Many haven’t noticed, but in the last 10 years, the craft alcoholic beverage scene has taken off in Cape May County – the southernmost section of New Jersey. Sometimes called the “Jersey Cape Beverage Trail” the list of wineries, breweries and distilleries down the shore has reached 19 strong as of 2019 with new tasty beverage makers added seamingly every year. The list currently includes seven winery / vineyard locations, nine craft micro-brewery spots and three craft distillery establishments. All of these locations on what we are now calling the “Cape May Booze Trail” share a couple of things in common – they are all located in beautiful Cape May County within 15 minutes or a beach or nature preserve, are open year round and most of all are owned and operated by an amazing group of locals who love what they do, love where they live and transfer that joy to every guest that walks through their door.
This list is meant to be a resource to those looking to enjoy a winery, brewery and/or distillery tour any time of the year in South Jersey. All of the content below is taken from each locations’ website and does not represent any of our own views or opinions…
The Cape May Booze Trail Map
Click on the square in the upper righthand corner of this map (or just click here) to open up in a new, bigger window. This is a simple way to chart your own tour, see which locations you may have not known about or figure out how to make your next booze tour by bike!
This map is also handy for quick access to Google Reviews of all locations and of course directions if you are really digging deep for your perfect Cape May Booze Trail tour.
Wineries on the Cape May Booze Trail
The Cape May County Wineries are the most beautiful locations to visit on the Booze Trail as they are all located next to their vineyards. Most of the winery spots at the Jersey Cape allow you to wander the rows of vines (just don’t pick the grapes!) provide tours, offer tastings and now most provide appetizers or full blown meals. The wineries are just as fun to enjoy one in the middle of a day down the shore as they are to try and visit three or four on a one day tour. Check their websites and social accounts open for special events year round including live music, special dinners and exclusive tastings.
Cape May Winery and Vineyard
The Cape May Winery prides itself on maintaining a family-owned and operated business that provides its customers with quality wines, exceptional service, and a relaxing atmosphere that makes everyone feel a part of their family after the first sip! The Cape May Winery’s journey began in 1989 with the planting of the first vines in Cape May County which started their Townbank Vineyard. Today, they grow 11 different varietals across 4 vineyards totaling 26 acres. As you can imagine, a lot has happened over the years! They invite you to be a part of their story during your next visit to Cape May and take a journey all your own through one of their tastings or tours. Wander through the many different rooms that make up the winery, explore the beautiful grounds and enjoy tapas from their kitchen all while discovering your own passion for wine.
G & W Winery is one of Cape May’s best kept secrets due to it’s small size that is not visible from the road but nestled in the midst of and protected by 75 acres of woods and century old vines. G&W grows only Merlot, Pinot Grigio, and Cabernet Franc with only very select grapes harvested to produce 1,000 bottles each year. This limited supply is available by individual purchase only.
Nearly a decade ago, Marie and Dennis Hasson started their first vineyard in the Pine Barrens; this necessitated a name and label for the winery. Appropriating the initials of Grace and Willow, twin daughters of the Hassons, G&W strives to make wine worthy of the family name. Embarking on a new journey, Dennis has a vision to create a wine that will embody the rich culture and subtle nuance that is Cape May, New Jersey.
Hawk Haven Winery & Vineyard
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is located on a sprawling 100+ acre farm in up & coming Cape May Wine Country. Nestled between the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyard is a natural born safe harbor of serenity and abundance. Cultivated by the determination, loyalty, and passion of three generations, an oasis has been preserved. Sandy soils, cool ocean summer breezes, and temperate winter waters create the perfect growing conditions for high quality wines. The vineyard has become a welcome resting ground for many migrating birds of prey. Giving up the free-spirited life of travel, they stake their claim at Hawk Haven. Popular events include Rootstock, Saturdays on the Crushpad and Sangria Sundays.
Jessie Creek Winery & Vineyard
Tucked away by the breezes of the Delaware Bay and the cool peninsula of Cape May County, is the home of Jessie Creek Winery. Their mission is to provide the best wines, in small batches, to their customers for a unique boutique experience. All wine processes from cultivation, harvest, punching down to labeling the bottles are completed by hand – no machines required!
Folks are welcome to visit the active barrel room, featuring rough-hewn oak tasting bars and collective seating or you can sit outside on their wrap-around porch to experience the serenity of the beautiful vineyard as you enjoy a glass or spiral of wine along with a delicious cheese plate. Bring the family, bring the furbabies and escape the hustle and bustle of the Jersey Shore!
Natali Winery & Vineyard
All of the winemaking practices and methods at Natali Vineyards might be described as “Old World”, meaning the canopy is managed by hand, harvest is by hand and the bottling is done by hand, one bottle at a time. At Natali Vineyards, they like to say “the wine is made in the vineyard”, which means the wine is good if the grapes are good! So the emphasis is to grow high quality grapes of high quality varieties. It also means they keep the winemaking in small batches where control is much easier to maintain. For them winemaking is more like the artisanal crafts of the Old World where everything is done by hand, where there is a single hand guiding the process from planting to bottling and where pride and ownership is taken in each bottle produced.
At Natali Vineyards you will find a wine for every taste! In all, they have over 28 wines, red white, dry, sweet & fruit. Stop by and their knowledgeable and friendly staff will guide you through a tasting of some of the best wines around!
Turdo Winery & Vineyard
Turdo Vineyards is a family owned and run operation. It all begins with Sal, he is the owner, as well as master wine maker. His vision, commitment, and determination is what turned just over 5 acres of woods he purchased over ten years ago, into a very successful fully operational vineyard and winery. It took a lot work and time, not only from Sal, but from his family to make Turdo Vineyards what it has become. His wife Sara, and son Luca have been behind Sal, helping him from the beginning.
Rightfully so, all the hard work paid off, and Turdo Vineyards has emerged as New Jersey’s finest winery. It has been honored with many honors and medals from various prestigious international wine competitions. Many newspapers including The Bergen Record, The Star Ledger, and Atlantic City Press have written articles on Sal and Sara. About their success, what they have accomplished, and Sal’s dream coming true.
Willow Creek Winery & Vineyard
Willow Creek Farm & Winery produces premium wines on their 50-acre farm in Cape May, NJ. With thousands of vines planted within the last fifteen years, their unique climate allows them to produce some of the finest hand-crafted wines found this side of Europe.
The romance of the vineyard is universal and Willow Creek Winery offers vineyard vistas and gardens for strolling that will surprise and delight you. A half mile back, beyond the architecturally stunning Villa lies the impressive hand-carved, post-and-beam Winery surrounded by a beautiful outside brick patio where you can enjoy a wine tasting, take a guided tour or attend one of their larger, varied Wine Tasting Events or Farm Festivals.
Breweries on the Cape May Booze Trail
The craft brewery scene is definitely the fastest growing of the three categories in the Cape May Booze Trail. All of these owners and brewery crews are extremely passionate about their own style of beer and love sharing it with beer tour guests year round. There are a range of sizes of breweries now in Cape May County which makes it fun to put together your own beer tour with a few friends. The spots are a bit more lively than the other categories and often have games of skill to be played while you work your way through that personal beer flight.
7 Mile Brewery
It’s not about the miles, it’s about the destination. Grains to glass. Located at 3156 Route 9 South, Rio Grande, NJ.
7 Mile Brewery is a craft brewery that seeks to produce great beers. They make recipes with all kinds of malts, grains, hops, fruits, and other flavors. Their goal is make beer as interesting as the people who drink it . They focus on delivering a product that reflects the tastes of the community that they serve. Something for everybody to enjoy, and do so repeatedly.
“Great Beer for Great People”
Bucket Brigade Brewery
Bucket Brigade Brewery was founded in 2016 by 2 brothers. They are Fireman with a passion for craft beer. Prior to 2016, they were homebrewer’s who wanted to take their experience to the next level. The brothers are identical twins who have been volunteer and career fireman with a combined 50 years of public service. Bucket Brigade Brewery has been founded on the very same principles as those who wear the shield with the utmost pride and attention.
When designing the Tap Room the partners decided to recognize some of the past businesses of Cape May County. They obtained pieces from those businesses and incorporated them into the Tap Room to create an environment that is not only warm and inviting, but shares a piece of the past. The Brew House has been designed with the same attention to detail and recognition of the history of craft beer. To ensure the consistency and amazing taste, they will use the traditional brewing methods and brew in small batches.
Whether you are a Craft Beer Enthusiast, Service Personnel, History Buff or just enjoy getting together with friends, the Bucket Brigade Brewery welcomes you.
Cape May Brewing Company
Cape May Brewing Company began with one simple question: Where’s all the beer down here?? With that in mind, they decided to provide South Jersey with fresh, delicious, local beer to put New Jersey on the map as a craft beer state.
In July 2011, they found their home at the Cape May Airport and delivered our first keg of Cape May IPA to Cabanas Beach Bar and Grill. Since then, they’ve proudly brewed all their beers here, crafting balanced and flavorful ales and lagers for thousands of happy locals and visitors. While the majority of their beers are only available on draft, they package several brews as well as the recent, highly-acclaimed Barrel Aged Series.
The Tasting Room is one of the largest and most accessible in the state, with a spacious and sunny Beer Garden. You can visit the gift shop, “The Brewtique,” and take an interactive, self-guided tour. While many production breweries are only open a few hours per week, they are open daily from 12PM–8PM for tours and tastings.
Coho Brewing Co
The story began when Buckingham hired Johnson to cater a private party. After rave reviews from her guests on his BBQ, Buckingham had several other parties catered by Johnson’s Anglesea BBQ. This was the start of a friendship between Buckingham and her husband and Johnson and his wife. They began hanging out and having a few beers together. After a few visits to many different regional breweries, and after having sampled Johnson’s home-brewed beers, Buckingham came up with the idea of opening a brewery with Mike as her brewer.
Buckingham and Johnson are excited about their new venture. The name COHO came about because of its location in COurt HOuse and as homage to Mike’s 25-year career in law enforcement. COHO will feature unique beers in a very relaxed environment, where the brewery can be viewed from all areas of the tasting room and bar in a very industrial but inviting setting.
Cold Spring Brewery
In early 2014, the HCSV Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to pursue the development of a small brewery on the Village grounds with the name Cold Spring Brewery. To this end, and in keeping with the mission of the Historic Cold Spring Village, an 1804 three bay English-style Cape May County barn from Upper Township was purchased. The Barn was restored and reconstructed board by board into a brewery and tasting room that would help to stabilize the historic museum for future generations to enjoy.
Dom is the brewer and would like you all to know that Cold Spring brews are unique to the craft brewing industry. Cold Springs keeps firm to “high drinkability” combined with lower alcohol percentage. Inspired by the recipes of the 1800’s all of their beer products are made using the spring water from the Cold Spring aquifer.
Gusto Brewing Company
First and foremost, Gusto are members of this community. Driven by enthusiasm for unique beer, a love of the craft and the people around us, they make beer that makes them happy.
While they prepare to assume the honor and responsibility of serving this – their beloved home town – constant effort is given to further becoming a reflection of it…
Small and Weird
Ludlam Island Brewing
Here, you’ll find beer lovers.
Here, you’ll find passion.
Here, you’ll taste the results of hard work.
Mudhen Brewing Company
Mudhen Brewing Company is located in Wildwood, New Jersey. They are a brewery / family friendly restaurant with great food, craft beers and live entertainment. Created from the drive and ambition of Brendan Sciarra, the Mudhen Brewing Company is on a mission to create the finest quality craft beers while providing the most detailed attention to food and bar service that meets and exceeds his already well established reputation.
Slack Tide Brewing Company
Slack Tide Brewing Company was founded in 2015 by Jason and Tadhg Campbell, two brothers raised in Cape May County, New Jersey. Their philosophy is simple. Create a diverse and high-quality line of beers made with all natural ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. And, make Slack Tide Brewing Company a destination in Cape May County where locals feel at home and visitors look forward to returning.
Distilleries on the Cape May Booze Trail
The craft distillery category is the newest to Cape May County and really helps round out the Booze Trail in South Jersey. These distilleries are relatively new so most of the spirits they are making fall in the Vodka, Gin and Rum arena of craft liquor. As you may imagine, these joints are not simply doling out tastings, but have invested in their own custom bar rooms and cocktail menus. These distilleries can stand on their own and are also a great way to start or end a customized booze trail tour that includes wineries and/or breweries according to your preferences.
Cape May Distillery
Cape May Distillery’s story began as the dream of two college friends with a love of distilling and a passion to make their place in the industry. Through hard work and the help of others who shared this dream, Cape May Distillery was born. As historic Cape May County’s first craft distillery, they produce a variety of handcrafted spirits including rum, bourbon, whiskey, gin, honey spirits, and vodka.
Lazy Eye Distillery
Going back to the way things were done in the old days, from the fermentation of carefully selected grapes to the distillation of small batches in pot stills, it is that time-honored tradition that truly yields a genuine taste.
We distill our spirits from scratch and in small batches. Every single bottle that leaves Lazy Eye Distillery has gone through a process that has taken weeks of preparation and meticulous care from us. At Lazy Eye Distillery we value the word craft. We are not the biggest, but we believe that our spirits no matter how small are among the best in the world. Lazy Eye Distillery is an extension of our home.
Since opening their doors on November 1st 2014 Lazy Eye Distillery has become the most awarded distillery in the state of New Jersey. They have received 14 medals in international spirits competitions and have been named New Jersey Distillery of the year in 2016 and 2017 at the New York International Spirits Competition.
Nauti Spirits Distillery
What happens when a guy with a fascination with distilleries and two farmers with a passion for science and chemistry meet on a 60 acre preserved farm? Nauti Spirits is born
Nauti Spirits employs the time, experience and precision equipment to create exceptional spirits from simple ingredients– the way true craft distilling is done. It’s a qualitative difference that you’ll see and feel when touring their Cape May distillery, just steps away from their fields. Most importantly, you’ll taste it in every handcrafted bottle they lovingly produce.
At Nauti Spirits Distillery, they produce handcrafted farm spirits: Vodka, Gin, & Rum. Using ingredients grown mainly on their 60-acre preserved coastal farm, and other South Jersey farmland that they control, and premium southern molasses, they mash, ferment, distill, and bottle their products at their farm distillery in Cape May, New Jersey.
From Live Music to Tours & Tastings, things are always happening at Nauti Spirits.
Resources related to the Cape May Booze Trail
- NewJerseyWines.com – The Garden State Wine Growers Association is a coalition of over 50 member wineries, vineyards, grape growers and industry-related companies across the state of New Jersey. Founded in 1987, the association has driven exponential growth through wine education initiatives, cooperative marketing campaigns, and a slate of annual events dedicated to taking our wines across New Jersey, and encouraging enthusiasts to visit our wineries.
- VisitNJ.org/nj/attractions/ – NJ State Tourism site with lists of Wineries & Vineyards as well as Breweries & Distillers in all of New Jersey state that can be sorted by location and much more…
- AmericanWineryGuide.com – List and reviews of wineries in New Jersey
- Hitting New Jersey’s Wine Trails – An article by New Jersey Monthly magazine on all of NJ’s wine trails including Cape May County.
- FunNewJersey.com – This site has info on wineries, breweries and distillers, but also a ton of other fun activities in NJ to fit in between those booze spots for a well rounded vacation.
- SJbeerscene.com – South Jersey Beer Scene is your source for the latest in craft beer news, events, culture, and commentary in the South Jersey region and beyond. These guys have an active blog, podcast, store and even brewery tours from time to time.
- New Jersey Craft Beer – New Jersey Breweries, Brewpubs and startups.
- New Jersey Distillery Trail
- New Jersey Isn’t Boring – Distilleries, Cider and Mead List
- Visit South Jersey – Activities and events throughout South Jersey including Wine Region info and a Brewery and Distillery directory.
- Icons made by Freepik from Flaticon.com.