Founded in 1975, Sakonnet Vineyard
rests on 150 acres of land, 30 of which
wines for over four decades. Our
grapes are grown locally, picked by hand, and barrel-aged in French,
Hungarian, Russian and American oak.
Nestled between two waterways,
Sakonnet has distinct maritime
conditions. Cool air
a humid subtropical climate—rarely
found in northern America.
conditions foster a longer
ripening season and a
Sakonnet's soils are more
mineral-based with fewer nutrients,
which allows for heartier, deeper-rooted vines. The grapes are
slow to develop, and mature into a
fruit with low
sugar levels and
high acidity—maximizing freshness
and a depth of flavor.
Early-morning winds blow in from the
water, lowering temperatures and
wicking away the
morning dew. Salty
sea breezes, occasional rains,
and rolling fog all lend unmistakable, striking flavors to the grapes at
New England's oldest vineyard.
Elaine joined Sakonnet in 1984
as a field worker. In 1995, she
and worked, for ten years, with
a pair of expert winemakers,
John Sotelo and
Butzke. When Dr. Butzke
left in 2005, Elaine took over
as Winemaker, and
contributed over 30 years of
vineyard and winery experience
In 1985, Lorraine ("Pumpkin") was hired as a field worker. She was promoted to Assistant
Vineyard Manager in 1995, working closely with Joetta Kirk, an authority on east coast
viticulture. After Kirk retired, Lorraine became Vineyard Manager, growing to be an
in viticultural practices in
the eastern industry.
Take a peek behind the scenes with our Restoration Tour. Throughout, you’ll see some of the
that has been done by hundreds of talented crafts people, many of whom are based right here
in little Rhode Island! You’ll see the beautiful architecture of one of Newport’s most eccentric
houses, a 44,000 foot bachelor pad designed more for the horses than for the people.
You’ll also hear about the lives of its original owners, Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont
and his second wife, Alva Erksine Smith Vanderbilt Belmont.