A family run winery.
Vin grew up helping his father make wine. In the late 1960’s, he took a break from helping his father while he pursued his education. After receiving his BA and MA from Fairfield University, he ended up working as an engineer in the electroplating industry for many years. Vin then became a consultant for the industry and began his own business. With the industrial economy changing drastically in the United States, Vin decided to venture into land and commercial development. And here we are, now drawing on his father’s experience with wine and real estate development, growing up on a small farm. He’s now going back to his “roots.”
Debbie began her career in banking – moving from corporate planning to marketing. She worked at banks in Bridgeport and Waterbury while earning her Master’s Degree in Business. After marrying Vin and balancing family life with raising three daughters, she began her own business providing emergency response systems and medication dispensers to at risk elders. While operating her business, she also gets involved with volunteer projects with various civic organizations in town.
Jack (short for John) was born in Middletown and raised in Cheshire, Connecticut. His early days were always spent outdoors playing football, baseball, fishing and more. Jack graduated from Cheshire High School, St. Michael’s College in Vermont, podiatry school in Chicago, with residencies at Harvard Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Watertown’s farm land reminded him of his youth running through fields in Cheshire. Now the farms in Cheshire have disappeared, and the farms in Watertown are quickly being developed. Jack’s mission with the winery is to protect these fields so you can walk through them, watch the deer, hear the birds sing, and witness the hawks hunt the land. His vision is to keep it a farm forever. Jack and his partners Michele, Debbie, and Vinny want you to walk their fields, carry your grandkids, and enjoy the outdoors.
Michele is a graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Science degree. She also has a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and a Master’s Degree from Quinnipiac University in Health Science. Michele began her career as a Medical Technologist at St, Mary’s Hospital laboratory. She worked her way up the corporate ladder, and retired after almost 30 years at Quest Diagnostics from her position as Managing Director of Connecticut. Little did she know she would end up back in the laboratory, performing chemical and microbiological analyses on grapes as they make their journey transforming into Hawk Ridge Winery’s fine wine. She is currently serving as President of the Rotary Club of Wallingford and is a board member of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury.
Hawk Ridge Winery would like to thank all of our volunteers and all those who helped make this winery a reality, including our contractors, Watertown Planning and Zoning, Former State Senator Rob Kane, and State Senator Eric Berthel.
Pat Perillo, Linda Varcas, Stef Giannetto, Kris Giannetto, Mo Torrent, Jess Giannetto, Kyle Rose, Steve Holland, JoAnne Holland, Mackenzie Holland, Conor Holland, Carmine Paolino, Paula Paolino, Donn Innaimo, Judy Giannetto, Mike Cortigiano, Patty Jarjura, Grace Lerz, Al Lerz, Sandy Lane, Ed Lane, Dennis Buckley, Noreen Buckley, Pat Dwyer, Pam Belury, Mark Fois, Owen Botting, Ron Pleasant, Joanne Kaday, Greg Kaday, Dave Jurasek, Cheryl Jurasek, Kate Velezis, Tony Velezis, Kim Wachtelhausen, Dana Towle, Antoinette Towle, Selma Haddad, George Christolini, Patti Buchanan, Jim Esslinger, Sue Christolini, Debbie Christolini, Diane Wallace, Katy Katin, Lorraine Molino, Jack McHugh Sr., Joe Rossi, Jeannie Rybinski, and Owen Botting
We also would like to acknowledge our extremely talented creative contributors: