Mount Salem Vineyard
Mount Salem Vineyards is a boutique winery in the Pittstown section of Alexandria Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States.
We grow wine on the historic Abbott Taylor Farmstead, whose farmhouse and oldest barn date to 1811. Both buildings are of hand-hewn oak likely felled on this farm, each structure joined by mortise and tenon, and proudly bearing distinctive pewter “A” plaques from the Alexandria Historic Preservation Commission. The farmstead is eligible for both the state and the national Registers of Historic Places because it is one of the very few remaining in New Jersey that has been continuously farmed for over 200 years.
Our hypothesis was simple: the climate and soil in this part of Hunterdon County is very similar to that of Carnuntum and Burgenland, two of the major winegrowing regions of Austria. So it made sense to plant grape vines indigenous to that country but, as far as we knew, no one had planted those varieties successfully here. Indeed, some had failed and others advised strongly against doing so, but we pressed on.
We knew that the slope on our farm is ideal for growing fine wine grapes in a cool and occasionally wet climate, and that our soil of silt/clay/loam – studded with glacial deposits of gravel – was perfect for Austria’s indigenous vines. Thus in 2004 we began preparing farmland that for at least 200 years bore corn, soybeans, hay and peaches, and grazed livestock, so that in April 2005 it could receive its first vines.
We are often asked, “What on earth compelled you to do this?” While surely irrational, planting a vineyard is also an inspired commitment to the land and people who live in or visit this fine county of Hunterdon, where we raise our children and live our lives. It is also the first step in making meaningful wines.
54 Mount Salem Rd Pittstown · NJ 08867 · The United States (908) 735-9359