Silver linings are our saving graces these days, and Seaview Farm and Farm Store, with the new addition of passionately curated fine wine and local craft beer, is one such discovery.
Seaview Farm sits at the corner of South Street and Lanes Farm Way, less than a mile out of Rockport village. Regina and Ken Lane are the seventh-generation proprietors of the farm, having taken over operations from Ken’s grandfather in late 2008, and they have been working hard to keep tradition and the family legacy alive ever since.
It is a full-time working farm with a setting both busy and tranquil, and rich of scent. Down-to-earth and as lovely as any couple you could meet, the Lanes are deeply committed to the community.
Regina runs the farm store, which is attached to their farmhouse and has a very loyal and growing following. It offers a cornucopia of specialty items, with an emphasis on keeping things local. Ken spends most of his time out in the field baling hay, or taking care of their many cattle, which graze on farmland in Ipswich and Essex.
Rockport had been a dry town since 1856. Then in 2006, the town agreed to grant a handful of alcohol licenses to restaurants. In March of 2019, retail alcohol sales were permitted, but only three licenses were available. The Lanes applied for and procured one of them this spring.
One day in June, I paid a visit to the farm store. I had moved to Rockport from Boston in December, and having worked with fine wine for over 20 years in a city setting, I was eager to bring my wine sense to Cape Ann. I was curious as to what the Lanes had in mind when it came to their wine and beer license. When I asked, Regina’s face lit up in a big smile that I could see in spite of her face mask.
“Well,” she said, eyes sparkling, “I’m excited we have the license, as we have wanted to expand, but I’m actually a little scared, because I’m just not sure I know enough about wine! I know I want the selection to be small, and resonate with the setting, but beyond that….”
I liked her honesty. On a whim, but also knowing deep down it was something meant to be, I asked her if we might collaborate, as it seemed like the perfect opportunity for both of us. As Regina and Ken had the space and license, and I the experience, I suggested that I help them with their wine selection and wine education, and assist them with the opening.
We started working together in early July, and presented it to the public in August.
Curating a wine program is an intense and creative process, and something I enjoy almost as much as sharing the wines and their stories with others. I took a classic approach for the Lanes, setting the wines of France and Italy as the foundation, and then sourced synonym wines from other European countries, as well as from the Finger Lakes in New York state and the vineyards of California, Oregon, and Washington. I chose small-production wines with integrity and grace—and for the most part, wines making their debut on Cape Ann. Over time, the selection will expand.
As for the space, a door from the farm shop opens into the room, which is no more than 14 square feet. Quaint, rustic, and cozy, it is a unique setting full of charm, with antique wooden crates used to hold the wines. Ever elegant in its minimalist layout, it begs a destination visit.
About the wine, Regina shares: “Bringing wine and craft beer to the Seaview Farm Store provides a wonderful opportunity to further enhance the selection of our own grass-fed beef and specialty foods. As owners of Seaview Farm, we worked closely with Paige as she carefully selected wines which would resonate with the space itself, a room in the farmhouse, which has been in our family for nearly 200 years. The selection of wines on offer, along with local craft beer, is just a taste for all that is to come, as the Seaview Farm Store continues to develop as one of Cape Ann’s local culinary treasures.”
For more information, visit seaviewfarmrockport.com.