SeacoastOnline.com: Amy LaBelle opens Portsmouth’s first winery
By JoAnn Actis-Grande
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at 3:01 AM | Updated Sep 22, 2017 at 10:42 AM
Native New Englander, Amy LaBelle, will open the first wine tasting room in downtown Portsmouth this week, located next to the Music Hall at 104 Congress St. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 20.
LaBelle Winery Portsmouth will be home to wine tastings, a wine and gift shop featuring a full line of culinary products including jams, jellies & sauces (made with LaBelle wine), honey harvested from on-site beehives, custom blended coffee, pure vanilla extract, various wine accessories, drink and cook books, and more.
In addition, there will be an art gallery (The Art Gallery at LaBelle Winery.) All artists are local to New Hampshire and the art is for sale. Sarah Chaffee of McGowan Fine Art manages both the new gallery in Portsmouth and at the winery in Amherst, N.H.
There will be art talks, private parties, showers, birthdays, along with corporate events and team building activities such as wine blending as well as many other programs.
Amy LaBelle’s love for wine began during a winery tour while traveling through Nova Scotia. Self-taught, LaBelle spent hours reading through wine books while practicing winemaking. She then took four years of classes at UC Davis in California – one of the finest viticulture programs in the world.
LaBelle began winemaking in 2005 with a small commercial production of apple wine at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, N.H. She poured her wines at farmer’s markets, wine tastings, and local retail shops. The wines sold out every year receiving praises and medals both locally and nationally. LaBelle then moved the winery to a small red barn behind her home in Amherst.
Wine production doubled by 2012 when she officially retired from a law career. That same year, she and her husband, Cesar Arboleda, opened an amazing 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art winery in Amherst, with three acres of their own planted vineyards, with an on-site event center, and bistro style restaurant with a fabulous outdoor patio that’s heated for cool autumn evenings.
LaBelle Winery produces over 30 different wines from sparkling wines to dry and semi-sweet traditional red and white grape wines, port and dessert wines. The “Americus” – a wine 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.
LaBelle fruit wines specialize 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.
The 2017 annual Harvest in Amherst is scheduled for October 1. Harvest is a very special day at LaBelle Winery and Amy LaBelle, Cesar Arboleda, staff, and LaBelle Vineyard Club members will come together for a fun morning of grape picking followed by crush, and then a delicious celebratory brunch buffet.
Growth and perfection drives Amy LaBelle. Her travels changed her direction in life, today making her one of the most interesting and successful women in New Hampshire.
LaBelle wines are world-class and will available at the new LaBelle Portsmouth Winery as well as the winery in Amherst, and many retail shops throughout New England. I’m so excited the winery is coming to the Seacoast!
— JoAnn Actis-Grande travels to many great wine regions all over the world writing about wine, travel, and lifestyles. She lives in Portsmouth and can be reached by email at – firstname.lastname@example.org
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