On December 18, 2007, the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the R.I. Land Preservation Commission, to purchase the development rights to a portion of Sakonnet Vineyards, from Mr. Earl Samson. The portion of Sakonnet Vineyards preserved through a Deed to Development Rights, includes Plat 22, Lots 8-5 thru 8-9 and Lots 8-11 thru 8-14. The total preserved area equals 94± acres as referenced in the Deed to Development Rights (Little Compton Tax Assessors Map Book indicates the total preserved acreage to be 95.272 acres). The development rights for each lot according the the Little Compton Tax Assessor’s Map Book is as follows:
Plat 22, Lot 8-5: 23.275 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-6: 8.84 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-7: 5.192 acres,
Plat 22, Lot 8-8: 3.7 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-9: 3.716 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-11: 13.965 acres,
Plat 22, Lot 8-12: 5.72 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-13: 14.218 acres, Plat 22, Lot 8-14: 16.64 acres
A Baseline Documentation Report was completed on this property in November 2015. The report outlines the history of the property, as well as, it’s land uses (see below). The entire report is available on this website.
Prior Land Uses: Based on the examination of periodic historic aerial photography, it appears that the Premises have been used for agriculture since at least 1939. In aerials photographs taken in 1939 and 1952, the majority of the land is open farmland, and Watson Reservoir has not yet been constructed. The City of Newport drinking water supply reservoir appears in photos beginning in 1962. In the mid-1970s the main structures that now comprise the winery were constructed.
Current Land Uses: Currently, the Premises are an operating vineyard owned by Dionysus Acquisitions LLC, having been purchased from the original Grantor, Sakonnet Vineyards LP, on December 31, 2012. The Premises are protected by a Deed to Development Rights with the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust, the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the State of Rhode Island Agricultural Land Preservation Commission. The Premises consist of vineyards, open fields and forested wetland. Lot 8-5 and a portion of Lot 8-14 are bisected by perennial streams. Lot 8-8 contains the majority of the infrastructure used by the winery; Lots 8-13 and 8-11 contain accessory structures, Lot 8-9 contains a bandstand / wood deck and Lot 8-12 contains two temporary storage units.