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Construction firm wins award for winery project

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

October 23. 2013 9:39PM
Fulcrum Associates of Amherst is being recognized for its construction of the new LaBelle Winery and event center in Amherst. KIMBERLY HOUGHTON 

Construction crews install the dance floor to the ballroom at the LaBelle Winery and Event Center in September 2012. Fulcrum Associates of Amherst will be honored today with an award for its work on the project.UNION LEADER FILE

AMHERST — A local construction firm is receiving an award and major kudos for its work on the new LaBelle Winery and event center along Route 101.

Fulcrum Associates of Amherst was selected by the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont to receive their highest honor — an Excellence in Construction Award — for the winery and event center.

Fulcrum Associates, along with other award winners, will be honored on Thursday at the annual awards celebration at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord.

LaBelle Winery opened its new 20,000-square-feet facility last fall, fulfilling a lifelong dream for Amy LaBelle, a lawyer turned wine-maker and business owner. The winery and function hall sits on an 11-acre site of farmland in Amherst near the Bedford town line.

“Fulcrum has an outstanding team. They saw the potential in the Bragdon Farm site, and had the knowledge and ability to organize all the many components to make my dream a reality,” LaBelle said in a release.

She described their work ethic as outstanding, adding LaBelle Winery was thrilled to work with a local construction firm based in Amherst.

“Everytime we get an award it is special,” said Bill Jean, Fulcrum director of business development, noting the local construction firm is receiving a separate award for its renovation of the former Nashua YMCA at 17 Prospect St., which is now used by Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.

It is not often that contratractors get the opportunity to construct a winery, said Jean. He said it was a unique chance to build an enjoyable and warm event facility in Southern New Hampshire.

“It requires a team to achieve excellence,” Jean said. “Fulcrum was fortunate to partner with a team of subcontractors and vendors that helped to realize the owners’ dream.”

With help from LaBelle’s husband and business partner, Cesar Arboleda, the winery produces more than 6,000 cases of 22 wine varieties annually. Their product is now sold in more than 200 stores in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Their new $4 million facility includes a spacious retail location and cafe, a luxurious event center, a modern winemaking facility and three acres of vineyards.

Perhaps the most spectacular feature of the winery is the large and bright ballroom, or great room, which is about 4,500-square-feet and includes a large dance floor and french doors that lead out to a large terrace.

Four unique spaces are available for various business meetings, baby showers, parties and other functions, including the great room, vintage room, gallery and winery. The great room can seat about 230 people, while other, more private rooms can accommodate up to 60 people.

khoughton@newstote.com


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