I was in the shower one morning and was obviously thinking about how much I missed Tuscany, specifically how I couldn’t just take a ride into the beautiful countryside to taste the impeccable wines of Chianti. What was I going to do for summer entertainment?
Then, mid-shampoo, I came to a realization. My home state of New Hampshire actually has a decent amount of wineries itself. From the Seacoast to the Vermont border, New Hampshire is scattered with local, entrepreneurial wineries, waiting for New Englanders to visit.
The New Hampshire Wine Tour was born, and this is the first stop. So come along for the ride!
We drove along the winding roads of New Hampshire, windows down, and the sun shining, to find Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown. I didn’t have high expectations, knowing nothing could compare to the villas and vineyards I had visited previously in Italy. Still open-minded and thirsty for some wine, we drove up the scenic entrance way and were greeted immediately with breathing taking views of the matured vines.
Forgetting about my thirst, we galloped down the stairs and right into the vineyard to take some pictures. After running around like kids in a candy store, we finally landed in the tasting room to try a selection of 30 Zorvino wines and at $3 per person and 9 total wines, I felt like I had just hit the lotto..
Here is what we tried! (Don’t worry, I will reveal my favorites after.)
White Wines, easy drinking for all occasions ranging from dry, off-dry, and sweet.
Skinny Guinea Pinot Grigio: Medium dry, full bodied, a top selling white wine at Zorvino.
Skinny Guinea White: 100% Unoaked Chardonnay. Tropical fruit flavors, and excellent with Asian food. Tasted hints of popcorn kernels, and a creamy buttery flavor.
Fruit Wines, fruity but not too sweet, slightly tart finish. Each sip tastes like you’re eating fresh fruit.
Peachez: Like eating fresh peaches. A perennial best selling fruit wine at Zorvino. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed drinking this fruit wine, perfect for summer in a spritzer or by itself.
Cranbreez: Extremely tart and high in antioxidants, made with local Massachusetts cranberries. The tastes were like being on a roller coaster, flavorful at the beginning and then quickly dropping to extremely tart and sour-just like eating cranberries. It reminded me the most of eating the candy, Sweet Tarts.
Red Wines, from soft and supple to bold and brawny…wine for any occasions or meal.
Dancing Guinea Datz Amore: Zorvino’s special Baby Amarone wine, a superb blend of clove and nutmeg tones, while also being very light and smooth. Not my favorite of the bunch, the caramel and raisin aromas were too overpowering, accompanied with strong hints of Amaretto.
Carmenere: What a unique wine! Spiced with black pepper tones and great with anything coming off hot from the grille. My sensory memories were triggered, I could smell the summer breeze, the big bowl of potato salad at a Summer BBQ, and the deep smells of burning charcoal.
Blends, fruit blended with Zorvino’s own New Hampshire grown grapes.
Bacca Z: Bacca meaning ‘Berry’ in Italian, is a blackberry blend that is the #2 bestseller.
Fragole Z: Fragole meaning ‘Strawberry” in Italian, is like drinking a fresh fruit salad. It tops Bacca, with being the #1 bestseller for blends at Zorvino.
Dessert Wines, locally grown products made in high quality small batches to enjoy after dinner.
Jumping Jack’s Pumpkin Wine: Made with local NH pumpkins and tastes just like a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Flavor is perfectly orchestrated, not too overpowering and hits the palate just right to satisfy for something sweet.
Choco Straw Port Wine: Made with Zorvino grapes and blended with milk chocolate, a touch of strawberry & fortified to 18% alcohol. This is one not to miss when visiting!
I adored the Peachez fruit wine, which I am still perplexed by – I am not a sweet wine person at all. It combined the quality properties of drinking wine with fresh and true fruit flavors, while not relying on sugar for taste. I’m itching to go back to try more of their other 10 fruit wines, such as Pearz, Raspberriez, Cherriez, Papa Z’s Bluez, Pom-Z-Granite, and even Apple Mapplez.
My three favorites of the tasting were the Peachez, Carmenere, and the Choco Straw Port Wine. I regret not snagging a bottle of the Choco Straw, it was amazing and definitely opened my eyes to appreciating dessert wines.
After our tasting we bought a small bottle of Zorvino’s Montepulciano, grabbed a few glasses, and enjoyed it out in in the vineyard. First we relaxed at the shaded tables out on the patio, and then returned to roaming around the vines and discovering more of the grounds.
After walking around we decided to jump up to the gorgeous gazebo and take in some final views of the vineyard and estate.
The first stop was sure a hard one to beat. Follow along to see the what’s next along the tour and comment any of your favorite wineries you may have visited in New England!