When Mitch Ancona was growing up in Ridgefield, CT, his grandfather, who started Ancona’s Market and Ancona’s Wines & Liquors nearly a century ago, told young Mitch that you couldn’t be a just a retailer, you had to be a retailer that also gave back to the people who supported you. Mitch Ancona is now the third generation of this family-run business. “My grandfather really instilled in me the importance of giving back to your community,” said Ancona.In his latest endeavor, Ancona wanted to collaborate with another community icon, renowned artist and illustrator Jimmy Grashow, who has lived in Redding for nearly five decades. Ancona asked Grashow to create a label for a rosé variety of which some proceeds would benefit the Mark Twain Library.“Ancona’s is legendary, and everyone loves the Mark Twain Library,” said Grashow, who has shown his work in the library’s art show each year for the last few decades. Ancona has also supported the library numerous times as a sponsor of its fundraisers. For the rosé, since Grashow knew part of the proceeds were going to support his beloved library, he began by sketching an image of Mark Twain smelling a rose. Around the same time, Ancona visited a friend in the area and noticed one of Grashow’s framed illustration’s hanging on the wall. It was an image of a rose sitting in a wingback chair, titled, “The Seated Rose.” “It just all fell into place,” said Ancona. He got in touch with Grashow who was happy to resurrect that image and use it as the label for the rosé. “We are grateful for the steadfast support of Mitch Ancona of Ancona’s Wines & Liquors and Jimmy Grashow,” said Mark Twain Library Director Erin Dummeyer. “Mark Twain would have been delighted with this incredible collaboration as he said in 1905, ‘I drink to you all. Have a good time and take an old man’s blessing.’” The Seated Rose, which is described as “lemon curd layered over fresh-cut peach … followed by layers of white floral, melon rind, and salty ocean air,” is available for purchase by the bottle ($19.99) or the case at all Ancona’s locations.
Sunset Wine Party is hosting their fourth annual Ridgefield event: a festive, upscale wine tasting evening at the gorgeous Lounsbury House on Friday, October 20th. “Both wine connoisseurs and novices alike will enjoy this chic and artistic wine experience while supporting an important local non-profit, ArtFul, which helps artists, providing them with the means to carry out their artistic pursuits,” says Sunset Wine Party Founder, Paula Alonso. Attendees can taste over 70 varieties of wines plus sample gourmet bites and listen to DJ sessions. Exclusive limited tickets to the Ridgefield event are available for purchase right now. General Admission tickets are $70 pp. All Access Passes allow guests to arrive an hour early at 6 pm to explore all wines before the crowd as well as an exclusive check in line. All Access Passes are $95 pp.Sunset Wine Party Ridgefield 2023 is presented by Ancona’s Wines and Liquors and sponsored by MINI of Fairfield County, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Titan Accounting Services, Peggy Marconi Properties, Cardinal Gems, Cross Private Client Insurance, Cincinnati Insurance, and PepsiCo.Tickets available at: https://bit.l /swpridgefield2023
by Jana Williams
July 7th, 2023 was proclaimed “Centenarians Day” in Ridgefield, predicated by the celebration of three remarkable centenarians living at Ridgefield Station Senior Living: Naomi Stern (101), Dorothy Legum (101) and Wanda Barredo (100). The assisted living & memory support community celebrated by reading the official proclamation, issued by First Selectman Rudy Marconi, sharing a few words about each of the exceptional women, and a prosecco toast.When asked what the key is to a long and happy life, each resident had a thoughtful reply. “Be honest,” said Dorothy. Wanda recalled her past 100 years by saying, “We laughed often and were always among friends,” and Naomi offered up the advice to “smile, even in the face of adversity.” Looks like these beautiful ladies are still smiling and laughing!
When driving along peaceful Ridgebury Road in Ridgefield, it’s hard to miss Ridgebury Farm and Stables. A lush 56 acres, with private trails tucked away and picturesque pastures, it is the perfect environment for healing and growing. As a proud member of the American Hippotherapy Association, Ridgebury Farm and Stables offers various hippotherapy sessions, or equine therapy, including occupational, physical, speech, psychotherapy, and equine assisted therapy. Their mission is to increase the health and well-being of people with intellectual, social, or physical challenges, and to build a supportive and optimistic environment for their riders, their families and friends, and the community.The Ridgebury Riders, a 501c3 nonprofit organization located at Ridgebury Farm and Stables, includes all riders, regardless of age, experience, neurodiversity, or riding ability. Parents whose children participate in the program have seen impressive results. “It’s not just the unique equine therapy provided at the farm that sets you apart, it’s the patience, empathy, care and concern every member of your team shows our son – it’s remarkable and touching,” says one parent.On September 16th, from 6pm-9pm the Ridgebury Riders will host their annual fundraiser, The Farm Fete. The evening will take attendees on a journey around the world with experiences from different cultures, incredible food, exciting auction items to bid on, and of course dancing all night, featuring Uncle Cheef from The Roots! They are also hosting an exclusive pre-event farm-to-table dinner on September 12th, 5pm-9pm in their 19th-century barn, with a curated menu by Chef Paulie G of Hayfields with sommelier-selected wine pairings for each of the five courses. For more information or to purchase tickets for either Farm Fete or the farm-to-table dinner, please ridgeburyfarm.com and click the “Farm Fete” link. •