It was a cold November day in Boston yesterday, and Chris and I decide to spend it traveling up to New Hampshire to tour some wineries and vineyards. I have run out of wine in the house, and now that I am attempting to line my pantry and shelves with goods from the area, it seems only logical to venture out into the neighboring countryside.
We headed North on I-95, planning to hit 4 wineries and also catch a bite at Portsmouth Brewery. Sadly our dive up was not as visually compelling as I had hoped due to all the early snow we had, which pulled the leaves down earlier than usual. Weaving in and out of lakes and forested areas however, made for a wonderful drive, and despite the lack of color I was amazed at the beauty of this state. After arriving at our first stop we wandered down to the tasting room at Zorvino Winery, and on our way we ran into the owner, Jim, who was incredibly friendly- a great start to our trip! We really enjoyed the wines from this winery, although I was disappointed to find that only one of the wines they produce comes from their own grapes. That particular wine is a Niagra, a wine I had never had before. The nose on this wine takes you instantly back to childhood. Smelling of concord grapes, the wine has the same type of bite as the familiar juice but with a light finish. We ended up leaving with a pumpkin wine and pear wine which we hope to share with family over the holidays.
Our second stop was at Flag Hill Winery and Distillery. I had heard this particular place also makes oils and rubs, and I was interested to hear where they source their ingredients from; as I have been wondering how to keep my olive oil selections local. It turns out they have to import olives, but the oil itself is made by their chefs and staff- and it is incredibly good! Flag Hill makes their own liquors from NH apples and I walked away with both their vodka and gin, they are fantastic! They both have a pretty standard taste, but with a little something special added in. This winery grows all of their own grapes and fruits, and I felt that they had a really great selection with a more mature flavor. I would highly recommend checking them out.
We had planned to make it to a couple more spots on our trip, but we ended up heading to Portsmouth Brewery for some food and local brews instead. We had curry mussels, a flatbread with grapes, and a local meats and cheese plate- all of which were really great! The town of Portsmouth is wonderful, and should be added to everyone’s list of places to go in New England. Friendly people, many small shops and businesses and a quirky small town feel. It was the perfect place to end our adventures for the day, and I left feeling really great that we have so many options for sourcing locally just over the border.
Maps and Links to the Wineries on Our Tour: