Nancy Parker Wilson, Greenvale Vineyards


Nancy Parker Wilson, Greenvale Vineyards

Growing up as the child of newspaper owners, Nancy Parker Wilson was destined to become an entrepreneur herself.   She began her career by using her newspaper experience to become the Public Information Director for the two Boston area zoos.  After the Zoos and a few years in the world of public relations agencies, she opened a community relations firm in Boston called Wilson Communications. In 1992, she started Greenvale Vineyards with her parents, Cortlandt and Nancy Parker, and her husband, William Wilson.  Since opening, Greenvale Vineyards has been successfully providing high-quality wines and enjoyable experiences for their visitors.

Greenvale Farm has been in Wilson’s family since 1863, and it is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  Wilson’s parents had been using the land since the 1960’s to grow grapes as a hobby. In the early 1980’s, they decided to grow grapes to sell to Sakonnet Vineyards. According to Wilson, growing grapes is extremely expensive and labor intensive.  Wilson used to help in the vineyards on the weekends with her husband and small children, and to this day, she still enjoys spending time picking grapes during the harvest season.

When Wilson’s father asked her to step in and take on the next level of business at Greenvale Vineyards, Wilson said she agreed because it involved all of her strengths and it meant setting a future at a place that she loved: Greenvale. Wilson enthusiastically joined in and built Greenvale Vineyards into a popular destination for all ages. The vineyards are 24 acres amidst a 72 acre operation.

“The entrepreneurial spirit requires a vision, dedication, determination and seeing the path to the end goal.  It means hard work, long hours, and the ability to handle high risk,” said Wilson.  “My most important role is to make sure that we all maintain our sense of humor, recognize when a job is well done, and enjoy what we are doing because life is short.”

Currently, Greenvale Vineyards produces 3,500 cases of wine, with selections including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Albarino, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.  Every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas, Greenvale Vineyards hosts tours and tastings, music and programs.  The Tasting Room in their restored 1863 stable is home to many of their events, including live jazz every Saturday from May through November. It is their mission to make sure that their guests have a fun, educational time and want to come back for more.

Through Greenvale Vineyards, Wilson wishes to preserve and protect the farmland and historic buildings and to educate the public about historic preservation and the conservation of open space.  Greenvale is respected by the industry for their high standards of vineyard practices, their use of only estate-grown grapes and their leadership in helping the New England Wine industry to be recognized as a region capable of producing high-quality wines.  Greenvale is also active in the community and has an active outreach program through advertising, and their website and blog.

Every year, Wilson is excited to add another piece to their vineyards. This year, Greenvale planted 1,800 Albarino plants and built an awning over the terrace. Next year, Wilson plans to continue growing the vineyard, adding more components to draw guests in. Greenvale has already established a loyal customer base and enjoys seeing guests frequently return with friends to support local business.

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