Picturesque Aquila’s Nest Vineyards Opens In Sandy Hook
Aquila’s Nest Vineyards, 56 Pole Bridge Road, celebrated its late-October opening with a Newtown Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, November 7.
Members of the community gathered outside the site’s 4,000-square-foot steel tasting room and basked in the panoramic views of changing autumn leaves and 7½ acres of rolling vineyards.
Honorary guest speakers included First Selectman Dan Rosenthal, State Representative Mitch Bolinsky, and Catherine Marx, district director, Connecticut District Office US Small Business Administration.
Owners Neviana Zhgaba and Ardian Llomi had their children, Alexander and Eaven, cut the official ceremonial ribbon.
Prior to the big day, Zhgaba told The Newtown Bee about what inspired them to select Newtown as their family’s dream vineyard and winery.
“Four years ago, we were looking for a farm property to build our first house and raise our two young sons. We were fortunate to find an amazing 41-acre property in Sandy Hook that we all fell in love with at first sight,” Zhgaba said. “The land was owned by the Staudinger family for 200 years and their wish was to pass it on to another family that would continue using it as a farm.”
Aquila’s Nest Vineyards offers a variety of wines, including a special red blend, a merlot, a riesling, a moscato, and a rosé, having started its plantings in 2016.
“We care about how our grapes are grown because our vineyard is our home, where three generations come together. Our vision has always been that the wines we produce ultimately bring people together, cultivate stronger communities, and provoke storytelling,” Zhgaba said.
Guests can enjoy the wines by the glass, bottle, or flight and pair them with snacks from BD Provisions.
Having opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhgaba assures that safety precautions are implemented for guests to have a comfortable experience.
She explained, “All patrons must wear masks any time they’re not seated and are requested to stay six feet apart. We are required to limit the number of visitors inside the winery, and tastings are set up for social distancing. Outdoor seating is available throughout the property. Seating is first come, first served; however, for groups of six and up we do require a reservation!”
Fire pits are now provided to allow visitors to continue to enjoy the outdoors even on colder days and evenings. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.
For upcoming events, Zhgaba said, “We are eager to offer unique immersive experiences that both stimulate and soothe the senses, like decadent chocolate pairings, yoga un-wine, sip and paint, craft and wine, live music, local artists’ shows, vineyard photography, as well as chef-centric vineyard dinners paired with wine selections in the near future.
“The vineyard is accessible for free to local photographers, by appointment. One of our main goals is to strongly support local women-owned businesses, and we’ve partnered with many such businesses to craft our unique vineyard experiences.”