Exploring Rhode Island Wineries, East and West
If you live in Rhode Island, chances are a winery is not too far away. In fact, it will take a couple of days to be able to visit the Ocean State’s nine wineries. For both location and style, spend one day along the eastern part of the state, following the Coastal Trail route. Then check out the five wineries on the Inland Trail in the western part.
The Inland Trail (48 miles long)
With the exception of Diamond Hill, the inland wineries are all recently founded. These are smaller and more intimate operations then the more established Coastal Wine Trail wineries. Often, the owner/winemaker will be pouring the wines at these family enterprises.
Diamond Hill Vineyards, 3145 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland
Diamond Hill is situated in the Northeast corner of Rhode Island. The second generation now runs this winery with vines planted in 1976. They make Pinot Noir from these vines and also produce fruit wines. Tastings are free at this charming location.
Hours: Tastings available Thursday-Sunday from 12-5; call ahead for parties larger than 8 people
Try: The blueberry wine has an unmistakable smoky hint
Verde Vineyards, 50 Hopkins Ave., Johnston
Jim Verde grows seven grape varieties on his property, focusing on American hybrids. He bottles single varietal wines of St. Croix, La Crescent and Cayuga. Jim, a retired professor, focuses on hybrids that will grow best in his vineyard. With Lake Moswansicut the only nearby neighbor, this idyllic setting makes it difficult to imagine you are only 10 miles west of Providence.
Hours: 11-5 Friday-Sunday
Try: The Bianco d’Amelia, from the La Crescent grape, seduces with tropical and stone fruit aromas, almost reminiscent of a dry Muscat, but the real star is the St. Croix, which produces an easygoing, fruit-forward red with hints of spice
Mulberry Vineyards, 95 Pound Road, Chepachet
This is a winery to watch! Currently, David Wright purchases grapes to make wine but plans on clearing some of the land on his historic property and planting a vineyard.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 11-5
Try: The rich Cabernet Sauvignon
Nickle Creek Vineyard, 12 King Road, Foster
Nickle Creek started their winery in 2008; they produce 2,000 cases of wine including estate wine, fruit wine, and wine from purchased fruit
Hours: Open May-December 12-5 Friday, 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday
Try: The Foster Red and White, made with estate fruit
Leyden Farm Vineyard and Winery, 160 Plain Meeting House Road, West Greenwich
Known for their Christmas trees, Leyden farms planted fruit and grapes to make wine in 2010. They are most known for their sweet flavored wines.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12-4
Try: If you like sweet wines, try the Apple Jack Russell or Lazy Watermelon
Coastal Trail (21 Miles, with Langworthy farms 30 more miles to the south)
The Coastal Wine Trail runs through Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. It contains the most established wineries of Rhode Island, and their location along the coast also brings some amazing scenic opportunities.
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, 162 West Main Road, Little Compton
Sakonnet moved to all estate wines after their purchase by Alex and Ani. There are over 30 acres of grapes planted on a 150-acre estate. This is a full-on winery experience like you would expect from more famous West Coast areas. Winemaker Elaine Philips has been at the vineyard for over 30 years of the 40-year history of this winery.
Hours: 11-5 Daily, tours on the hour from 12-3 during weekends
Try: The easygoing Rhode Island Red is one of their most popular wines
Greenvale Winery, 582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth
Greenvale’s wines are all estate-grown on their 27 acres, but the wine is made at Newport Vineyards. This 3,500-case winery produces some of the very best values in the state, especially the whites. They have been growing grapes since the 1960s.
Hours: Winter: 11-5 Monday-Saturday, 12-5 Sunday
Try: The Albarino is fresh and bright, and a superb value
Newport Vineyards, 909 East Main Road, Middletown
Newport Vineyards was planted in 1977 and produced their first commercial vintage in 1988. They have 60 acres under vine. Stop by here when you are hungry and try the great food from their restaurant or café.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-5; tours 1PM and 3PM, hourly on Saturday
Try: The Riesling is sweet but with nice acidity, giving it balance
Langworthy Farms, 308 Shore Road, Westerly
Langworthy farms is the furthest away from any other winery. It’s a great relaxation after visiting the beaches only minutes away.
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12-5; tours on Saturday and Sunday at 3PM
Try: Their Merlot shows a little spicy side