Sipping and Singing at Jonathan Edwards Winery
Glass of local white wine in hand, perfect peach sunset, picnic blanket spread on a grassy hill, music softly wafting through a vineyard…is there a better way to end a summer weekend?
Lucky for us Rhode Islanders, this fantasy can be a reality. Jonathan Edwards Winery offers music by a singer/songwriter, their own wine by the bottle or glass, and – weather providing – a truly picturesque atmosphere every Sunday in the summer. A quick zip down 95 takes you right to the Jonathan Edward Winery gates, and if you’re lucky, you walk through them just before sundown as a pink glow is settling on the property. Presented with a Jonathan Edwards Winery wine glass, you find a spot for your blanket and picnic, and head over to the tent for a bottle of local wine. You spend the evening watching the sun fall, enjoying the music and your picnic, and tasting local varieties of wine.
Jonathan Edwards Winery has vineyards in California and Connecticut, but all of the bottling happens on site at the winery in North Stonington. The four varieties grown locally are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, and Gewürztraminer (try that one five times fast). From out of state, they have Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, “Stone Table White”, another Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Napa Valley dark port.
Erica Cyr, the director of marketing and events for the winery, started the summer concert series seven years ago. They add new acts yearly, and tend to “stick with more mellow singer/songwriters”, albeit all-star national acts, such as Ben Taylor, Donavon Frankenreiter, and Martin Sexton.
There are a host of events remaining in the summer, including new act and female vocalist Joan Osborne, a lobster bake, and Donavon Frankenreiter. Summers are a busy time at the winery, with weddings every Saturday, and smaller-scale concerts on Thursdays. The Sunday concerts finish off the weekends with a lovely, mellow evening and a chance for people to decompress before their weeks begin again.