Winemaker Amy LaBelle and husband Cesar Arboleda, co-owners of LaBelle Winery in Amherst and Portsmouth, purchased Brookstone Events & Golf in Derry.
The Brookstone property, to be renamed LaBelle Winery Derry, will undergo significant renovations beginning in December 2020 with the intention of creating a Champagne house, a market place, a wedding and event center and a restaurant. The property is home to a large natural pond with a fountain, which will be a focal point for the restaurant and event venue.
“LaBelle Winery Amherst, our flagship property, has grown exponentially since we opened in 2012. LaBelle Winery Derry will complement our Amherst operation well. It hasn’t been easy to find the perfect property and location to grow our business, but we’ve found it here,” LaBelle says.
LaBelle’s plans for Brookstone include renovating the property to give it an “artisan village” ambiance. Improvements will include updating the event center’s facade and interior with steel and wood tones, giving the building a modern yet classic look. The "village" will be home to several outdoor and indoor gathering areas, including a 9-hole par-3 golf course, which will be open to the public as well as offer memberships, and a miniature golf course. A 3-acre vineyard with an adjoining performance space, and an area for private wedding ceremonies are also planned.
Grapes varieties to be planted in the new vineyard include Itasca, Petit Pearl and Cayuga, all of which are cold-hardy hybrid grapes suited to New England's climate. The vines will produce fruit for winemaking approximately two years from the time of planting, which is planned for May or June 2021.
LaBelle also intends to build a Champagne house, which will include a tasting room and a space where a new line of sparkling wines will be produced. “The tasting room will wrap around the production and aging experience,” LaBelle says. “It will require additional equipment and riddling racks that we don’t have space for in our Amherst location.”
Distinguishing features of the Brookstone property include its two wedding and event venues, one accommodating more than 300 guests, and the other accommodating 150. An education center, where guests can take cooking and beverage-making classes as well as many other lifestyle classes, is also planned. The education center will also be ideal for corporate use.
“Our goal is to create one of the best wedding and event venues in the area,” LaBelle says.
The updated family-friendly restaurant will have an upscale casual feel, including a 50-person private dining room. The menu will include healthy farm-to-table American cuisine and wood-fired pizzas.
LaBelle Winery Derry will also be home to a retail marketplace offering onsite shopping for take-home gourmet prepared foods, platters for catering, and LaBelle's “The Winemaker's Kitchen” line of culinary products such as jams, sauces, seasonings and sodium-free cooking wines. Products offered from other premier partners will include fine chocolates, cheeses, artisan breads, flowers and gifts.
Numerous flower, herb and vegetable gardens, which will provide products to be used in the restaurant and market, will also be established on the property.
The golf course, miniature golf course and event center will reopen in April 2021, with the restaurant and retail marketplace opening the following June, and the winery tasting room opening in July.
Multiple grand opening events are planned.