Since 1995 when John and Paul Nunes took over and created Newport Vineyards, their mission has been to create unparalleled wine using the natural bounty of Aquidneck Island’s rich farming conditions, and to preserve as much of that land as possible. They have honored that mission, their farming ancestors and the Aquidneck Island community by preserving over 100-acres of historic farmland, of which over 50-acres are vines.
Farming has been in the Nunes family since 1917 when Francisco Nunes (John and Paul’s great-grandfather) acquired the stone-wall-enclosed Bailey Farm on Wyatt Road. Nearly 70 years later, the first vines were planed by retired Naval Captain Alexander. In 1995 John and Paul Nunes took over from Captain Alexander and Newport Vineyards was born. From here the pair expanded their land by acquiring historic Perry Farm in 1998, which boasted rich soil from over 50 years of potato farming. In 2002, the 55 acres Nunes Farm was placed perpetual preservation through a partnership between the Nunes family, the Aquidneck Land Trust, and the State of Rhode Island.
Over the next 20 years and under the guidance of Winemaker George Chelf they perfected their portfolio of wines and soon grew to become one of Newport County’s most sought after attractions.
In 2012, on the heals of the 20th Anniversary, John and Paul Nunes embarked on a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the 30,000+ square foot building that once housed their father’s Chrysler dealership, former local restaurants and more. From 2014 to 2018 Brix Restaurant was opening, a new winery tank room, new Marketplace store, new Tasting Room and events venue, and finally Taproot Brewing Company.
Over the last several years the (new) Newport Vineyards has become a renowned wine, culinary, craft beer and events destination. Following another land acquisition in 2018, Newport Vineyards now boasts over 100-acres of farmland; preserved for generations to come.