Occupation: I'm a commercial wine maker for DiGrazia Vineyard in Brookfield. I work on private fishing boats out of Rhode Island, as a first mate, and the rest of the time, I'm a stay-at-home dad.
Occupation: Iâ€™m a commercial wine maker for DiGrazia Vineyard in Brookfield. I work on private fishing boats out of Rhode Island, as a first mate, and the rest of the time, Iâ€™m a stay-at-home dad.
Family: My wife, Amy, and I have a daughter Lydia, who just turned 4 years old.
Pets: We have a pet goose, James. We had another one, too, named Jesse, who recently died.
How long have you lived in Newtown? My dad grew up here, and then moved away for a while. I moved back here with my parents in 1986, so Iâ€™ve lived here the better part of my life. I actually live in the house my dad grew up in.
What do you like to do in your free time? I cave. My wife and I handle all of the permitting for Northeastern Cave Conservancy. They own caves in New York, and manage caves in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut, so if youâ€™re a group and want to go caving in New England, you talk to us. I hunt a lot, too. Our two main sources of protein are venison and fish. I also garden, and raise all of our own food in a half-acre garden.
Do you have a favorite place to go caving? I like Scottâ€™s Hollow, in West Virginia. The caves down there are so big in volume and length. Theyâ€™re pretty, and theyâ€™re challenging. Itâ€™s an amazing place.
Do you have a favorite travel destination? We love to travel. When Lydia was only 6 weeks old, she was already on a plane. We visit her godparents every winter in Florida, but my favorite place is probably Hawaii. Weâ€™ve been four times to go caving. The coolest thing is that you can kind of choose the climate you like, because itâ€™s a mountain. The fishing is good there, too. My second choice would be Cat Island, in the Bahamas.
What is the best thing about Newtown? Especially where I live, on Pond Brook, it is still very rural. But within 15 minutes, I can be in town. I like that there are still rural areas.
What is the biggest change you have seen in town? Well, itâ€™s the fact that itâ€™s not as rural as it was!
Do you have a hero? Dr Paul DiGrazia. Iâ€™ve known him nearly my whole life. He is a man who has tried to do what is best for his patients, and for the consumers in the wine industry. He is just a very good man.
Do you have a personal philosophy? Well, two, actually. First, just be happy with what you have â€” not only in material things, but in who you are. If we were all that way, the world would be a better place. Second, I really believe in the locavore movement and have been a locavore my whole life. I believe in supporting local farmers and businesses, and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve tried to pass on to my daughter.
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Really, really good wine. Thatâ€™s my guilty pleasure.
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