Wine Week: World’s top winemakers to make NH their January home

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The Winter Wine Spectacular is expected to draw a capacity crowd of more than 1,600 guests this year.
The Winter Wine Spectacular is expected to draw a capacity crowd of more than 1,600 guests this year.

CONCORD, NH – For a week in January, New Hampshire will become indistinguishable from Napa, Tuscany and Bordeaux, thanks to the influx of more than 60 of the world’s leading winemakers, who will participate in the 12th annual NH Wine Week. The event is hosted by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC).

From January 23 to 27, wine lovers will have the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the true greats of the wine world at wine tastings and intimate dinners, seminars where they will explore new and old world Cabernet or attend one of New England’s preeminent wine events – the Easterseals Winter Wine Spectacular, on Jan. 26.

A full list of winemaker appearances and event details are available online at

“The New Hampshire Liquor Commission strives to provide our consumers with unparalleled experiences that begin in our 79 NH Liquor & Wine Outlet retail locations and extend to informative, exclusive and entertaining events like NH Wine Week,” said NHLC Chairman Joseph Mollica. “While we are best known for our vast product selection at some of the most competitive prices in the country, our ability to create meaningful interactions between world-class winemakers and consumers is an experience unlike anywhere else. This has created a winning combination for consumers, winemakers and ultimately the state, as we saw a 3-percent increase in wine sales in fiscal year 2016, which reached $292.4 million.”

Steve Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines takes part in last year’s NH Wine Week.
Steve Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines takes part in last year’s NH Wine Week.

The week-long celebration of wine features a vast selection of events in every corner of the state. Attendees can experience intimate dinners such as the one scheduled for January 24 with award-winning chef and winemaker Maria Helm Sinskey, co-owner of Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa, who will share her experience as a world traveler, chef and wine expert with guests at the AAA Four Diamond Award winning Bedford Village Inn. Additional dinner locations include celebrated restaurants like The Foundry (New Hampshire’s largest certified farm to table restaurant), the Copper Door (Wine Spectator Award of Excellence), and the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa (winner of TripAdvisor’s 2016 Certificate of Excellence).

Guests may choose to participate in an interactive tasting experience of new and old world Cabernet varietals at Cellar Notes: A Cabernet Affair. The event features an all-star panel including Greg Morthole of Rodney Strong Vineyards, Justin Baldwin of Justin Vineyards, Lindsey Hoopes of Hoopes Vineyard, Mark Neal of Neal Family Vineyards, Marcus Notaro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and Guillaume Touton of Monsieur Touton Selections. These experts will share their knowledge and present wines in a seminar-style tasting with hors d’oeuvres on Wednesday, January 25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Puritan Conference Center in Manchester. Tickets cost $50 per person and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Easterseals NH programs and services. At the conclusion of the seminar, guests may purchase wines being presented for an exclusive bottle signing and photo opportunity.

Others may choose to meet their favorite winemakers and have a bottle signed at one of the state’s 79 NH Liquor & Wine Outlet locations.

Jon Emmerich, winemaker at Silverado Vineyards, pours a sample for Governor Maggie Hassan during last year’s Winter Wine Spectacular.
Jon Emmerich, winemaker at Silverado Vineyards, pours a sample for Governor Maggie Hassan during last year’s Winter Wine Spectacular.

NH Wine Week culminates with the 14th annual Easterseals Winter Wine Spectacular, the largest wine tasting event in northern New England featuring more than 1,800 wines for sampling and drawing more than 1,600 guests. Tickets are now on sale for the event which will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Thursday, January 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests will have the chance to sip, meet and learn alongside more than 60 wine personalities and enjoy delicious food from New Hampshire’s top restaurants. Tickets for the Grand Tasting cost $65 per person. Access to the Grand Tasting and the Bellman’s Cellar Select VIP tasting room cost $135 per person. Proceeds will benefit Easterseals New Hampshire.

“Since it launched in 2002, the Winter Wine Spectacular and related NH Wine Week events have raised $1.675 million for Easterseals New Hampshire. This vital funding has had a profound impact on our organization and we are incredibly grateful for the support of NHLC year after year,” said Christine Pederson, senior director of events and corporate relations for Easterseals New Hampshire, which provides services to ensure all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.

“It’s no wonder that interest in New Hampshire Wine Week continues to grow year after year. The remarkable week of tastings, seminars and celebrity appearances has truly turned New Hampshire into the ultimate wine lover’s destination,” said Lisa Gosselin, NHLC Wine Marketing Specialist. “Anyone who enjoys wine and is seeking to learn more about it, from casual sippers to wine aficionados, simply cannot miss this extraordinary week of events.”

Some of the 2017 NH Wine Week participants include:
  • Mark Neal, owner, Neal Family Vineyard
  • Maria Helm Sinskey, co-owner & culinary director, Robert Sinskey Vineyards
  • Howard Rossbauch, president & owner, Firesteed Wines
  • Peter Merriam, owner, Merriam Vineyards
  • Justin Baldwin, founder, Justin Vineyard & Winery
  • Aurelie Vix, US brand manager, Vranken Pommery
  • Geoff Whitman, John Anthony Family of Wines
  • Lamberto Frescobaldi, vice president, Frescobaldi
  • Marcus Notaro, winemaker, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
  • Antonio Zaccheo Jr., winemaker, Carpineto
  • Wendy Lange, owner & CEO, Lange Estate Winery
  • Guillaume Touton, president, Monsieur Touton Selections
  • Michael Honig, president, Honig Vineyards & Winery
  • Jon Emmerich, winemaker, Silverado Vineyard
  • Serge Dore, owner, Serge Dore Selections
  • Amelie Aubert, co-owner & winemaker, Aubert Family Wines
  • Greg Morthole, winemaker, Rodney Strong Vineyards & Davis Bynum
  • Steve & Lori Felton, owner &winemaker, Klinker Brick Winery
  • Chris Benzinger, partner, Benzinger Winery
  • Andrea Cecchi, owner & winemaker, Cecchi
  • Lindsay Hoopes, general manager, Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery

For a complete list of participants, more information on NH Wine Week events, and to purchase tickets, visit

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Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!