|LaBelle Winery employee Ginny Miller promoting local wines at the' Big E' in March.|
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY – A local boutique winery will join the fleet of local farm and vendor stands at Derry's downtown farmer's market today.
LaBelle Winery of Amherst has signed on to be a regular vendor at the fledgling market, which will now boasts 19 booths selling local fresh produce, handmade goods and locally manufactured products.
The award-winning winery, which produces about 3,500 bottles annually of 21 varieties, earned recognition at the 2010 Eastern States Expo, known as the Big E, taking home 14 medals, as well as earning four medals at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in New York.
Specializing in Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Seyval Blanc using grapes from the Finger Lakes region, owner Amy LaBelle said she takes most pride in crafting wines made exclusively from fruit grown locally in New Hampshire.
Having a venue like the downtown market is ideal.
“We were looking for a good Wednesday night market to join, and this will be one of the best spots for us to focus our energies on,” said LaBelle.
Strategically, Derry provides a strong connection to new customers who might not otherwise know they exist.
“Farm markets in summer are such a vibrant place – the sun is shining, the people are upbeat. We have a chance to let people know they don't have to go to Napa to get good quality wine,” LaBelle said.
“We're coming in with full guns blazing, probably bringing our top 15 varieties so people will get a good flavor for what we do,” LaBelle said.
To sweeten the deal, she will be offering a Vintage Rewards Card to farm market customers who will get a $10 discount after a dozen purchases.
“In this economy, people can't afford to buy wine by the case, which usually sells at a 10 percent discount, so it's just one more way we're looking to get customers to try us out,” LaBelle said.