In a region known for tradition, Flag Hill Distillery & Winery holds a special place—the first legal distillery and the second winery to open after Prohibition. Today, Flag Hill’s vineyard is also the largest in the state, with twenty-one acres producing about 4,000 cases of wine annually in addition to the 2,000 cases of liquor (2011).
In today’s Meet the Makers post, let us introduce you to one of New Hampshire’s top wine and spirit producers. If Flag Hill isn’t making your favorite wine or spirit already, consider picking up one of our experts’ picks below and giving guests at your next event a little something special to discuss.
Flag Hill Distillery & Winery is located in Lee, New Hampshire. The land sits on a 110-acre conservation easement, preserving the unique locale for agriculture forever. The Flag Hill property was once a dairy farm, but completed its transition in 1987. As Flag Hill’s success has grown over the years, so has their farm and product line-up. For example, in 2004, Flag Hill Distillery began making vodka from New Hampshire’s infamous apples.
Rooted in quality
Today, the farm is owned by Brian Ferguson and his wife Maddie Ferguson and is used to produce grapes for the winery, grain for the distillery, and vegetables for events.
The vineyard itself is located on the Lamprey River, where New Hampshire’s cool fall temperatures produce high-quality grapes for intense, aromatic white wines. Harvesting in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit allows Flag Hill to avoid the warmer temperatures that harm these wines’ distinctive floral aromas.
“We make all kinds of stuff, but we’re hyper-focused on aromatic white wines,” says owner Brian Ferguson. “We grow all the grapes for our white wine production here. We highly recommend that you come by and check it out!”
The winery grows French-American hybrids such as DeChaunac, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles, as well as American hybrids such as Cayuga White and La Crescent. Like the vineyard’s owners and neighbors, these varietals thrive despite northern New England’s cold winters.
Flag Hill grows grain on their farm. An agreement between Flag Hill and Coppal House Farm to share land and equipment allows Flag Hill to produce higher quality products while lowering the impact on the environment through proper crop rotation. The arrangement is one of the many examples of Flag Hill’s self-professed dedication to a simple question: “What will make this better?”
As Flag Hill notes, “Everything at Flag Hill is rooted in quality. We don’t do things just for tradition’s sake, and we don’t forfeit traditions just to be recklessly innovative.”
Being devoted to high-quality, locally sourced ingredients in a region steeped in history has had the added benefit of making the location ideal as a venue. Flag Hill hosts vineyard tours, tastings, picnics, weddings, and dining. The indoor venue has the classic Yankee rustic feel—a post and beam barn perfect for smaller intimate weddings or corporate dinners and events—while the tented venue offers a unique vista overlooking twenty acres of vines, a full commercial kitchen, and an executive chef and event coordinator to assist.
New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet loves working with our local distilleries and winemakers! Watch a live session we did with Flag Hill to create five cocktails for Love & Libations Week 2021.
Support Flag Hill and New Hampshire producers by adding a conversation starter to your next wine or spirit occasion: one of our experts’ updated picks from Flag Hill’s selection.
- Flag Hill Distillery & Winery Cayuga White
- Flag Hill Distillery & Winery Cayuga Sparkling White Wine
- Flag Hill Distillery & Winery Apple Cranberry
- Flag Hill Distillery & Winery Sparkling Apple Cranberry
- Flag Hill Distillery & Winery Red Raspberry Fruit Wine
- Flag Hill Distillery Cranberry Liqueur
- Flag Hill Distillery Sugar Maple Liqueur
- Flag Hill Distillery Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Flag Hill Distillery Karner Blue Gin
- Flag Hill Distillery General John Stark Vodka
- Flag Hill Distillery Spiced Rum
And of course, consider visiting Flag Hill Distillery & Winery’s beautiful grounds. Learn more at their website to start planning your next tasting, event, or tour.