Most people do not associate wineries, vineyards and winemaking with New Hampshire. This is with good reason; we have very fertile soil, it rains too much and our winters last eight months. These are not exactly premium wine producing conditions, but somehow Flag Hill Winery makes it work.
Since 1996, Flag Hill has been producing wine on their beautiful estate in Lee, NH. During this time they have been able to find ways to adapt their vines to the harsh and variable New England winters. Like many New England wineries, Flag Hill has to rely on unique varietals or grapes and partially on fruit wines. For those of you who do not prefer fruit wines, they have a nice line of more traditional wines as well.
Expect to see names such as Vignoles and Marechal Foch stocked on their shelves rather than Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Do not be dismayed, they make some comforting and carefully crafted wines. These varietals have been selected due to the way they adapt themselves to the colder climate and overly generous soil. The most notable of these unique varietals are the Cayuga and Seyval Blanc, which were a crisp and vibrant revelation. However, it was the North River Port that was the biggest surprise of all. The spices, almond and caramel jump from this six year, oak-aged delight!
Every year, Flag Hill hosts a Harvest Fest. They welcome guests into their vineyard to help them bring in the grapes. Typically, tickets for this event are around $10 per person. It takes place towards the end of September or early October. If you are looking for something fun to do, make this it. It is not often that someone can say that they have helped in a winery’s grape harvest! If you are interested in attending, be sure to sign-up to receive the details and the date of the event (dates change year to year depending on when the grapes are ready for harvesting).
If you are looking for a unique wine experience, Flag Hill is definitely worth the quick drive (about 40 minutes from Nashua). You will leave with a renewed appreciation for New Hampshire wine and hopefully with a bottle of their North River Port!
Flag Hill Winery
297 North River Road
Lee, NH 03861