Updated: Nov 13, 2020
We have always enjoyed the outdoors. Every free time we'd get in a weekday afternoon and during the weekend, we would spend it in one of the 100+ Connecticut State Parks, Trails or Forests. The beautiful Connecticut land and waterscapes also sparked in Neviana a long lasting love for photography. (You can take a look at some of her work in her Flickr portfolio). What we loved to do the most though, was explore the many Connecticut farms and especially the Connecticut Wine Trail.
One of our favorite farm wineries, that we used to visit often, was Gouveia Vineyards. It is a unique place that somehow feels like home. Joe Gouveia's roots are Mediterranean as well. With his vineyard, his goal is to inspire a sense of community in the Wallingford, CT region and to create a place where people are brought together like family. Getting to know Joe and his work inspired us to dream about having our own small vineyard. We wanted to create a unique place somewhere in Connecticut, where we could share the values and experiences that the vineyard and winemaking lifestyle instills across the Mediterranean culture.
When our older son Alex was 2 years old and our younger son Eaven was 3 months old, we found a very special piece of land in Newtown, CT: a 40 acre farm in the Sandy Hook area right off Exit 11 of Interstate 84. The land had been in the Staudinger family for the past 3 generations, that is why Joyce Staudinger's wish was to pass the land to someone who would continue to preserve its legacy as a farm. Even though we had our hands full with our two very young sons, we fell in love with the property and we wanted it to become our family's nest in a near future. But our first goal was to plant the vineyard.
Building up the vineyard, especially the first year, turned into quite an emotional journey, not just because of all the things that we will cover in "The Making" blog post series, but also because our personal life was impacted by Neviana's father's diagnosis with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer just one week before closing on the property. Neviana's father was one of the biggest supporters of our vineyard dream and we are grateful that he got to be part of the first year of our family adventure.
When we take a step back to look at how far we've come in the past few years, we recognize that "The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. (Lao Tzu)". We are getting closer to making our family dream a reality and we will continue to progress through our journey one small step at a time.
Soon we will publishes a series of blog posts walking you through the steps it took to build Aquila's Nest Vineyards:
We bought a farm, now what?
Farming equipment, where to start?
Planting our first acre, what an adventure!
Vineyard maintenance, oh my oh my!!
Vineyard sustainability, leveraging the farm's ecosystem.
World's Toughest Mudder, the vineyard style...
Two kids and a full time job, how do we take care of a vineyard?
Growing up in a vineyard, every little boy's dream!
A woman farming, how challenging is that?
To make wine, you'll need a winery!
Sooo much work... is it worth it?
Check out this Danbury News Times article highlighting a part of our journey.
Thank you for taking the time to get to learn about our story.
Aquila’s Nest Vineyards is an experience-focused winery providing visitors with immersive experiences that embrace each of the five senses. The focus will be on offering a selection of the finest Connecticut grown wines while connecting visitors to the breathtaking scenery of northern Fairfield County.
Carpe Vinum 🍷