The 9th Annual Newport Mansions Food and Wine Festival will be held from September 19th to the 21st at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. A variety of events are held all weekend long, with the Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday as the main event.
The festivities start on Friday, September 19th with Wine and Rosecliff, a night of great music, food and vintages. Wines presented at this event are generally not found at the grand tastings. Some wineries showcasing their wines are: Villa Maria, Nicolas Gueillatte, Chateau d’Escalan, Sequoia Grove, Larkin Wines and others.
The Grand Tastings take place on the Marble House grounds on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Guests can enjoy hundreds of wines from around the world as well as food samples from many caterers and restaurants. A variety of celebrity chefs will be around for free demonstrations and book signings. This year, Sara Moulton and Martha Stewart will be among the celebrity chefs sharing their skills. There will be a silent auction for luxury goods and wines and each guest receives a souvenir glass.
Other events happening over the course of the weekend include: the Collectible Wine Dinner (Saturday, 7pm at the Elms), Newport After Dark (Saturday, 9pm, Forty One North), Winemaker brunch (Sunday, 1030am, Marble House) and a variety of wine seminars held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (Friday) and the Chinese Tea House at Marble House (Saturday and Sunday).
Greenvale Vineyards is located five miles from Newport, RI, along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth. Greenvale is one of three Vineyards in Newport County and is committed to producing fine wines as well as conserving open space. Listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this farm has been owned by the same family since 1863. In the beginning, this land was intended to be a 50 acre, self sustaining, family run operation. The combination of water, rich soil and temperate climate make Aquidneck Island the perfect place for farming and growing grapes for wine production.
Greenvale’s mission in simple: they want to maintain their historic farm by producing world class wines and selling them from their Tasting Room, which is a restored stable, as well as various locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At the Vineyard, they provide recreation and education to visitors while also focusing on the preservation of beautiful buildings and the conservation of open space.
Cortlandt and Nancy Parker, fourth generation farmers began growing grapes as a hobby in the 1960’s. About 20 years later, they recognized the pressure that farm land was facing on the Island and decided to develop a commercial vineyard in order to have a viable farming operation. They started growing their grapes for Sakonnet Vineyard, located in Little Compton, across the river. In the 90’s, with the help of their daughter and her husband, the Parkers set out to develop Greenvale’s own wine after hearing that their fruit was “too good” and should be produced under a Greenvale label. In 2000, the Stable at Greenvale Farms was restored, which allowed the farm and vineyard to be open for tours, tastings and music.
Greenvale produces 3, 500 cases of wine annually from grapes grown on 24 acres of farmland. All the harvesting is done by hand and the wine is produced right on Aquidneck Island and processed the old fashion way, in a basket press. Greenvale Vineyards produces seven types of wine including: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay Select, Greenvale Chardonnay, Elms Meritage, Greendale Vidal Blanc, Skipping Stone White and Rosecliff Pinot Gris.
What’s better than a nice relaxing evening, sitting on the porch, drinking a nice glass of wine after a busy day of cliff walking and mansion visits? For many of our guests the answer to that is, nothing. While there is no lack of liquor stores, you may find visiting the source to try some local wines more appealing.
The seeds of Newport Vineyards were planted in 1977 in a field that overlooks the Rhode Island Sound. The goal of the planters was to produce wine in order to save precious agricultural land from development. Aquidneck Island has one of the best growing climates, allowing for a long, cool growing season for the grapes. These first grapes were planted by Captain Richard Alexander who later teamed up with the Nunes family to build a winery in 1988. That same year their first vintage was produced. In 1995, When Alexander retired from wine making, the winery was aquired by John and Paul Nunes. It was then that they established the brand “Newport Vineyards”, which now encompasses 60 vineyard acres. Newport Vineyard wines have won many awards throughout the years and the most popular wine is their “Great White”. They have a large selection of white, red, blush, dessert, sparkling, and reserve wine, as well as their own brand of hard cider called “Rhody Coyote”.
Newport Vineyards is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm (Monday-Saturday), 12pm to 5pm (Sunday), with summer hours extending to 6pm starting Memorial Day weekend. They offer guided tours of the vineyard at 1pm and 3pm Sunday-Friday and hourly on Saturdays between 11am and 4pm.