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Wine Tasting Casts A Spell On Holcombe Hill



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Shadows lengthened under an orange sky at Holcombe Hill Preserve Saturday evening, September 7. Two hundred guests climbed the long driveway to Newtown’s highest point that evening for the Newtown Forest Association’s (NFA) annual Sunset Wine Tasting.

The annual fundraiser hosted by and benefiting the NFA, featured wine tastings, hors d’oeuvres, live music by Sundad, etched wine glass for each ticket holder, a silent auction, and scenic views from the NFA property on Great Hill Road.

White ribbon cinched green cloth covering freestanding tables where guests gathered with plates and drinks. A silent auction saw some attendees leaving with gifts, and many people mingled under a white tent where beer and wine distributors kept everyone in high spirits.

Shrinking sunlight simmered down to just spot of orange on the horizon behind one table of friends. Backlit by the magical light were Jenai Fitzpatrick, Barbara McCloskey, Stephanie Cinque, James Beldon, and Natalie and David McCraigh.

A few tables away was another group of friends sharing bottles of cabernet and crisp Sauvignon blanc.

Laughing as the sky faded and enjoying their evening were Kristin Stolfi, Beckett Condon, and Kathy Hamilton.

Swaying to the band were Kelly and Herman Harmelink, who both shyly began dancing, and then were lost to one another and the music.

“Sunset happens at 7:17,” said NFA member and the evening’s coordinator Aaron Coopersmith. He said the night was “an amazing experience to support the land and people who love the land.” Mentioning Newtown and “all of the community,” Mr Coopersmith said, “There is no better way to say ‘salud’ to a beautiful future.”

As Mr Coopersmith announced that sunset had arrived, couples broke away from the main tent to walk through trails on the property, and two guests rested on a bench, leaning their heads together as clouds changed shape overhead.

NFA President Bob Eckenrode perused the wine and beer vendors, stopping to speak with My Place restaurant owner Mark Tambascio. Across the tent and near the cheese and crackers were Michael Chavez and store owner Christopher Ciskey of Yankee Wine & Spirits on Queen Street.

“It’s nice to see new and old faces,” Mr Eckenrode said. He hopes all guests were enjoying “the beauty of Holcombe Hill.” He added, “This is kind of magic — good food, wine, and conversation.” He was thankful for the support for the NFA, a private land trust.

The Newtown Forest Association is a nonprofit organization that protects more than 1,100 acres of open space, forest, farmland, wildlife, nature preserves and watersheds in Newtown to be preserved for future generations. Contact the NFA at 203-270-3650, or through their website at newtownforestassociation.org.

Kelley and Herman Harmelink didn’t mind letting the music by Sundad set then swirling Saturday, September 7, at the wine tasting at Holcombe Hill Preserve. —Bee Photos, Bobowick
Spreading out from the music and food and wine served under the big tent, guests found tables to enjoy the view from Holcombe Hill.
Shadows stretch across Holcombe Hill as the sun drops toward a horizon behind guests enjoying a Newtown Forest Association fundraiser and wine tasting Saturday.
Kristin Stolfi, Beckett Condon, and Kathy Hamilton raise a toast at the NFA wine tasting fundraiser Saturday.
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