In June of 2015, right along the charming shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, The Common Man Family and Martignetti Companies of NH hosted the 10th Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival. The event brought in thousands from all over the country, as they sipped on more than a hundred different vintners from around the world and paired them with chef-selected dishes from area restaurants. Every year, the annual festival is one of the biggest events in the Lake Winnipesaukee, but for wine lovers it is just one in a bevy of reasons why this charming waterfront area has become one of the nation’s best kept secrets for wine lovers.

Over the past several years, Lake Winnipesaukee has become a haven for those living along the east coast, in search of a peaceful, beautiful waterfront retreat that provides an escape from big city life, yet all of the luxuries of today’s modern world. However, the natural landscapes of this stunning area of New Hampshire also provides the ideal environment for area vineyards to grow and develop some of the region’s best wines. For the true wine lover, there are several places to visit outside of Lake Winnipesaukee’s annual wine festival, in order to get a taste of some of the best wines that this area of New Hampshire has to over.

Hermit Woods Winery

This charming boutique winery is located right along Main Street in Meredith, New Hampshire. This winery not only offers locally grown fruit and raw honey, but products from their organic vineyard in Sanbornton. Hermit Woods strives to work closely with local pickers and farmers to create the best wines possible for a variety of pallets. Those visiting the local shop, can stop by the tasting room to sample some of the winery’s best creations and to learn about the creative process behind some of their most innovative blends. Hermit Woods is known not only for classic creations, but for inventive, fruity wines that use everything from pears to blueberries to create a one-of-a-kind taste.

Many of the Hermit Woods Winery products are also available in local wine shops and restaurants around the greater Lake Winnipesaukee area. Visitors can also take a tour of the winery’s local shop, learn about the fermenting process, sip on samples and buy products right from the Main Street location.

Haunting Whisper Vineyards

Located just minutes outside of Lake Winnipesaukee lies the Haunting Whisper Vineyard. This 75 acre vineyard not only specializes in creating local wines using innovative fruit blends, but the company has just announced plans to open a distillery and start manufacturing spirits as well.

At the winery’s mountainside vineyard, visitors can take a tour of the fields, learn about the creation process and sample some of the winery’s most popular items. Their list of wines include beverages such as their popular Frontenac gris Rose, the Stone Gate White and the full-bodied Winnipesaukee Red. The winery also takes locally sourced fruits to create special blends such as their Apple, Blueberry, Blackberry and Cranberry wines.

This massive farm provides the perfect retreat for those visiting Lake Winnipesaukee who not only want to see how some of the area’s best wines are created but to take in the beautiful mountain landscapes of New Hampshire.

Newfound Lake Vineyards

Newfound Lake Vineyards Vineyard is located just minutes from the coast of Lake Winnipesaukee, and their annual batch of wines have become some of the most coveted libations in the area. This local vineyard sits on top of a hill on a former dairy farm and is known for its classic creations that have a hint of German twist to them.

The owners are first generation Americans that come from a German family known for producing wine in their native country. The winery takes these influences and creates specialty wines from home-grown grapes and other local fresh fruit. Some of the winery’s most famous creations include their Cranberry Bog, Wild Blue Oak and Wicked Good Red. They, of course, also craft classics such as Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Grigio.

Newfound Lake Vineyard hosts tours, has a local shop to buy products and other seasonal products right on their property.

Gilmanton Winery

Gilmanton Winery is a New Hampshire wine lover’s paradise. In addition to boasting rows of grapes, and a wine shop filled with bottles and goodies, this winery also has its own restaurant and venue for weddings. Gilmanton is known for their sweet wines, which not only utilize their farm grown grapes but fruits like blueberries, peaches and strawberries. The winery has a collection of local favorite concoctions but their Girl’s Night Out and Green Apple Riesling are among their most sought-after wines for those who want a taste of something different in their glass.

For classic wine lovers, Gilmanton still makes their own Peyton Place Rose, a Merlot and a Cabernet Savignon, among other blends. Visit this local winery and vineyard for a tour, a lunch in their expansive restaurant or to sit down and try one of their wine tastings where you can not only sample the brand’s offerings but learn more about wine making and tasting during the process.

Of course, with so many wineries in the area, any person living in or visiting greater Lake Winnipesaukee area can take advantage of year round events and opportunities that allow wine lovers to indulge in the best the area has to offer. Throughout the year, M/S Mount Washington offers a handful of special evening cruises on the lake that allow visitors to sample wines from around the world, while local eateries not only bring area wines to their restaurants for special events, but bottles from all over the globe for their patrons to taste.

For the true wine lover that wants to experience the best that the creative New Hampshire wines have to offer, there is no better place to visit than Lake Winnipesaukee. The wines crafted in this region of the country hold a different, fruiter taste than those made on the West Coast and provide wine-lovers with a unique opportunity to indulge in flavorful creations that can only be found in this area of the country.