Most grapes grown in New Hampshire are French-American hybrids (the genetic crossing of two or more grapes) with a strong resistance to cold weather. These grapes that grow in New Hampshire have a shorter growing period and are compatible with our extended cold season. It is crucial in winemaking - to match grape variety to the specific climate of the area chosen for vineyards.
Fortunately, hybrid grapes do extremely well in New Hampshire. The grapes are divided into 2 categories – cool climate and cold hardy. Acknowledgement should be given to the research and development at Cornell University for cool climate hybrid varietals and University of Minnesota for cold hardy grapes. The difference between planting cool and cold has to do with climate. The Seacoast region favors cool climate grapes, while the other regions lean towards cold hardy. It is typically warmer on the Seacoast and much colder in the White Mountains - regions in between fluctuate.
One or more of the these grapes can be found in wines produced by members of the New Hampshire Winery Association.
Cool Climate Grapes in New Hampshire
A white grape that produces a semi-dry wine with aromas and flavors of citrus and peach. The wine is similar to an Italian Moscato.
A red grape that is one of the world's most popular French-hybrid varieties, noted for its dark for coloring and herbaceous aromas.
A white grape native of New York and the leading green grape grown in the United States. The wine has a sweet, lovely floral aroma.
A red wine grape with a rich ruby color and flavors of red and black berry fruit, plum and black pepper. Occasionally used in Port style wines.
A white grape used in making both dry and off-dry style wine, also used in sparkling wine and ice wine.
Cold Hardy Grapes in New Hampshire
One of the newest white cold hardy grapes producing wines that come in dry or sweet style and exhibit tropical yellow fruit flavors that range from grapefruit to pineapple. Often used in blending.
A white French-hybrid grape highly regarded making light, citrus-tinged wines that can come in a range of styles, from dry and sparkling to late-harvest dessert wines.
A juicy French-hybrid red wine grape that produces fruit-driven wine and ages well.
A red wine displaying a dark garnet color, with cherry aromas and blackcurrant, plum and cocoa flavors. Also used in making dessert wines and port.
A popular white grape in northern areas making aromatic wine with flavors of stone fruits, such as peach, citrus and pineapple.
A red wine that is medium-bodied showing a ruby color with aromas and flavors cherry, berry, black pepper, and spice.
The most popular and widespread red grape throughout northern states and Canada. It is famous for its deep red blood-like color resulting in an earthy wine, with dark berries and some spice flavors.
A full-bodied elegant red wine showing a garnet red color with hints of celery seed, cloves, anise, and truffle. Award winning Rosé wines are made from this grape.
A smooth red wine with aromas and flavors of red berry, hints of pepper and spice.
The most popular grape along the eastern seaboard. Fresh and crisp with aromas and flavors of citrus, green apple, and honeydew melon. The grape is ideal for sparkling wines.
A red full-bodied wine with flavors of dark berries and currants.
A diverse white wine with floral and fruity aromas ranging from dry, crisp wines to late-harvest and ice wines.
Wines made from the white grape are versatile ranging from dry to very sweet, and display honeyed notes of pineapple, apricot and citrus fruits.
New Kids on the Block
White wine grape with aromas of pear, gooseberry, melon, starfruit, honey, and hints of citrus. Similar flavor profile as Pinot Grigio.
The signature white wine grape of Nova Scotia that has citrus aromas along with a grassy scent. Similar to Sauvignon Blanc. Also frequently used in making sparkling wines.
In order to experience all of the great wineries located throughout the granite state, check out the article “Travel in the Live Free State of Wine” and also download or pick up the NHWA winery passport, available at each participating winery. If you’re driven to win, bring your passport to each member winery in New Hampshire to collect a special prize for visiting them all.