New Hampshire is a relatively new wine-producing state with just three commercial wineries, Jewell Towne Vineyards, Flag Hill Winery and Candia Vineyards, each making wine from locally grown grapes. Despite its short history, New Hampshire wines have already caught the international eye with Jewell Towne earning over 40 medals in prestigious international competitions.
A selection of French hybrid varieties grows successfully in the northern New England climate, including Seyval, Vignoles, Cayuga, DeChaunac, Marechal Foch and Vidal, as well as some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The two oldest wineries - Jewell Towne and Flag Hill - both bottled their first vintage in 1994, beginning with as little as 40-50 cases but building to several thousand today. Along with the quality grape wines being produced, an interesting complement of fruit wines is also being made. Experimenting with local specialties, a sweet dessert wine has even been fashioned from pure maple syrup.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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