Plant a seed and watch it grow. Psst..something has been growing in the fields and it’s not just the vines. For nearly two years the vineyard and culinary teams at Newport Vineyards have been secretly collaborating on the agri-tourism destination’s newest endeavor, The Vineyard Garden. Adding to their estate-grown portfolio, the garden will compliment their existing farm-to-table culinary philosophy which supports locally grown ingredients from over a dozen farm partners.
The Garden currently sits on a quarter of an acre and this season is growing kohlrabi, peas, beets, onions, artichoke, celery, celeriac, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, peppers, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. “We were a farm before anything else,” said Executive Chef Andy Texeira. “It is surreal to be able to walk out on our own land and pick the produce for our menus. In addition to the ingredients farm partners, the culinary team is excited to start working with our own. We recently featured a 100% estate-grown salad on the menu at Taproot Brewing Co. and will be using the beets in our Beet and Bean Burgers,” he added.
The project has been headed by Newport Vineyards Master Gardener Tim Batchelor, who grew up working on his grandparent’s blueberry farm in New Jersey, and following college, spent four years at Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton. “Next year I want to scale up both the quantity and diversity of vegetables we grow,” said Batchleor. “It’s truly a collaborative effort between our vineyard crew who helps to plant and maintain, and our culinary team who helps to harvest it.”
In a continued effort to preserve historic farmland, Newport Vineyards owners John and Paul Nunes purchased the 30-acres of land that The Garden sits on in 2018. It was used as both a potato farm up until about 1980 under the Perry family and then as a cattle farm under the Sears and Cory families. In addition to The Garden, they have plans to plant additional Pinot Noir vines (to keep up with the demand of rosé), and Sauvignon Blanc on the acreage. Today, Newport Vineyard’s proudly owns over 100-acres of preserved historic farmland.