Sakonnet Vineyards sale finalized at $8.45 million


LITTLE COMPTON — The sale of Sakonnet Vineyards was finalized Thursday at noon for $8.45 million. It had been listed at $8,950,000. The announcement was made by Lila Delman Real Estate, which handled the sale for the seller.

The transaction had been in the works since July 16, when a purchase and sale agreement between the sellers, Earl and Susan Sampson, and the new owner, Carolyn Rafaelian, the founder and owner of Alex and Ani, a jewelry company based in Cranston, was first announced.

Over the intervening months, Mr. Sampson said at the time, the sale required extensive paperwork, including details relating to licenses, and requirements from other states and the federal government.

Melanie Delman, one of the brokers involved, said the sale "was an exciting project for us at Lila Delman, because it allowed us to utilize so many areas of our expertise — commercial, agricultural, residential development, conservation land. This extraordinarily complex property demanded highly specialized real estate knowledge on many fronts. We are gratified to have been able to deliver such a successful result."

Ms. Delman, president of Lila Delman Real Estate, and Susan Gustavson and Robin Nicholson, broker associates with the company, represented the seller.

This is the highest sale price achieved in Little Compton in the last two years, according to Rhode Island's multiple listing service.

The award-winning winery, which comprises some 170 acres of vineyards, open space and a state-of-the art winery facility, was founded in 1975 and is today recognized as a crucial pioneer of the New England wine industry.

Idyllically sited overlooking beautiful Patchet Brook Reservoir, the property comprises 102 conservancy-protected acres of vineyards, including a winery, hospitality center, and open space, with another 67 acres set aside for the development of five luxury residential estates.

"The Little Compton area is amongst my personal favorite places in Rhode Island," said Ms. Delman, "and it’s very satisfying to have taken a hand in shaping its future."

The Sampsons bought the vineyard in 1987 for a reported $2 million. In 2008 the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust placed 100 acres of the property  under a conservation easement which preserves the  vineyard and the agricultural purposes of the land.

Lila Delman Real Estate has also recently listed an extraordinary 13-building commercial package in the neighboring historic village of Tiverton Four Corners, which is on the National Register. The area has been designated as a RI tax-free Arts District.


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