Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards

Don’t be fooled: Rhode Island excels in more than jewelry and oceanside splendor. Located in Little Compton, Rhode Island is Sakonnet Vineyard, New England’s oldest winery. Its owner Carolyn Rafaelian is also the owner of Cranston-based Alex and Ani, the positive energy jewelry company with storefronts around the globe.

Carolyn, who purchased the vineyard in 2012, is the third owner in its 42 years of operation. Her focus for it is to embrace the spirited essence from all of Mother Earth’s blessings. Within Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard is the Local Mercantile Vineyard Café, an eatery which sources the finest and freshest local ingredients that pair perfectly with the estate’s international award-winning wines.

Surrounded by farmland and two waterways, the climate and setting are what make the soil conditions optimal; and the limited batches of estate-grown grapes are handpicked, furthering the vineyard’s sustainability and dedication to the earth. On-site is their director of wines, who offers educational wine courses for both staff and guests, and with a neighborly approach.

Alex & Ani ties things together with their nautical collection of hand-strung pieces, available for purchase at the vineyard through the Local Mercantile Shoppe, which offers thoughtfully crafted products by talented artisans. The vineyard’s general manager Cynthia Rocha says that Rafaelian oversees both the 150-acre property and her jewelry business with a wonderful and distinct style that allows both her personality and passion for her home state to shine through. Upon acquiring the vineyard, a major aesthetic redesign went underway to align more closely with the charm of Little Compton – and while both businesses are very different, they have one thing in common: the vision of a devoted doer.

This summer, tour the stunning winery, sample their award-winning wines and embrace the joyful aura of gratitude that surrounds this space. Sakonnet Vineyard wine can be purchased online and shipped to several states including MA, NH, CA and others. Plan your visit and find your spot within the soulful escape of homegrown glory.


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