LEE — The New Hampshire Winery Association recently honored the New Hampshire Liquor Commission and Chairman Joseph Mollica at the association’s fifth annual meeting hosted by Flag Hill Winery and Distillery.
Also presented 2013 certificates of appreciation were Dick Walker of Walker Fruit Farms, a supplier to a number of the wineries; and Bob Mignarri, a writer for the New England Wine Gazette.
The award to NHLC was in recognition of a new rack and point-of-sale program introduced last year in state liquor and wine outlets that prominently features local wines near checkout lanes.
Two wineries and four to six products are featured in the display area along with marketing materials from each winery. Every New Hampshire winery has an opportunity to participate as the displays are rotated every three or four months.
NHLC provides the premium floor space, and wineries are responsible for producing the racks and developing the point of sale materials.
“Winemaking started as a hobby, but when I was in business school it quickly turned into a passion and is now a family business,” said Lewis Eaton, winemaker and owner of Sweet Baby Vineyard in East Kingston. “The rack and point-of-sale program has catapulted our sales. In 2013 we sold a record 3,000 cases, and we are on track to hit 4,000 cases this year.”
Past recipients of the association’s certificate of appreciation include Mckinnon’s Market in Salem and Portsmouth in 2012, recognized for retail support; and state Rep. Stephen Palmer, R-Milford, recognized in 2011 for legislative support.