Who would have thought of New England as having a wine region? I didn’t know this, until when I looked for things to do in Rhode Island during my New England road trip and found out that there are some vineyards located in Southeastern part of New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island). The climate at the southern coast of New England apparently is similar to the northern coast region of France, so they are able to grow some varietals of grapes for winemaking. I thought this was pretty interesting, so I decided to include a visit to one of the oldest vineyards there, the Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
I visited Sakonnet Vineyards on an early Monday afternoon, so there were hardly anyone visiting at that time. When I arrived at the tasting room, there were two couples in the middle of their tasting session. I found out that they were from Boston, and they were in the area for a long weekend checking out Sakonnet and several other vineyards in the area. When it came to my turn to taste the wine, I was the only guest left, so I got to chat with the winery staff about their winemaking venture in New England. One of them happened to be the owner herself, so I had good conversation with her and learned that she was working in high-paced life in New York City prior to moving to Rhode Island to ‘slow down’ and start Sakonnet Vineyards. We also had good conversation about the impact of New England climate on the vineyards (such as the freak snowstorm that happened the night before my visit). She said since their vines had been around for more than 30 years, they’re more adapted to the local climate. Some of their newer neighbors were not as fortunate and might had lost some to the inclement weather.
After tasting their wonderful varieties of wine, I asked if they had tours of the winery scheduled. They did have tours scheduled, but since the next one was not until later that day, and I mentioned that I couldn’t wait that long since I needed to continue my road trip, the manager offered to give me a winery tour right then. It ended up to be a personal tour just for me — quite a nice treat / hospitality from them.
The photo below was taken just outside their Hospitality Center. I would definitely recommend a visit to this place especially if you’re a wine aficionado. Try their Rhode Island Red; I thought that was among the best red wines I had ever tasted.