by GSA Roberta Wells, The Hotel Concord Class of 2019
A little off the beaten path, between two major roads (Rts 106 and Rt 140) you can find the Gilmanton Winery. This property was once owned by Grace Metalious – the biggest secret teller of them all – the author of Peyton Place.
Situated on a dirt road in some very picturesque farm country with great views in the surrounding area, it is well worth the trip to find this gem. This morning my husband and I drove over there to enjoy a sumptuous, family style brunch that they do every Sunday, year round. You start off with a plate of fresh fruit with a yummy dip. Next up is the small fried dough which is like a soft, sugary donut. This is followed by a slice of french toast with real maple syrup and two slices of delicious perfectly cooked bacon. The main serving of farm fresh scrambled eggs topped with cheese with a side of homemade fried potatoes and a Hawaiian sweet bread roll topped with sausage gravy. This sounds like a lot of food, but the portions are just right and you are of course welcome to take any left overs home. This morning’s dessert offering was fresh apple crisp. (We decided to save that for tonight’s dinner). They also have an a la carte menu for those with a smaller appetite.
Of course as the name implies, they are a winery and you can see some of the vines planted right out in front of the house. You will probably meet Marshall the wine maker while you are their as he tries to greet most guests. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays you can go there just to taste the wines and perhaps have one of their lite bite offerings such as cheese and crackers or a charcuterie board. Also look for their specialty dinners offered several times a year. Coming up they have their Military Dinner on November 6th before Veteran’s Day. They are also planning for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.
While you are there, take the opportunity to drive around the surrounding countryside for some of the best long distance views in the state. You may also find the near by Lindon Garlic Farm (whose products can be found at local Farmer’s Markets) or Twillingate Farm for Goat Products such as soap & cheese.
[Directions for a short scenic loop: Coming from Belmont, take Rt 106 to Allen’s Mill Road, turn left onto Shellcamp Road, to Meadow Pond Road. Gilmanton Winery is #528 just up on the right. After your visit, continue down to the end of Meadow Pond Road to Loudon Ridge Road where there is a panoramic scenic vista. In season for some local produce turn right onto Loudon Ridge Road stop in at the small farmstand and Ridgeland Farm to the right (best corn I had all summer). From here you can continue on back to Rt 106 or, reverse course and head back down Meadow Pond Road, passing the Winery and crossing Shellcamp Road continuing north. Along the way you will pass by the scenic Shellcamp Pond. Continue to Rt 140 and turn left. This will take you back to Rt 106.]