“From the moment I wake up my mind is focused on grapes,” Paul Nunes.
With over 60-acres of vines, spread across 100-acres of historically preserved farmland, Newport Vineyards prides itself on a robust portfolio of estate-grown wines perfected for over 25 years.
Farming has been in the Nunes family since 1917 when Francisco Nunes (John and Paul’s great-grandfather) acquired his stone-wall-enclosed farm on Wyatt Road. Nearly 70 years later, the first vines were planted by retired Naval Captain Richard 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 Perry Farm in 1998. 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 heels of the 20th Anniversary, John and Paul Nunes embarked on a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the 30,000+ square foot building, creating what Newport Vineyards has become today; 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.
Perfected for over two decades, we are proud to offer a robust portfolio of wines. Ranging from traditional varietals to refined blends, there is a wine to please everyone’s palate.
Winemaker, avid bowler and US Army veteran, George Chelf has not only perfected the Newport Vineyards winemaking craft, he created it. Time in the Army stationed in Germany near several vineyards sparked Chelf’s interest in winemaking. Upon his return to the states he acquired the position of assistant winemaker under Captain Alexander, who planted the first vines. In 1988 Chelf became head winemaker. Over the past 30 years his dedication and passion to the craft has brought over 50 medals to the Newport Vineyards wine portfolio.
Paul Nunes, co-owner and vineyard manager, believes that the best wines come from a combination of quality soil, a favorable climate, and meticulously managed vines. His approach to viticulture involves constant monitoring of plant and soil health in order to allow the vines to grow and produce as naturally as possible. Year-round management of the vineyard canopy maximizes airflow, as well as direct sunlight to create the optimal growing conditions.
Aquidneck Island is blessed with an extraordinary micro-climate created by a combination of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream to the south and the moderating effects of Narragansett Bay. Located just two miles from the ocean, the vineyards are close enough to the water for protection against October frosts, yet far enough away to avoid the fog and benefit from the thermal heat off the land. These conditions provide a long, cool growing season ideal for developing the many complex flavors of our wines.