agriculture

Alex and Ani purchases Sakonnet Vineyards

PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
ALEX AND ANI LLC has purchased Little Compton-based Sakonnet Vineyards, the jewelry designer announced Thursday.
Posted 7/19/12

(Updated, 2 p.m.)

CRANSTON – In a move that represents a “major re-investment in the local economy,” Alex and Ani LLC has purchased Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, the jewelry designer announced Thursday.

“Sakonnet Vineyards represents a true Rhode Island success story,” Giovanni Feroce, Alex and Ani CEO, said in prepared remarks. “Since its founding in 1975, the winery has experienced impressive growth and has become an industry standard of excellence for the entire New England region.”

“All of us at Alex and Ani are excited about taking Sakonnet Vineyards to the next level of achievement,” Feroce added. “This will amount to a major re-investment in our local Rhode Island economy and community.”

The vineyard is comprised of 170 acres, 50 of which are planted with a variety of Vinifera, including Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc, as well as a French-American hybrid known as Vidal Blanc.

According to an Alex and Ani release, the microclimate and soil conditions in southern New England emulate those of the maritime climates in northern France.

“I can’t help but be struck by the many parallels between our business and Sakonnet Vineyards,” Carolyn Rafaelian, Alex and Ani owner and president said in a statement.

“Both our companies were born of the desire to redefine their industries and re-invigorate our shared local and regional economies,” said Rafaelian, adding “we are, symbolically and literally, of the earth, we grow organically, and we’re identified with good taste. We make a perfect pairing.”

“The Alex and Ani lifestyle and concept is built on local products being the core deliverable,” Force told PBN. “It made sense for us to look at the vineyard."

The Alex and Ani purchase includes the Sakonnet Vineyards grounds, an additional 70 acres of 5-lot subdivisions and a residential component building in Little Compton. Sakonnet Vineyards is located at 162 West Main in Little Compton.

Force told Providence Business News that Alex and Ani will keep Sakonnet’s existing staff, including its wine maker. “That’s one area where I won’t take any risk.”

Force said the company has a focus on supporting - by purchasing and serving – local products especially at its Teas and Javas coffee shop locations.

Beer and wine, he said, was part of that initiative and the Sakonnet purchase allows the company, at its Teas and Javas coffee shops, to sell Rhode Island produced wines.

“The Alex and Ani lifestyle and concept is built on local products being the core deliverable,” he said. “It made sense for us to look at the vineyard."

Alex and Ani purchased the vineyard for $8.45 million. The sale is expected to be completed by this fall.

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