Greenvale Vineyards

Portsmouth, RI
United States
Greenvale Vineyards

Landscape Information

This 52-acre “gentleman’s farm,” located on a rocky bluff above the Sakonett River, was established as part of a much larger holding as early as 1657 when the region was settled by religious exiles from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Slowly subdivided, the land was purchased in 1864 by John Barstow. One year previous, Barstow attained a copy of Robert Morris Copeland’s Country Life,  a book on horticulture and landscape gardening that would influence the development of his “ornamented farm.” Shortly after acquiring the land, Barstow commissioned architect John Hubbard Sturgis to design a Gothic-style house as well as a stable and barn for his prize herd of dairy cattle. 

Through the years, the land has remained in the continued possession of the same family. In 1918 Azorean immigrant Frank Silvia began his 61-year employment on the farm, serving as farmer and caretaker of the property. In 1982 the owners transitioned the dairy farm into a commercial vineyard; the stable was repurposed to serve as a tasting room and the house restored. A picturesque drive, descending as it approaches the bluff and passing through a series of gates, traverses agricultural fields and stands of forest before terminating at the historic house, enveloped by sculpted hedges. Dramatic views of the river and the surrounding rural landscape are presented across open lawn and meadow punctuated by mature trees, set amidst rows of grapevines. Greenvale Vineyard was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.