Alumni Tale: Graham Hamblett ’98

What did you study at UNH?

Horticulture technology at the Thompson School

What were you doing one year out of college?

Just prior to me graduating, I  found what was slated to be a seasonal job at a local winery, Flag Hill Winery and Vineyard, working the grape vines. A year later I was managing the vineyard taking my education in horticulture and expanding it to grow wine grapes in New Hampshire.

What were you doing five years out of college?

I was still employed at Flag Hill with some direct involvement with the vineyard, but had spent the previous years working in the cellars learning the art of winemaking. So, by five years out of UNH I was the winemaker and by this point we had begun distilling small lots of our extra wine into brandy to blend into our port wine.

What were you doing 10 years out of college?

I had continued my employment at Flag Hill Winery, Vineyard and now Distillery. By 2008 the company had purchased more modern distilling equipment and I was the lead winemaker and distiller. I was no longer just making wine but now spirits such as vodka, gin, brandy and liqueurs.

What are you doing now?

After 15 years of working at Flag Hill I decided to venture out of the beautiful state of New Hampshire to continue my love for distilling in Delaware. I am currently the lead distiller for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Small Batch Spirits making different styles of rum, vodka and gin, with more to come.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

As a sort of lost soul coming out of high school, I believe my time at UNH gave me the opportunity to grow on a personal level while giving me a chance to be exposed to a wide range of classes which helped me pinpoint a path I wanted to travel down for the rest of my life. I don’t doubt my time at UNH opened doors for me to find a passion that I otherwise would have never found.