When one thinks of wine in America they imagine it coming from the popular Monterey, Napa and Sonoma Valley regions of California. Some might also recognize the new and ever-popular Washington State varieties. These so-called “New World” wines are rapidly becoming popular with wine lovers nationally and worldwide as well. Wines produced outside the usual growing areas in Europe are considered New World wines. These wines are produced in places like Argentina, Chile, Australia, Canada, and the United States. What people may not realize is that there is a fledgling wine industry right here in Massachusetts.
The first thing you need to know about wineries is how they use the land and ecosystem to grow their grapes. Grapes are obviously the foundation of any wine. The end result of these grapes is that they are transformed into popular bottles of wine, such as Westport Rivers Brut Cuvee Champagne. Climate, harvesting traditions and local knowledge are essential factors in the characterization of the grapes involved in making wine.
There are 24 wineries currently located in Massachusetts, four of which are located within a few miles of New Bedford. For those of you who love wine, who want to learn about it, or for those just looking for something new to experience, New Bedford Guide would like to point out these local wineries and the services they offer.
The first winery we have is Travessia Urban Winery, located in downtown New Bedford. The growers offer selections of merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and their new Bastard Rose 2008 Vintage. They are open year all year from 12-6pm for tastings and tours. Most of the wine is sold in-house, but can also be found at the Inner Bay restaurant in New Bedford, as well as these stores: Bin Ends in Braintree MA, The Reserve Bin in Foxborough, and the One Stop Mart in Rockland. Travessia Urban Winery is a risqué vineyard that likes to experiment with new wine techniques as well as honoring their simple traditions with their current collections.
Next we have the Running Brooks Vineyard located in North Dartmouth. They offer chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Cab Franc Merlot, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir. All the wines here are produced from hand-picked grapes that are grown on their 20 acre site. They are open year round as well, with hours Monday-Saturday, 11am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm. The vineyard is owned by Pedro Teixeira and Manuel Morais, both with backgrounds in wine from Portugal, the Azores and California. You can read more about their journey on their website www.runningbrookwine.com and how they ended up opening a winery in North Dartmouth.
Not too far from Running Brooks Vineyard is the Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery, located in Westport. Cool climates create the most dramatic Sparking, White and Rose wines in this area, which have been noted by wine critics near and far. It is for these three types of wine that Westport Rivers is known for. The vineyard also creates chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gruner Veltliner, among others. Westport Rivers Vineyard proudly announces their new VIP Club that offers a number of services to its members including bottle and case discounts, invitations to vineyard events and promotions, hands on participation in the harvest, and much more. The winery is open Monday through Saturday from11am-5pm for wine tasting.
Finally we finish our tour at Cape Cod Winery, located in East Falmouth. The winery was founded in 1994 by the Lazzari Family, offering varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, merlot, Pinot Grigio, Seyval and Vidal Blanc. The vineyard has sandy gravel soil and gentle slopes that bring to mind the landscapes of France and Italy, which make the area ideal for growing grapes. Recently the winery won a Bronze Medal for their Nobska Red in the International Eastern Wine Competition. Wines are grown on-premise and sold in-house, as well as various liquor stores including: John’s Liquor Store, Murphy’s Fine Wines, Kappy’s and Liberty Liquors. Cape Cod Winery is open on weekends from 11am-4pm for tours and wine tasting.
The rise in wineries operating along the south coast of Massachusetts brings a new, classic aspect to the lifestyle of the permanent residents of this area. This new boom in wineries could mean a lot for the New World wines coming from the East coast. When venturing through the area, I recommend taking the time to visit these local vineyards. The wines they offer have been noted by critics worldwide including: The “O” Magazine, The Observer, Best American Sparkling Wine, SouthCoastToday, The Wallstreet Journal, The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, The Wine Spectator, The Providence Journal, and the Boston Globe.