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LaBelle Winery tasting room. Courtesy photo.




Loving Wine
Spend Valentine’s Day at a local winery

02/09/17
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Instead of just going out for a drink this Valentine’s Day, take your date up a notch with a trip to the winery where it was made. There are more than 20 wineries on the New Hampshire Winery Association’s Wine Trail map where you can take a tour, meet the winemakers, sample various wines and more. 

“I think for Valentine’s Day it’d be an awesome thing to do,” said Lewis Eaton, president of the New Hampshire Winery Association and the owner and winemaker of Sweet Baby Vineyards in Hampstead. “It’s original, it’s unique, it’s informative, and it can be a good jumping-off point for something else happening that night, like if you’re going out to dinner.” 
At many wineries, you can take a guided tour, available either by appointment or at scheduled times, or a self-guided tour to see the winemaking equipment and learn about the winemaking process. Guided tours may include opportunities to watch the winemakers in action and ask them questions. 
Eaton said that at his winery and most others, there are usually several wines on hand for tastings and flights so that visitors can experience a wider range of what the winery has to offer than a single glass of wine can provide. 
“Try things you don’t normally try, and get out of your comfort zone,” he said. “Our staff will guide you, point you in the right direction according to your taste.” 
The New Hampshire Wine Trail maps can be found at any of the state’s Welcome and Information Centers, at the wineries included on the map and online at visitnh.gov. 
Beyond the regular tours and tastings, some wineries are hosting special Valentine’s Day tasting events and wine pairing dinners. Space is limited, so call for ticket availability and reserve your spot soon. 
 
Valentine’s Day winery events 
Copper Beech Winery (146 Londonderry Turnpike, Building 3, Unit 23, 400-2595, copperbeechwinery.com) will host a wine tasting and cupcake pairing with Queen City Cupcakes of Manchester on Saturday, Feb. 11. More details to come at facebook.com/CopperBeechWinery. 
Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchinovineyard.com) will host “It’s Amore!,” a Valentine’s wine pairing, on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. The Vineyard will debut its first rose wine, called Amore. Wines will be paired with cheese, gelato and black and white petit fours including royal chocolate, carrot cake, coffee liqueur, French vanilla coffee, brownies in triple chocolate and cookies and cream, and bonbons in white almond and milk chocolate. A special musical guest will be featured. Tickets cost $39. Purchase online. 
Gilmanton Winery & Vineyard (528 Meadow Pond Road, Gilmanton, 267-8251, gilmantonwinery.com) will serve a five-course Valentine’s Dinner in its onsite restaurant on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. The menu features caramelized onion and portobello mushroom soup, Caesar salad, entree options including Coquilles St. Jacques and lamb lollipops with rosemary mint dipping sauce, and chocolate fondue for dessert. The cost is $45 per person. Sleigh rides will be offered at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. for $15. For an additional $50, guests can have a more intimate dinner in the wine cellar, with wine served in hand-painted glasses that they can take home. Call for reservations. 
IncrediBREW (112 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, 891-2477, incredibrew.com) will host a couples wine tasting, “The Romance of Wine,” on Valentine’s Day from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy a wine flight and hors d’oeuvres and take home a bottle of chocolate raspberry port. Cost is $30 per couple. Space is limited, and registration is required. 
Jewell Towne Vineyards (183 Whitehall Road, South Hampton, 394-0600, jewelltownevineyards.com) will have a Valentine’s Day wine and chocolate pairing featuring Lindt Chocolate on Sunday, Feb. 12, from noon to 4 p.m. 
LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898, labellewinerynh.com) will serve a special Valentine’s menu with wine pairings from Friday, Feb. 10, through Tuesday, Feb. 14, with expanded hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The menu features beet carpaccio, green lentil soup, lobster bolognese, veal porterhouse, tenderloin oscar, free-range chicken breast, red velvet heart cake, a French macaroon assortment and wine pairing flights. Reservations are recommended. 
 
Visit a winery for any occasion 
Appolo Vineyards One-hour wine tastings and tours offered by appointment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Full flight is $10, half flight is $5. 49 Lawrence Road, Derry. Call 421-6052 or visit appolovineyards.com.
Candia Vineyards Call to schedule a visit. 702 High St., Candia. Call 867-9751 or visit candiavineyards.com.
Copper Beech Winery Tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 146 Londonderry Turnpike, Building 3, Unit 23, Hooksett. Call 400-2595 or visit copperbeechwinery.com.
Flag Hill Winery Tasting room and gift shop are open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last call for tastings is at 4:30 p.m. The cost is $5 for five tastings. Public tours lasting 30 to 45 minutes are offered on Saturday and Sunday at noon for $5. 297 N. River Road (Route 155), Lee. Call 659-2949 or visit flaghill.com.
Fulchino Vineyard Open for tastings January through March on Saturday and Sunday; April through October daily; and November and December, Thursday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., each day. 187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis. Call 438-5984 or visit fulchinovineyard.com.
Gilmanton Winery & Vineyard Open for wine flights and tastings on Sunday, 1:30 to 5 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Columbus Day to Memorial Day. Last call for tastings is a half hour before closing. There are flights with three or six wines, with or without crackers and cheese ($5 to $18), and a guided tasting with five wines ($12). 528 Meadow Pond Road, Gilmanton. Call 267-8251 or visit gilmantonwinery.com.
Grape Time Winery An extension of Incredibrew. Open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. 112 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua. Call 891-2477 or visit grapetimewinery.com.
Hermit Woods Winery Open for wine tastings Monday, Thursday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($6 to $8; add a charcuterie slate for $11.95). Half-hour tours are offered on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. every hour on the hour or by appointment ($20 per person). 72 Main St., Meredith. Call 253-7968 or visit hermitwoods.com.
Jewell Towne Vineyards Open for tours and tastings Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 183 Whitehall Road, South Hampton. Call 394-0600 or visit jewelltownevineyards.com.
LaBelle Winery Gift shop, tasting room and self-guided tours available Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tastings cost $8 for five wines and $13 for 10 wines. Half-hour guided tours are offered Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., every hour on the hour. 345 Route 101, Amherst. Call 672-9898 or visit labellewinerynh.com.
Sweet Baby Vineyard Open for tastings and wine sales Thursday and Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Tastings cost $3 to $5 and include up to six wines. 260 Stage Road, Hampstead. Call 347-1738 or visit sweetbabyvineyard.com.
Zorvino Vineyards Tasting room and gift shop is open daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tastings cost $3 per person. 226 Main St., Sandown. Call 887-8463 or visit zorvino.com. 

 






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