When the holidays queue up and the year winds down, New Hampshire wineries are open for you to relax and mingle, celebrate and toast, and shop and share. Whether you want to plan ahead for a special tasting trip, drop in for a meal or live event, or find some last minute presents, Granite State wineries have what you need.
Our 16 member wineries are located throughout 6 distinct New Hampshire travel regions. Each winery has special holiday offerings, and this Nov-Dec, more than half are participating in the 5th annual NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour. Enjoy the following spotlights on each unique member winery for their hours, upcoming events, and gift ideas.
Flag Hill Distillery & Winery, in Lee, NH, proudly offers estate-grown grape wines alongside their own distilled spirits, including whiskey, liqueurs, rums, and more. They even grow their own corn for whiskey, which gave them an idea this year:
Since a late spring frost damaged much of their grape harvest, they added a crop of sweet corn to have more to share with guests for harvest season.
Sitting on 110 conservation acres, Flag Hill truly has lots to share. It makes a beautiful venue for weddings and special events, a perfect spot for its May-Oct Brunch & Bubbles, and a fun space for its Wine & Spirits Case Crew.
Earlier this fall, Flag Hill even released its first 10 year bourbon – fermented, distilled, and aged onsite by owner, winemaker, and distiller Brian Ferguson.
What better way to share a taste of New Hampshire than with wines and whiskeys made from grapes and grains grown locally? You can do just that by visiting Flag Hill any day of the week, 11-5, for all their offerings, including during this year’s NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour.
Squamscott Vineyard & Winery, in Newfields, NH, is open Fri 1-5, Sat 12-5, and Sun 12-4. Regulars attest their appreciation for these year-round hours, sharing that owners Bill Meserve and Bob Elliott are as good to visit and chat with as their Blue Heron Wines are to experience.
Built in 1792, Bill and Bob’s restored tasting house is a half mile from their 3 acre vineyard, where they grow 5 white and 5 red hybrids on the Squamscott River, near the Great Bay. Along with communal and intimate room options, the tasting house offers a patio and backyard leading up to Fire & Spice restaurant, open for dinner Wed-Sat and brunch on Sun.
Bill and Bob welcome everyone, including guests on the NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour. When you visit, try their new release Petite Pearl, a full-bodied, dry red wine that reveals a complex aroma of lingering berries, plum, herbs, and floral notes while carrying fullness, structure, and abundant soft tannins, well-balanced with acid and alcohol. As you sip their Blue Heron Wines, you can browse their holiday shopping, including gift baskets, locally made cutting boards, and more.
Sweet Baby Vineyard began in 2006 when Lewis Eaton planted vines as a hobby. By 2008, he discovered he loved winemaking, and the vines turned into his and Stacey Eaton’s family vineyard in Hampstead, NH. Over the years, their kids grew up alongside their 4 grape varieties and ate the local pick-your-own fruit that Lewis decided to bring into their award-winning wines.
Today, Lewis makes 27 locally grown grape and fruit wines. Sweet Baby’s tasting house offers these seasonally available wines by glass, tasting, or flight – and by wine slushy in the summer. The menu is always up to customer choice rather than a predetermined list. This time of year, their locally grown Apple and Apple-Cranberry Wines are crowd pleasers and popular gifts.
With a beautiful tasting house that seats 40, Lewis and Stacey extend a warm welcome and encourage people to stay as long as their doors are open. Stop in to see them for this year’s NH Jingle Bells Winery tour or any time of year Thurs-Fri 12-4 and Sat-Sun 12-5.
Zorvino Vineyards is a winery and bistro in Sandown, NH, where the winery crew crushed and processed over 24,000lbs of grapes this fall. After a hard growing season of their own, they are excited by the quality of the fruit coming in, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec as well as California-grown grapes they are working with for the first time – Nebbiolo and Petite Sirah.
Open 7 days a week, Zorvino’s tasting room offers wines, wine-based specialty drinks, seasonal seltzer flavors, and packaged food from favorite local vendors, a nice option when the Bistro is not open (check website for most updated hours). This season, try their “Pick-4” flight to customize your experience from preselected reds, whites, fruits, blends, and Z Labs options – Zorvino’s inventive, small batch craft wines. Through Nov, create your own wine bundle with their “Pick 6” sale, featuring Amarone, Black WidowZ, Cranbreez, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, and Riesling.
Visit Zorvino this season for their special events, including Music Bingo with DJ Victoria, a Holiday Sip & Shop, and a Tidings & Tinsel Holiday Party with cocktails, dinner, and dancing! Be sure to catch the re-release of their popular Peppermint Bark wine and the introduction of Peppermint Mocha, a Z Labs creation that ages Pinot Grigio with chocolate, coffee, and candy canes. For a full list of wines and detailed tech sheets, visit Zorvino’s website, where you can order online for onsite pickup as well as purchase gift cards.
MERRIMACK VALLEY REGION
Averill House Vineyard is owned and operated in Brookline, NH, by the Waite family. In 2012, father and head vintner Bob Waite was gifted 3 varietals across 6 vines. Inspired by an already keen interest in the wine process from grape to glass, Bob and his family began caring for the vines. By 2017, they had renovated their 1830s barn and established their winery. Today they are open Wed 2-7, Thurs-Sat 11-6, and Sun 11-4.
This season, Averill House is excited for the return of their Vine to Wine Igloos, private, gently heated spaces where you can enjoy local wine select dates Nov-Mar.
They are also launching their holiday edition Bottle Your Own experience, when you can join the winemaker select days for a 2 hour tasting, tour, and bottling.
And they will again light up their private, outdoor Fire Towers, a perfect way to toast with friends and family under the New Hampshire sky.
Around the holidays, Averill House releases 3 favorites. Elefante Naranja is a semi-sweet blood orange wine showcasing lively, buttery notes of crisp pear and hints of citrus. Their Craven Cranberry, named after Bob’s mom, is a sweet white wine balanced with smooth, crisp notes of cranberries with a lively finish. And be sure to try Sweet Moonlight, a raspberry maple merlot, available during Averill House’s participation in the NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour and beyond.
Birch Wood Vineyards, in Derry, NH, first saw production from its vineyard in 2017. Alongside its 175 vines, it sources from Napa Valley’s Suisun Region, mainly from Lanza Vineyards. Lanza happens to be the family name of Sallie, owner of Birch Wood with husband Rue Nijhof. Their Lanza tasting room honors family roots and wine with 14 vintages, produced onsite and aged a minimum of 2 years in a mix of stainless steel tanks and American and French oak barrels.
Birch Wood is open Fri-Sun 11-3, unless hosting an event like their much anticipated Dec 21 Jingle Ball Holiday Party, a yearly dinner with dancing that features a holiday themed menu and music by Get Down Tonight Entertainment’s DJ Tommy Demers. Couples and groups are welcome, including businesses reserving tables for holiday gatherings.
Specializing in weddings and seasonal events, the vineyard also offers its monthly Birch Wood Experience, a dinner that is open to the public and a special preview for couples considering the vineyard as their wedding venue. Visit Birch Wood Vineyard for one of these immersion dinners or to sample and gift-browse their selection of wines, available only in their Lanza tasting room.
LaBelle Winery was a dream realized in 2010 by founder and winemaker Amy LaBelle, who co-owns 2 locations with her husband, Cesar Arboleda. In Amherst, NH, they offer tastings, tours, a gift & wine shop, and The Bistro. In Derry, NH, they also offer tastings, tours, and a gift shop, as well as their Americus Restaurant, LaBelle Market, an art gallery, and seasonal golf and mini golf. Both locations feature public events, including live music, comedy shows, and more.
Alongside LaBelle’s award-winning wines, bring a fun addition to your holiday gatherings with LaBelle’s new low sugar, all-natural Mel & Ayme’s Premium Wine Coolers in Apple Berry, Cranberry Cosmopolitan, Ginger Spiced Apple Pie, and Winter’s Rose.
For great gifts, browse The Winemaker’s Kitchen, which includes Amy’s seasoning blends, raw vineyard honey, jams, and more. All items are available at both locations, along with gift cards, also available online.
With so much to share, Amy continues perfecting her artisan wine and striving to make visitors feel like family, a goal which inspires events like LaBelle Lights, their annual winter wonderland featuring over a million twinkling lights illuminating festive outdoor displays along a walking path. The ticketed event presents weekly interactive themes and runs Tues-Sun in Derry, NH, from Nov 14-Jan 7, which includes dates for LaBelle’s participation in the NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour.
NOK Vino is based in Concord, NH, where owner Nicholas (Nico) Kimberly and his team specialize in growing natural wines with sustainable, regenerative practices. Nico collaboratively shares his intentional viticulture approach with various vineyards that seek his help to revitalize their vines or to transition away from conventional farming.
Wherever Nico and his team go, they carefully steward the distinct terroir and the fruit it bears. Come harvest time, they hand-pick, foot-stomp, and bask in the process: “We revel in the mystery and joy of natural fermentation.” When the colder months arrive, it is time for pruning and sending cuttings to the burn barrel, which the team can be found using to warm their hands.
Until their own tasting room opens, slated for summer 2024, you can find NOK Vino wines at various markets and wineries, including in the tasting room at one of our member wineries, Alpine Garden Winery.
You can also buy their wines online or get them while saying hello to Nico and his team every Sat 9-12, year round, rain or shine, at the Sunapee, NH, farmers market.
The Summit Winery overlooks 80 scenic acres in Westmoreland, NH, where owners Darren and Judy Horn converted their 1800s post and beam barn into a boutique winery and tasting house. Rooted in Darren’s long time interest in fermenting, they offer 20 varietal wines with grapes from California, Chile, South Africa, New Hampshire, and soon from their own vineyard.
This holiday season, they are hosting Sip and Shop 2023, a special pop-up store experience featuring Rabbit Ridge Artisans.
The event will run through December 23 during their open hours, Thursday 4:30-7 and Friday-Sunday 12-5.
You'll find hand-dyed scarves, glass art, coiled fabric pottery, hand-knit cashmere pieces, birch and leather candle holders, segmented wood-turned bowls, hand-forged jewelry, quilted pillows, all-natural skin care, and more, all from local artisans in NH, MA, and VT.
When you visit The Summit Winery for one of its special events or for the NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour, try their recently bottled and exceptionally light and airy Oak Chardonnay, made from Chilean grapes. They also have their always popular Cabernet Sauvignon, bottled with Suisun Valley California grapes. And from the same valley, their recently bottled Cabernet Franc presents a distinctive boldness with light undertones of dark fruit worth experiencing.
Hermit Woods Winery & Eatery, in Meredith, NH, was founded by friends Ken Hardcastle, Bob Manley, and Chuck Lawrence. Open 7 days all year, they offer tastings, live music, and a farm-to-table restaurant with a seasonally designed menu and indoor and outdoor dining. They feature Ken’s hand-processed whole fruit and wild-foraged organic and local wines and meads. They also craft hard cider in the historic fermenting tradition of the winery’s local namesake.
This time of year, Hermit Woods suggests two of their award-winning wines. Their Petite Blue embodies the characteristics of a traditional dry red while bursting with the aromas and flavors of an entire pound of wild low-bush blueberries in every bottle.
Their Heirloom Crabapple, crafted from whole heirloom Dolgo crabapples, is a medium-sweet, tangy wine that makes an excellent aperitif and pairs exceptionally with roast turkey and its rich, buttery sides.
Both are available at the winery, NH Liquor outlets, and select Hannaford supermarkets and other wine shops.
Visit Hermit Woods for this year’s NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour and for all their live events:
Every Sat of the month and by appointment, they present their Winery Tour & Tasting, an in depth review of the winery and wine making process. On Thurs evenings in The Loft, their Listening Room Series showcases live jazz, folk, R&B, and world music. Each Fri and Sat evening features live piano music, and on the last Wed each month, they host their Songwriter RoundUp series, a Nashville-inspired gathering of New England Singer/Songwriters.
Whippletree Winery, tucked away in Tamworth, NH, has been dubbed “the winery in the woods” and offers the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time in a cozy 1940s cottage. Amidst this quaint, historic setting, Whippletree offers 40 wines you can choose from to share with dinner guests, give as a local handcrafted gift, or enjoy sipping yourself.
Owner and winemaker Lauren Barret handcrafts all Whippletree wines the old country way, with minimal processing. Some tried and true favorites that she suggests for tasting and taking home include Bossy Chardonnay, Lauren Barrett Sauvignon Blanc, and Fierce Malbec.
For the holidays, Lauren suggests trying Whippletree’s flavorful wines, including Harvest Sangria, Pumpkin Spiced Pear, Chocolate Raspberry, and Cranberry Shiraz.
And be sure to experience the best seller at Whippletree Winery – Mountain Bear, a black currant merlot.
DARTMOUTH-LAKE SUNAPEE REGION
Black Bear Vineyard is at the heart of 18 sweeping acres in Salisbury, NH, where Ted Jarvis had the idea that a vineyard would look great amidst the rolling hills. Kelly Jarvis agreed, and upon planting vines, they learned just how perfect their land is for farming wine. That was 2007. Today, Ted, Kelly, and their sons Nick and Matt grow 7 grape varieties and craft 4 white and 3 red wines.
The Jarvis family loves sharing their wine and making every visit to Black Bear a special one, all of which inspired HarvestFest, their annual Oct event featuring live music, vineyard tours, local vendors, and more. It is their way of celebrating the journey of wine and how it brings people together in the vineyard, which they also make available for weddings and private events.
These colder months are a lovely time to visit Black Bear for a wine tasting, personalized time with the winemaker, and nibbles from their “Bear Bites” tasting menu. For gifts and special meal finishes, take home their Amante del Chocolate, a full-bodied red wine with notes of chocolate and raspberries, and Vino Cappuccino, their coffee-infused red wine. Open Fri-Sun 12-5, Black Bear Vineyard looks forward to welcoming guests on this year’s NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour.
Haunting Whisper Vineyard & Distillery, in Danbury, NH, is owned and run by winemaker Erin Wiswall and husband and managing director Eric Wiswall. They offer both estate-grown wines and specialty spirits, distilled onsite, all of which make fantastic gifts and holiday offerings.
From the vineyard, Erin highlights their Apple Wine this time of year. Spiced to resemble apple pie, it is perfect for Thanksgiving. They also offer Cranberry Wine and Dechaunac, a crisper red wine that pairs well with hearty meals.
For winter holidays, Erin suggests their Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc, both full bodied yet fruit-forward wines great for parties or sharing by the fire.
In the distillery, Erin and Eric are bottling an agave spirit that has been in the barrel for over a year and that is similar to an Anejo tequila.
They are excited to share it with you in their well-stocked tasting room, open Wed 1-5 and Sat-Sun 12-5. They will close for the season from the end of Dec until the start of May. During this hiatus, you can find their wines and spirits online.
WHITE MOUNTAINS REGION
Alpine Garden Winery, in Bartlett, NH, is open Thur-Mon 12-6 throughout the year. Owners Ryan Classen and Jamie Robinson welcome guests in their beautiful two level tasting room where they offer sustainably-grown, locally-sourced, and wild-foraged wines, ciders, and co-ferments that they craft in the pét-nat style using spontaneous fermentation and minimal intervention.
This season, their hot mulled natural hard cider will be a classic blend of mulling spices added to their ‘Skins and Stems’, a wild yeast-fermented cider made of winter-cured Jonagold apples. This cozy drink and the entirety of the tasting menu at Alpine Garden Winery is available in the heart of Mt. Washington Valley’s winter season activities.
Only 20 minutes from the famed North Conway outlets, Alpine Garden sits between the Bretton Woods and Attitash Ski Mountain resorts. It is also a half mile from Northern Extreme Snowmobiling and minutes from prime cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Great Glen Trails and Bear Notch Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center. Whether shopping, adventuring, or waiting for someone who is, put Ryan and Jamie’s winery on your winter destination list.
Seven Birches Winery, in Lincoln, NH, produces its Seven Birches Wine and Rhythm Cider inside the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain, where its one-acre vineyard doubles as the backdrop for family barbecues, weddings, hikes along the river, and enjoying the surrounding vistas. Open 7 days a week at its RiverWalk tasting room, it also features its Atrium Wine Bar and Rhythm Studio in the nearby Lincoln Village Shops.
On these chilly days, thaw out with Seven Birches Mulled Wine, a hearty combination of reds, whites, and a special mulling syrup that adds sweetness and spice to this traditional warmer. It makes the perfect glass to raise when you visit Seven Birches during this year’s NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour or any time this cold weather season.
For more special wine experiences, look into the Seven Birches wine club, with 3 options perfect for gifting.
Another great gift option is Seven Birches Legacy, the winery’s expression of the past and direction for the future.
Born in 2017, it is a red blend sourced from around the world and agedin French oak. Once half the existing wine is bottled, a combination of the current vintage red wine production is blended into the remaining barrelled wine. This means each Legacy release carries wine from every vintage since 2017, making it an “ageless blend of blends” not to be missed.
White Mountain Winery is owned and operated by vintners Ali and Bryon Gil, who craft and serve their wine alongside both their dog and cat. Since opening in 2013, they have abided by the saying, “Paws & Wine Make Everything Fine” – a fitting motto for their tasting room, where all bar tips are donated to local humane societies in honor of the winery’s rescue animals.
Ali and Bryon craft their wine with 60% less sulfites than most processed wine. They also add no tannins, resulting in smoother wines featuring more flavor from the fruit that went into each vintage.
Right now, they have an incredible selection of bourbon barrel-aged wines ranging from dry red blends to Orange Sangria to Cranberry Apple Riesling and more.
For more gift ideas, Ali and Bryon have a wide variety of Port and Ice Wines that make perfect stocking stuffers.
Whether tasting or shopping with them, Ali and Bryon hope you enjoy their laid back vibe. You can visit them and their animals Wed-Thurs 12-4, Fri-Sat 12-5, and Sun 12-4.
JINGLE BELL WINERY TOUR
The NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour is back and is going to be so much fun. On weekends between Nov 18 and Dec 17, ticket-holding participants will be able to visit 12 wineries to receive a wine tasting (or spirits tasting at a winery/distillery) and light hors d'oeuvres. Festivities on the self-guided tour will include music, a unique holiday ornament from each winery, and Holiday Spirit contest prizes.
With more than half our member wineries participating, the NH Jingle Bells Winery Tour is a great way to celebrate finishing your 2023 Wine Trail Passport. If you don’t have one yet, be sure to start one next year. It’s a wonderful way to visit and get to know all our member wineries. In the meantime, cheers to you and your holiday season, however you toast it!