by Jillian Netherland | photography by Jennifer Grace

Nestled atop a picturesque hill in Greene sits the farmland known as Vista of Maine. Recognized for its plentiful fruit harvests, the Vista is also a renowned event venue, specializing in creating magical experiences for any occasion from weddings to family reunions and corporate retreats.


Growing harvests and endeavors

Sunset Vista of MaineIn 2013, the Ricker family acquired the land that now houses Vista of Maine from the Sawyer family estate. Historically utilized for sheep farming, the Rickers embarked upon the next chapter of the farm’s history by planting apples, grapes, peaches, and pears with a predominant focus on apple orchards and grape vineyards.

Realizing the evolving needs of the community and understanding the aesthetic appeal of the land, the Rickers began to consider their space as a potential events venue. In 2015, the Vista of Maine hosted its first wedding and since then, has begun a sought-after venue for both locals and destination weddings alike.

“We have three major event spaces and a commercial house on the property that is open year-round and used as an Airbnb for company outings, rehearsal dinners, and family parties,” shares Christine Strout, Manager at the Vista of Maine. “We offer a variety of services for our event clients—including DJ services, food trucks, lawn games, pumpkin picking and carving in the fall, homemade donuts and other baked goods, and bar service for our Mainiac hard cider and wines.”


A space for everything

Ensuring something special to meet every client’s preference and every event’s needs, each of the three main event spaces provides something different. The largest space, aptly named the Wedding Barn, holds 200 guests and is open May through October. Rental of this rustic restored space originally built in the 1800s includes day of event coordination, indoor restrooms, a dance floor, farm style bar, four whiskey barrels, fire pit and Adirondack chairs, apple crates, tables, and chairs.

The Vista Room, a year-round space able to accommodate up to 150 guests, is the most universal site hosting an array of weddings, celebrations of life, birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and proms each year. Rental of the Vista Room includes day-of-event coordination, a custom-built arbor, indoor restrooms, tables and chairs, lawn games, playground, a sound system, private Mainiac bar service, and the most coveted amenity – private outdoor space with the western mountain-facing view.

The smallest of the three event venues is the Sawyer Room, which comfortably seats 15 people in its private in and outdoor space. Commonly reserved for meetings, retreats, and smaller baby and bridal showers, rental of the Sawyer Room includes private indoor restrooms, tables, chairs, and Mainiac bar service.

“We set up a lot of meetings with projection screens in the Sawyer Room,” says owner, Harry Ricker. “The room has a whole sheetrock white wall so people can go as big as they like with projection.”


Weddings that wow

While the abundance of services Vista of Maine provides undoubtedly adds to the full event experience, unsurprisingly, the attraction that has led to the Vista becoming a popular wedding venue today is the breathtaking view.

“That’s why we named it the Vista of Maine – the most beautiful view of Maine is right here,” Ricker shares proudly. “All of our spaces have a full view of white mountains and ski areas.”

This “wow factor” as Ricker and his guests call it, has been the catalyst for the site’s increased patronage, leading to the addition of an on-site ‘glampground’ to accommodate more overnight guests, especially those traveling from out of town.“People often approach us during receptions saying, ‘wow, I will never forget this wedding’, which has led to a lot of word-of-mouth and destination weddings,” Ricker explains. “We still see more local weddings than anything else, but even 40-50% of locals who visit haven’t been here before, so they’re still getting that ‘wow factor’ as soon as they crest the hill.”


Big views, small spaces

Although building the glampground was something Ricker admits to doing on a whim, the new amenities have been well-received by guests and is something the Vista team hopes to grow. Glampers have the choice of a variety of cabins, cabin condos, tents, all with the creature comforts of septic, water, and electricity.

Vista of Maine - Glamping and Corporate Retreats

“That’s why we named it the Vista of Maine – the most beautiful view of Maine is right here,” Ricker shares proudly. “All of our spaces have a full view of white mountains and ski areas.”

“One of our most popular cabins is 50% windows, really showcasing the beautiful view to the west,” states Ricker, adding that another, similar-style cabin is currently being built. Each condo cabin is equipped with a deck and many of the units include multiple rooms with a Murphy bed that flips into a booth seat, a table, a love seat, a sink, a refrigerator, and a gas grill. “People have enjoyed experiencing what it’s like to live in a tiny space with a full view.”


For every occasion

It’s not always the large-scale events that leave the greatest impression. One event occasion that the Vista team has found extra special and would like to host more of is the celebration of life.

“We’ve had fewer than a dozen celebrations of life here, but they’ve been so memorable due to the mental therapies and serenity the view provides those in attendance,” remarks Ricker. “It’s something we’re focusing more on – getting into that market and growing it in a way to make it an incredibly special occasion. We have 650 acres of land on the farm, and our event spaces are right in the middle of it – away from the traffic and noise.”

Accommodating guests of all needs and backgrounds is something the Vista team values – so much so, that they take this into consideration with their pricing.

“We collaborate with many local businesses, schools, nonprofits, and everything in between,” explains Strout, adding that event size and preferred day of the week can all be taken into consideration for decreased rates. “We price it so we don’t cut anyone out if this is the place they want – we really work to make it so any family or group can have their event here within their budget.”


Tasting the variety

In addition to grand, private events, Vista of Maine also hosts regular drop-in public events, such as seasonal pick-your-own selections. These offerings include peaches, plums, pears, nectarines, pumpkins depending on the year, holiday trees, 12 different varieties of apples, and even four varieties of table grapes.

“Our table grapes were an especially unique discovery – we had planted our first table grapes on another property in the late 90s as we were planning our wine vineyards,” Ricker recalls. “We found ones that grow well in Maine and they’re awesome, so we’ve continued growing them through today.”

Cranberry Wine - Ricker Hill

The vineyards at the Vista are also in the midst of an exciting year, with brand new batches of both red and white wines ready for uncorking in the fall of 2024 after five years of aging to perfection. These wines, as well as a special blueberry wine, will be for sale and sampling at the Vista’s tasting room. Also popular in the tasting room are the Vista’s twelve popular Mainiac hard ciders on tap with eight to ten varieties available in cans and bottles including apple, cranberry, and blueberry hard ciders.

“A lot of times, people will add a tasting to their event to include a flight for each guest,” shares Ricker. “We also offer tastings for walk-ins regularly.”

The tasting room at Vista of Maine is open to the public in the Big Red Barn, and can accommodate 75 people at a time. For those not interested in alcoholic beverages, guests can also sample non-alcoholic ciders, visit the farm store, or indulge in a freshly baked treat from the on-site bakery while taking in the peaceful views.


Fun for everyone

“We are actively seeking to grow our wedding barn and celebration of life offerings, but we don’t want people to forget about our smaller public events,” shares Strout.

These events, offered seasonally, often add to a different event for a different audience each day of the week. Moonlight snowshoe hikes, paint and sip events, candle making, massage, and heated yoga overlooking the mountain view are just a few of the unique events that have been open to the public at Vista of Maine.

“Our most popular event right now is charcuterie board arrangement,” says Strout. “We show people what to include, how to shape the meat into flowers – we’ve had a huge turnout for this event over the last few months.”

Whether planning a milestone event or seeking something new to try on your downtime, Vista of Maine provides a quintessential Maine experience set to the backing of an unforgettable scenery.

“I believe we do accommodate more than other venues with the indoor and outdoor spaces we’re able to provide,” admits Ricker. “But it’s the feeling of serenity when you’re up here that truly sets us apart.”


Vista of Maine

Greene |