LaBelle Winery News
Let’s Talk Wine: LaBelle Winery – A N.H. Success Story
LaBelle Winery: a N.H. success story
Last week, I attended the fifth annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium (WWLS) in New York City. Their mission is to empower and educate women in the wine industry through a series of panel discussions and wine tastings. The WWLS, hosted by The Winebow Group, is the first event of its kind with winemakers from around the world, sommeliers, retailers, educators and journalists. (www.thewinebowgroup.com)
The keynote address was by the Honorable Analisa Torres, a United States District Judge, and wine enthusiast with a long law career in New York. Here in New Hampshire, Amy LaBelle, also with a long law career, created LaBelle Winery, in Amherst, over ten years ago.
Amy’s love for wine began during a winery tour while traveling through Nova Scotia. She instantly became intrigued with the concept of winemaking and made her first batch of wine in her Boston apartment. Amy learned about winemaking by spending hours upon hours educating herself through books on wine while practicing winemaking. She then took four years of classes at UC Davis, one of the finest viticulture programs in the world.
In 2005, Amy launched a small commercial production of apple wine at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, N.H. She poured her wines at farmers’ markets, wine tastings and local retail shops. The wines sold out every year receiving praises and medals both locally and nationally. Amy then moved the winery to a small red barn behind her home in Amherst. Wine production doubled and in 2012 she officially retired from her law career. That same year, she and her husband, Cesar Arboleda, opened an amazing 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art winery, starting with three acres of their own planted grape vineyards and an on-site event center.
LaBelle Winery produces 30 different wines from sparkling wines to dry and semi-sweet traditional red and white grape wines, port, dessert and cooking wines. The “Americus” is a tribute to the American dream, made from the noiret grape grown in their own vineyard and blended with cabernet franc, giving the wine depth and boldness. This is a great autumn red wine.
For their fruit wines, LaBelle specializes in transforming the juiciest New England fruit into fresh, crisp, fine wines that closely reflect its original fruit. These wines consist of tasteful blends of fruits such as apple, cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, peach, apricot and more.
At LaBelle Winery, you can take informative tours followed by a wine tasting in the grand tasting room or out on the terrace heated by a custom-built fire bowl overlooking the vineyards. Clearly, a great way to spend a beautiful autumn day.
Growth and perfection drives Amy. Her travels changed her direction in life, today making her one of the most interesting and successful women in New Hampshire. There’s no doubt that 2016 is one of the greatest years for women in leadership roles.