The Unionville Vineyards team manages and sources grapes from five estate vineyards, spread across three New Jersey counties. The range of soil types, macroclimates, and topography allows winemaker Cameron Stark to craft diverse wines which showcase the often-discussed and hard-to-define concept of terroir.
- Unionville Home
Unionville Home is the original vineyard, planted in 1987, and located on the same property as our winery and tasting room. Grown here are the French-American hybrid varieties: Chambourcin, Seyval, Vidal, Horizon, and Cayuga. In 1995, the top block was planted with European Vinifera varieties, including Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as additional Chambourcin for Port production. In select years, single-vineyard Chardonnay is produced using only grapes from this vineyard. In contrast to the Pheasant Hill Vineyard Chardonnay (below), the Unionville Home Chardonnay consistently has a lime character. The soil of this vineyard is clay loam with decomposing shale.
- Amwell Ridge
The Amwell Ridge Vineyard is where many of our Rhone varieties, such as Counoise and Viognier, are grown. Located just across the street from Unionville Home, on Wertsville Road, this vineyard is visible from the winery. Between August and October, these vines are covered in white – we cover the vines in bird nets to protect some of our prized grapes! The soil here is clay loam with decomposing shale. Unionville’s most diverse vineyard, Amwell Ridge is home to the Rhone varieties Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Counoise, and Syrah. Durif, also known as Petit Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir, also thrive at Amwell Ridge.
- Bell Well
Bell Well Vineyard is located a couple miles from the winery on Rocktown Road. The soil is clay loam with a high percentage of decomposing granite. Grown here are the varieties Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir.
- Pheasant Hill
Pheasant Hill Vineyard is located in Hopewell, NJ, on Province Line Road. The landowner waited and waited and waited for this particular piece of land with the intent to plant grapes. Pheasant Hill has a Southeast-facing slope, which allows for drainage and excellent sun exposure – two key traits of a good vineyard site. The first Chardonnay vines were planted in 1999 and the first wines from this vineyard were made in 2004. As of 2014, Unionville Vineyards winemaker Cameron Stark and the landowner still meet once a year to open up a bottle and taste from the 2005 vintage. Each year, they find the wine continues to improve. Beautiful at release, these wines age gracefully and truly reflect the skills of Unionville’s vineyard crew and winemaking team, as well as the landowner’s passion for fine wine and his determination to produce wines of national and international renown.
Pheasant Hill Chardonnay is the crown jewel, the 2008 vintage taking home “Best in Class” at the 2010 International Wine and Spirits Competition. While the Unionville Home Chardonnay consistently has a lime character, as mentioned above, the Pheasant Hill Vineyard Chardonnay has more of a Meyer lemon character and compares quite favorably to fine white Burgundies.
Also grown at Pheasant Hill are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Viognier. The Syrah and Viognier are co-fermented as is done Côte-Rôtie – the Viognier adds softness and complexity to the wine.
- Mountain Road
The Mountain Road Vineyard is located in Warren County. At Mountain Road, there are eight clones of Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Grigio vines. This vineyard site is ideal for grape-growing, with a south-facing slope for sun exposure and excellent drainage. The soil is gravelly, and, like the soils of Burgundy, rich in calcium – perfect for Pinot Noir production.
Given such ideal vineyard sites, our winemaking team has the opportunity to make exquisite, award-winning wines, here in New Jersey.