This is an updated version of a post that appeared earlier today. This version includes the correction that Senew is the sole owner of the vineyard.
A highlight on the Connecticut Wine Trail — Litchfield’s Haight-Brown Vineyard — is up for sale, and includes the state’s first winery.
Owner Amy Senew listed the 9-acre property at $1.5 million. The winery produces whites, reds and Connecticut apple-based wine.
The Haight-Brown Vineyard, the first winery in Connecticut, is on the market for $1.5 million. Photo Courtesy: William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, Washington Depot.
Senew and her former husband, Courtney Brown, purchased the property in 2007 from Sherman Haight, a wealthy Litchfield resident who carved the vineyard out of a much larger, 165-acre tract he owned. When it opened in 1975, the vineyard was known as the Haight Vineyard.
Senew, who took over sole ownership in 2010, told me today that she always had another full-time job and that operating the vineyard came on top of that. She decided to sell because she wanted more leisure time, and now that she had remarried, the couple is considering moving south at some point.
“There was a time when I wanted to be at the vineyard every weekend,” Senew said. “Now, the beach looks pretty good.”
More Photos of the Haight-Brown Vineyard.
When Senew and Brown bought the vineyard, they pledged to keep it running. Senew told me today that the finances were in tough shape when she and Brown took it over. Senew said she didn’t have any background as vintner, but she did in sales and marketing.
“It was a little gem in the rough,” Senew said. “Today, our revenue is five times what it was when we took it over. We’ve had double-digit growth every year.”
Renovations included new floors, doors, roof sidings, porches, patios as well as investments in new fields, trellises and other equipment.
Senew, who also lives in Litchfield, said she knows it could take a couple of years to sell the vineyard, and she has no interest in selling it to a developer.
In order to open the vineyard, Haight, the owner of a textile printing company and part-time farmer, had to petition for legislation that eventually allowed wineries in the state and sales to the general public.
Haight offered his first wines — Chardonnay and Reisling — in 1979. Today, the winery also produces such wines as Chardonelle, Marquette, Foch, De Chaunac and Seval Blanc.
The property is split into two lots of equal size and includes a 6,816-square-foot retail space with rooms for small gatherings and wine tastings. A farm shop sells wine, cheese, chocolates and other gourmet foods. Bottling rooms, coolers and a storage room also are included.
Senew said the vineyard also leases land in the area for growing grapes.
The winery was the first in the state to offer educational classes, including how to pair wine with cheese and chocolate.
John Sniffen, of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington Depot, has the listing.