Whaleback Vineyard is a family owned and operated business run by Dennis and his wife Amy along with their two daughters Jacinda and Sadie. The business has been a family affair from the beginning. At an early age, Jacinda and Sadie began planting grapes by their parents’ side. Sadie, whose artwork is featured in our tasting room, created the logo used on our wine labels. As the girls grew, so too did the business. The family had long had a vision for renovating the historic barn on the vineyard property. After Sadie’s engagement, that vision became a reality with everyone working together to get the barn ready for the wedding. In the summer of 2017, Sadie and Alan-Glen fulfilled their dream of getting married in the barn.
Whaleback Vineyard is rich with local Vermont history. Tastings are held in a colonial farmhouse, and wine production takes place in a barn originally built in the late 1800’s. As a historic landmark in Poultney, Vermont, the barn has stood overlooking Lake St. Catherine for well over 200 years. Built in the 1800's, the barn has the original hand hewed beams and wooden pegs. Much of the original slate roof still covers the structure.
The vineyard property has been in the Brown family for half a century. Lenore and Dennis Brown Sr. first bought the farm in the 1950's from the Griffith family, who had held the land since the late 1800's. Lenore and Dennis farmed the land, and used the barn to shelter dairy cows and later horses. The property then passed to Lenore and Dennis' son, Dennis Brown Jr., Whaleback Vineyard owner. Dennis Jr. worked to convert the family farm into a vineyard and winery.
Vermont has seen many historic barns fall down due to disrepair. With the loss of each barn, communities lose a part of their local history and culture. Whaleback Vineyard has been working hard to ensure that our barn will continue to be a part of the landscape for years to come.
Our restoration project has been ongoing for several years now. The initial phase of the project included rebuilding the foundation and stabilizing the main structural beams, repairing part of the roofing slate, and repainting a large majority of the structure. In addition, load bearing partitions were added to the lower half of the barn, and commercial winery operations were built underneath the main structure. Work has continued to transform the historic space into the venue that it is today.