Summer Wine Excursion to Newport Vineyards
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This summer, GoLocalProv's wine critic Steffen Rasch is exploring the region's Coastal Wine Trail. This week, his visit to Newport Vineyards.
The cool climate of Southeastern New England is often compared to that of Northern Europe. Aquidneck Island especially has a micro-climate uniquely suitable for growing vines created by a combination of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the moderating effects of Narragansett Bay. Because this region sees a long and cool growing season, similar to those of France’s Loire, Champagne and Alsace regions, many of the same varietals are grown here including Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Riesling.
An impressive variety
The Nunes family has been farming on the Island for generations. Despite all the success his family has had making wine, John Nunes insists that he remains a farmer first and winemaker second. “Without a healthy vine one can’t make good wine," he said. The variety of grapes grown and wines produced at the Newport Vineyards is impressive. This place makes wine for every palate: white, red and rose; dry, off-dry and sweet. You name it, they make it. In recent vintages the winery has even been experimenting with sparkling wine and a white table wine made from the Alsatian varietal Muscat Ottonel.
At a recent visit I was lucky to taste their current lineup. I especially enjoyed the spicy 2010 Gewürztraminer and the racy, mineral-driven 2010 Riesling, both wines displaying deliciously balanced fruit. For those of you who would like to try something different I recommend the 2009 Landot Noir, a deliciously soft red that displays bright cherries and subtle hints of oak.
An ideal season yielding amazing wines
The 2010 growing season was close to ideal and has resulted in some amazing wines that reflect some of the best of what winemakers in New England has to offer. With only a handful of Newport Vineyards’ wines in distribution I urge you to pack a picnic and come for a visit. The winery is open Mon - Sat 10am to 5pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm. 909 E. Main Rd, Middletown, 848-516.
Special event: This Sunday, June 26th, from 1pm to 4pm Newport Vineyards, along with all the other wineries of the Trail, are celebrating their 4th annual kickoff festival at Sakonnet Vineyards. Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 998-8486 ext. 116.
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