Jim and Lolly Mitchell. Photo's provided by Jim and Lolly.

The founding of the popular Sakonnet Vineyards will be told, by its founders, in “Sakonnet Vineyards: a Farm-Founding Story”.

The film will premiere on the Little Compton Historical Society’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, April 13 at 7 pm.

According to the Little Compton Historical Society, the film was created in partnership between Clarkshire Media and the Historical Society, and made possible through the support of the Acebes Family Charitable Fund.

At 6:30 pm, just before the premiere, Little Compton Historical Society says that it will offer a workshop on conducting oral history interviews like the one conducted with the Mitchells. The link to register for the workshop is available on littlecompton.org. The link to view the documentary will be made available on littlecompton.org on the day of the event.   

The Little Compton Historical Society says that it was “very saddened to hear the news of Jim Mitchell’s passing on February 17, 2022. Jim and Lolly graciously agreed to this interview last summer. LCHS is grateful to have had the chance to record their memories of Sakonnet Vineyards, and to share them with you now in memory of Jim”.

In 1975, a vineyard was born, the first licensed winery in Rhode Island since Prohibition. Sakonnet Vineyards sold its first bottle in 1976 and quickly became the premier vineyard and winery in New England and a pioneer in the growing regional wine industry. How did it all come to be? Hear first-hand from the founders, Jim and Lolly Mitchell, who sat down for an oral history interview with LCHS Executive Director Marjory O’Toole in September 2021. The film, edited by Clarkshire Media, will premiere on YouTube this evening and will be available on our YouTube channel indefinitely.

Registration for the oral history workshop and information on all of the Historical Society’s other programs are available now at littlecompton.org. The link for “Sakonnet Vineyards: a Farm-Founding Story” will be prominently placed on our homepage on the day of the event.

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.