It’s National Wine Day and we’re here to give you the inside scoop into one of the White Mountains premiere wineries, Seven Birches Winery. It may be hard to understand how delicious wine can be crafted in the White Mountains, where wine grapes don’t natively grow, but we did the dirty work and got to the bottom of the wine barrel to find out.
The pungent aroma of fermented grapes hangs in the air as you approach the door to Seven Birches Winery. It is a dark, fruity smell that makes the mouth both water and pucker.
After several years as a part time operation, Seven Birches Winery launched at its RiverWalk Resort location in 2016 with the White Mountains as its backdrop and more space for a Tasting Room with deck and wine-making facility on-site.
Mark LaClair, owner, and winemaker at Seven Birches Winery showed us around the winery as well as the test vineyard, (yes, you read that right), where grape plants are in various stages of growth, and are part of a multi-year process of growing. LaClair brought us through the process of turning fresh grapes into bottles of wine.
LaClair explained that step one of the winemaking process is to gather grapes, (or fruit of choice), and those are sourced from around the world. “In the fall we will use Northern grapes; California, Washington, Europe, etc., and in the spring, we will get them from South America. We just got them the other week from Chile”. Along with the red and white varietals, Seven Birches also delves into seasonal fruit wines, such as strawberry and blueberry, and they use local berries in each bottle. Their latest venture, Rhythm Ciders uses local apples in crafting their ciders as well as local artists for creating their vibrant labels.
One may think that after the wine is bottled, it is ready for the shelf, and that is not quite true. “All the reds go into barrels for long term aging and the whites go right to bottle.” LaClair, said. Red varietals will typically spend 2 years aging in the bottle before heading to the shelf and whites only take about a year.
Seven Birches now offers two distinct locations to try their wines and ciders, as well as to purchase their products and an assortment of locally made foods and artisan gifts. The Tasting Room at Seven Birches Winery is not only where the wine is made, but it is also open daily for wine tastings and their signature Meet the Winemaker’s Tour, where you get a behind the scenes look at the winemaking process. The Atrium Wine Bar offers both an outdoor patio space as well as their indoor “Studio” where guests can enjoy a glass of wine, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a chill vibe with friends.
What is the next step for this ever-growing operation? According to the Seven Birches team, they will soon be breaking ground on a 10,000 square foot facility where they will be moving their wine-making operations. (That means more wine and cider!)
You can learn more about tours, tastings, how to join their Wine Club, and to find out more on their blog by visiting www.SevenBirchesWinery.com