If grapes could talk, they'd recount their dreams, the first time they got plucked, and the first time they felt victimized by nature's rumor mill—the vine. Taste the tales of the grape with today's Groupon: for $40, you get $80 worth of resort amenities at Renault Winery Resort & Golf in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. The Groupon can be used toward the Gourmet Restaurant, Joseph's Restaurant, Vineyard Golf, Tuscany House Hotel, and the gift shop.
One of America's oldest continuously operating wineries, Renault yields a medley of dining, sporting, and resort options across its nearly 150-year-old campus, which is recognized as one of New Jersey's most notable historic sites. After an afternoon spent slipping into a stylish array of grape skins and tasting purple nectars, guests can indulge wine-tinged tongues with epicurean cuisine from Renault's Gourmet Restaurant, which boasts an abundant Friday-night buffet ($35/person), a selection of six-course gourmet dinners ($35–$47), and a savory Sunday brunch menu ($19.95/person). Casual diners and vacationing supervillains can opt instead for the soothing live tunes emanating from Joseph's Restaurant on the weekends, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus dish out home-cooked comfort cuisine.
Named one of the nation's premier new courses by Travel + Leisure, Renault's emerald links indulge golf gurus with 7,200 yards of rolling greens and eye-fetching vistas of the neighboring vineyards ($59–$95/game through October 31, $39 starting in November; cart included). Bushed ball-hackers can retire to the Tuscany House Hotel, which majestically ensconces an Italian–style courtyard, stately verandas, and two outdoor pools ideal for late-night chlorine tastings. Each distinctive room bursts with an array of Old World décor, guaranteeing guests won't need to unleash their inner Pollock against vacant walls and white-suited dignitaries. Check the Tuscany House's page for information on rooms and rates ($69–$249/night).
Guests seeking a souvenir keepsake or conciliatory bottle can navigate the gift shop's epic selection of seasonal wines, eclectic merchandise, and custom-made gift baskets ($3.99–$39.99).
Renault Winery Resort & Golf
At Renault Winery Resort & Golf, a glimpse into history begins at a wine barrel. Fashioned from the top of an old oak cask, a gold-lettered sign marks the entrance to the state-registered historic site, where staff cultivates and harvests 12 local and international grape varietals across more than 31 acres of vineyards. This flourishing estate owes its existence to one man, whose journey began nearly 150 years ago.
In the mid-1800s, vintner Louis Nicholas Renault plied his trade in Rheims, France. When a parasitic aphid nearly crippled France’s winemaking industry, Renault fled to California, where the insect struck again. He followed rumors of an aphid-resistant American grape varietal to the fields of New Jersey where he found a climate similar to that of his native France—and his winemaking flourished.
Not even Prohibition could halt his operation, which continued under a special permit. After his death in 1948, the winery continued to expand for the next five decades, adding a chateau, 50-room inn, and restaurant by 2001. Since then, Renault Winery has offered lodging and entertainment in addition to the fruits of its vines.
Visitors to the Tuscany House won’t remember crossing the Atlantic Ocean, which is perfectly normal. The House’s decadent lobby, an inner courtyard with a garden, mimics the villas of Italy: its marble columns and curving staircase lead up to a mezzanine constantly patrolled by at least one member of the Swiss Guard. Off the lobby, hallways lead to private rooms and suites filled with king-size beds and heavy wood furnishings.
Joseph's Restaurant melds the estate’s Mediterranean charm with New Jersey influence. Executive Chef Joseph DeGennaro—whom food critic Bob Bickell described as “outstanding” in his Restaurant Report—fills plates with Tuscan burgers and pastas tossed with grilled chicken and lobster.
Arbor-covered corridors and rambling lawns dappled with statuettes lead to the winery. On tours, guides lead visitors past the mixing and fermentation tanks while revealing the steps of the winemaking process. After the tour, groups select samples from more than 32 varieties of wine. The on-site wineglass museum lets groups dive further into the world of wine, displaying glassware dating back to the 13th century.
Visitors don’t have to join in the harvest to experience the grounds firsthand. Vineyard Golf, an 18-hole championship-level course, winds through the rolling vineyards. Players drive down open fairways, avoid five water hazards, and putt onto greens nestled against the rows of plantings.
Egg Harbor City
72 N Bremen Ave.
Egg Harbor City, New Jersey 08215