Saturday, July 13, 2013
Stone Gate Vineyard in the Gilford, NH
As many of you know I spend many of my weekends at the Lakes Region on Lake Winnepesaukee in NH and have always talked about visiting some of the wineries up here, but really never took the time to do so. Last year I attended a fun event on the Mount Washington where you could taste many of the wines from local wineries and I was pleasantly surprised by many of them. I decided to start exploring some of these vineyards by visiting there estates. Today, I started with Stone Gate Vineyards in Gilford, NH.
I chose Stone Gate Vineyards first because I had heard they were closing after this season ends in November. We met the owners and winemaker, Peter and Jane Ellis, at their lovely vineyard tucked away in Gilford. They were established in 2002 and what began as a hobby has now become another career for him and his wife after retirement. It's time for them to move on and be able to have some freedom to travel. Even though they are only open on the weekends and weekdays by appointment, making wine is a year round job and is labor intensive and with them being the only workers it's a lot to manage. They put on a beautiful addition to their house where in the garage is where all the grapes are in tanks and all the production and labeling takes place. Above is a tasting room decorated beautifully with very creative flooring and artwork on the walls.
We tried the full list of wines that were offered, including 10 whites and reds. These are cold climate grapes that many are probably not as familiar with as what you see in wine shops. Grapes such as Seyval, Cayuga, Steuben, Niagara, Marechal Foch and Frontenac. He has a small vineyard on his land, but most of his grapes are bought from NY and their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are purchased from CA. He even has a wine made from apples by a local orchard right around the corner that was pretty tasty. He even said that he bastes his pork chops in it. Yummy!
He produces about 500 cases a year and doesn't distribute it so make sure you stop on by and visit them before it is closed. It's always fun experimenting with different wineries and regions and the way that wine is produced in different soils and climates.