The Hippo


Apr 20, 2019








Inside Cabonnay Emporium. Courtesy photo.

Cabonnay Emporium

Where: 8 Mohawk Drive, Suite 2, Londonderry
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. 
Wine tastings: Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Wine country moves east
Emporium opens, with wine house in the works

By Allie Ginwala

 Cabonnay Emporium is bringing the essence of wine country to Londonderry. The recently opened one-stop shop offers specialty foods, glasses, wine totes and wine-related home decor — and a selection of wines you can’t easily find in New Hampshire. 

“We’re really trying to bring in the different cultures of wine that aren’t inundated,” said Kimberly Schuerhoff, director of media and marketing. “There’s always the Italians and we’ll carry those too, and there’s always the French wines so we’ll have those, but we always look for that unique story.”
Cabonnay carries a number of wines from South Africa, an example of a place with a wine industry that’s not represented in New Hampshire, Schuerhoff said, along with some from vineyards in California’s Temecula Valley. 
“Temecula is this little hidden gem, and there’s not a lot of wines around here coming out of Temecula,” she said. “We’ll be working … to bring in a very low quantity, but different, cool, unique wines.”
Since the emporium opened in early November, she and owner Cornelis de Jong have hosted weekend wine tastings and welcomed guests into the emporium to shop and learn more about what’s next for Cabonnay. 
The wine emporium is only the first part of Cabonnay’s concept — it will also feature a wine house with a full-service restaurant, art gallery and sprawling gardens. 
“[Cornelis] noticed that the area didn’t have exactly what they were looking for as far as a dining experience, wine culture was lacking, there wasn’t really anything like Cabonnay, so he embarked on this vision to bring it to Londonderry, and it really kind of unfolded from there,” Schuerhoff said. “[It’s] something you typically would not see on commercial property at all. His idea with that was just to create this beautiful oasis environment.”
Typically wine houses are located at vineyards, so guests can come to try the wine, eat, shop and take in the natural beauty. Cabonnay will provide the same tranquil atmosphere, Schuerhoff said, except instead of tasting wine from one winery, there are many options.
“People can come and relax and unwind and enjoy delicious, unique wines that kind of pull from all over the world and give you that worldly sense when you’re here,” she said.
Schuerhoff said de Jong, a Windham resident, chose Londonderry not only because the property fit exactly what he had in mind, but also because the area is ripe for a boost in wine culture. 
“Londonderry is a booming town. It’s a happening place,” she said. “The need is here, the people are here and now the industry just needs to follow.”
Weather permitting, the goal is to break ground in March and open the wine house in August. It’s still in the early stages, but Schuerhoff said the art gallery on the second floor will have pieces sourced from around the world and the restaurant's menu will echo the international vibe, though the focus will be on wine pairing. 
“We’re really looking for that worldly chef, too, that isn’t so niche, because we don’t want to be an Italian restaurant, we don't want to be Mediterranean,” she said. “We want to be everything, all-encompassing if that’s possible.”
The original plan was to open Cabonnay as one entity, but instead they chose a “slow launch” to give them time to settle into the industry and test the market.
“It’s giving people an opportunity to come in, meet Cornelis. … It’s really working as a wonderful platform to get what we’re doing out to the public,” Schuerhoff said. “It makes most sense to do it this way, and I think once the wine house is here the emporium will just flow. You drink the wine, you like the wine, you come buy the wine.” 

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