Napa and Sonoma Valley, get in line… Whoever said that the best wine is only found on the West Coast has not done their due diligence to discover the incredibly unique vineyards of the East. More and more winemakers are finding the opportunity to nourish their harvest and house their wine production on the East Coast.
Amherst, New Hampshire
Located in Amherst, NH, Labelle Winery is an easy ten-minute drive from nearby airport in Manchester, NH (MHT).
LaBelle Winery is a distinctive, award winning winery and vineyard that sits on the historic site of the former Bragdon Hill Farm. The mission of Labelle Winery is to create a wine that revives the spirit of community and friendship. The winery also offers seminars and educational programs to bring a hands-on winemaking experience to visitors.
The wine is a true reflection of the tastes of New Hampshire and New England. Through use of native grapes and fruits, Labelle wines range from delightfully crisp and sweet to dry and bold with herbaceous notes. Winemaker Amy Labelle, has done extensive research on the fermentation methods that enhance the unique characteristics of each fruit she uses for her wine. LaBelle wines are bottled with as little filtering as possible, and in some cases no filtering, to preserve the wine’s natural quality.
The frosty winters of New Hampshire have led owners, Amy Labelle and Cesar Arboleda, to the process of researching and selecting the most resilient varieties of grapes, which ripen early in the fall and survive through a New England winter. The result: distinguishable and enjoyable wines that will certainly spark some interest among your wine-connoisseur friends!
Labelle Winery Recommendation: Gewürztraminer
Landisville, New Jersey
Fly into the small Cross Keys Airport (17N) in Cross Keys, NJ, and you will find yourself within 20 minutes of this charming boutique winery.
Nestled in the heart of South Jersey, Bellview Winery was a long-time dream of owners Jim and Nancy Quarella. Jim, a successful fourth-generation farmer, learned a love of winemaking as a young man. Now he’s turned his skills to crafting award-winning wines.
The winery is located on the same farm that Jim’s great-grandfather, Angelo Quarella, purchased in 1914 after emigrating from Italy. Named Bellview, the original 20 acre farm that makes up part of the now 40+ acre Bellview Winery has expanded over the years to a farm of over 150 acres.
Bellview Winery won the prestigious award of “2012 New Jersey Winery of the Year” following the release of the winery’s 2012 red wines.
Bellview Winery Recommendation: Petit Verdot 2010
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery Tucked into the Hudson River Region of New York, you will discover the allure of the Hudson Valley’s flagship winery, Millbrook Vineyards and Winery. Conveniently located nearby is the PC-12 accessible, hassle-free, Sky Acres Airport (44N).
Located in Dutchess County, just north of the village of Millbrook, Millbrook Vineyard and Winery is considered the Hudson Valley’s premier vineyard and winery. Celebrating their 27th anniversary with the harvest of 2012, the winery was founded by John S. Dyson and his brother-in-law David H. Bova in 1981.
Millbrook is proud to have been voted the “Best Hudson Valley Winery” for 15 years straight by readers of Hudson Valley Magazine. The estate is located on a beautiful 130-acre farm of which 30 acres have been dedicated to vineyards. The winery produces approximately 14,000 cases of wine each year including Chardonnay, Tocai Friulano, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc. Millbrook wines are available for sale throughout the Hudson Valley as well as at the Winery’s tasting room.
Millbrook Winery, which is open daily for winery tours and tastings, has an informative and enriching guided tour of the winery, which will leave visitors with an insider’s view of the entire winemaking process, from the careful tending of the vineyards to the winemaker’s art of vinification. Each tour is capped off with a complete and informative tasting of current vintage Millbrook wines.
Millbrook Winery Recommendation: Chardonnay Proprietor's Special Reserve
Note: This article is displaying as it appeared in Volume 12 of our PlaneSense: Informational Quarterly newsletter.
Photo courtesy of Millbrook Winery Media Center
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