coastal Plain AVA include Chardonnary, Concord, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, and Niagara. The region’s terrior offers balanced conditions for growing both red and white variety grapes, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the most popular red variety, and Chardonnary being the most popular white variety.

New Jersey probably isn’t a state that most people think about in terms of wine production; however, it produces over 2 million gallons of wine each year, and is currently ranked as seventh among the country’s leading wine-producing states.

Top Outer Coastal Plain AVA Wineries:

  • Renault Winery - With their first vineyard planted in 1864, Renault Winery is one of the oldest active wineries in Coastal Plain AVA. They produce roughly 20,000 cases of wine per year, including both red and white varieties. Renault Winery also touts itself as being the country’s producer of blueberry champagne.
  • Jessie Creek Winery – After being in business for just over a year, Jessie Creek Winery has quickly made a name for themselves in the wine industry. They produce a wide range of delicious wines at reasonable prices, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnary, Concord, Pinot gris, Merlot and even some fruit-flavored wines.
  • Heritage Vineyards - Nestled inside Gloucester County, New Jersey, Heritage Vineyards produces wine and grows fruit for sale. They have a Bordeaux-style wine that’s a real treat, as well as wine made from plum fruit.

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