Jewell Town Vineyard, South Hampton NH #44 (a little out of order)

100_1281We recently visited Jewell Towne Vineyard. We decided it was a great idea to go out during a snow storm, which in a way was true. Not that fun to get there (for me, although luckily Mark drove) but once we found Jewell Towne, we were the only ones there. We had just missed two car loads of people. IMG_0269
Jewell Towne is located in South Hampton, New Hampshire and is very close to the Massachusetts border. We were in New Hampshire, and drove through Massachusetts to get there. It is a little difficult to find, so pay attention to their directions as found on their website.100_1280  100_1279   100_1283  100_1282

Time Line:
1982- owners Peter and Brenda planed six grapevines
1990- Jewell Towne was established
1994- Jewell Towne Vineyards became a licensed commercial winery
1998- the winery was built, a 18th century reproduction

Facts:

  • Since they began, Peter has helped other wineries become established in the area, offering his knowledge of viticulture. Peter leads the way for the wine industry for New Hampshire. Peter has also helped with legislation in regards to the the winery industry.
  • Jewell Town is New Hampshire’s oldest winery
  • They have won over 150 medals in national and international competitions
  • Their upstairs art gallery features local artists, as well as Brenda’s work
  • They produce 6 thousand cases of wine every year
  • Their wine can be found in over 150 stores and restaurants in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as at many Farmer’s Markets (Portsmouth, Concord, Greenland, Newburyport, Middleton and Gloucester)
  • Their tours as well as their tastings are FREE
  • You won’t find other fruits here- they produce only traditional style wines
  • They currently have 5 acres of grapevines
  • Many grapes they use are grown there, but some are contracted in (due to climate)

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IMG_0271the tasting bar

Our tasting:

Not all wines are open at once. They have a dry-erase board with their current offerings, and you may choose 6IMG_0272

Aurore: hints of green apple, dry

Riesling: hints of honey and orange

Seyval 2012: “off dry” description fit well. Not too fruity, good plum flavor

Vignoles 2012: honey and lemon flavor. Off dry

Traminette: relative of Gewurztraminer. Had a touch of sweetness to it

Steuben: sweet rose with flavors of ripe strawberry and fresh pineapple. yum!

Leon Millot: smooth, off-dry. Light red wine with cherry and black raspberry flavors.

Sparkling Marechal Foch: unintentional (sparkling) wine. Festive flavor. Good for sangria.

Rhapsody in Blue: ice wine. Strong hints of honey. yum!

Everyone there was very friendly. The two women who were working in the tasting room, as well as Peter. It was one of the women’s first day there, but it didn’t show. All were very knowledgeable and friendly. Jewell Towne Vineyard would be a good place to go for those who know their wine, as well as those that are new to wine.

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Want to visit?
Hours of Operation: 
11am – 4pm Wednesday through Friday
11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Be sure to visit their website before you plan your visit
so you don’t get lost!

 

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Prospect Hill Winery, Lebanon ME

IMG_0027[1]We were able to visit Prospect Hill Winery shortly before they closed for the winter.

Prospect Hill Winery is located in Lebanon, Maine, just over the border from Milton, New Hampshire. It is actually easier to get there from Milton than from Lebanon, due to the partially dirt road it is located on. Prospect Hill Winery sits on 54 acres of land, utilizing 2 acres for it’s vineyard at this moment. All of their grapes are French-American hybrids.IMG_0025[1] parking

IMG_0026[1]outside the winery- cute and rustic red grapevinesIMG_0037[1]the red grapevines

IMG_0038[1]the  green grapevines

The winery is run by Richard and Anita, who were both great to meet. They were both very kind people, as well as very knowledgeable about wine. The winery has been open for 5 years, but they have been growing grapes and making wine for 10 years. The first 5 years were used to really experiment with the different grapes, different blends and different flavors. Their winery is considered an Estate Winery, which means:

  • 100% of the wine must be made from grapes grown on the winery/vineyard’s land (or controlled by the winery)
  • The vineyard must be in a viticultural area, and the same AVA boundary as the winery
  • The wine must be fully made on it’s own premises- grapes crushed and fermented, bottled and aged

IMG_0034[1]  IMG_0035[1]The two tasting room tables. We sat at the one Richard is by

They currently make 16 wines from 13 grape varieties. They have a select amount open at a time- they pour a select amount so that they can give a larger pour of 3 sips per taste so that you can truly taste the wine’s flavor.

IMG_0029[1]IMG_0028[1]their complete wine list

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Our Tasting:

White Wines:

Edelweiss: very sweet, citrus-y taste. Similar to a Riesling.

Edelvira: more crisp than Edelweiss. This wine is a blend of Elvira and Edelweiss grapes, creating a pear and apple flavor.

Prospect Hill Winery makes 2 other white wines, Aurore and Prospect Hill White. They are both made in small batches with tropical fruit palate. Both wines were sold out mid-season.

IMG_0033[1] IMG_0032[1]the wines, set up for our tasting

Red Wines: all wines are aged for 18 months

Marechal Foch: fruit red, mellow. An everyday red. Easy red to drink. Not terribly dry.

Sabrevois: Mark said there was a lot going on with the flavors in this wine. Flavors that would compliment steak, but not compete with the flavor. Mark liked the Marechal Foch better.

Sunset Red: a blend of Chancellor (plum flavor, dinner wine) and Frontenac (black cherry flavor). Good wine to age. Really good, this was my favorite so far. We went home with a bottle.

St. Vincent: could chill in the summer for sangria. A more playful sipping wine. Has a strawberry flavor, which is either tart or ripe depending on the season. This 2011 vintage has a ripe strawberry flavor. Mark enjoyed this one.

Two Saints: full flavor, full body while still being fruity. Spicy black pepper flavor at the end.

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Their tasting room also operates as their storage room at this moment, and is kept at a temperature that is good for the wine.

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Want to visit?

Open Memorial Day through December 1st.

Tasting and tours Sundays from 1-5pm

Open for sales year round, call or email in advance

Their wine is also available in select local stores- check out their website to see if you will be passing by one!