The Roberts traveled and lived many places around the world before settling down in the place they honeymooned in the 1960s. Why get into the winery business in this unusual location? “To have a good life,” according to Dave. The good life, indeed.
You have to go off the beaten wine trail to find this charming vineyard in Truro, Massachusetts. Located just off of Route 6, this vineyard has been in existence since 1992 and is owned and operated by Dave and Kathy Roberts and their three children.
The estate farmhouse dates back to 1813 and was painted several times by artist Edward Hopper. Free tours of the property run at 1 and 3 pm from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. The tours are quick and can be crowded at this popular spot.
On the day we arrived, the proprietor Dave was showing the storage and labeling areas. There are two winemakers at this vineyard, one of which is Dave’s son. In a tribute to their other winemaker, Matyas Vogel, they use not only French and American oak to age their reds, but also Hungarian Oak.
Behind the house is the tasting area, where you can taste 5 wines for $8. We were presented with a nice selection of whites and reds, representing most major grapes you would expect. Some of the grapes are grown onsite and others are sourced from California. In addition to the usual wines, Truro Vineyards ventures out of the norm with their Lighthouse Series which are unusually blended and come in hand-labeled lighthouse shaped bottles.
A few short tasting notes from my visit:
The 2009 Vignoles, a sweet and flowery wine, is reminiscent of a riesling. Our server suggested pairing it with thai food, a great suggestion as the sweetness of the wine would balance out the spiciness of the food.
The 2009 Zinfandel, aged for 18 months in American Oak, showcases the versatility of this grape in the hands of the winemaker. This wine was lighter than a typical Zin with an alcohol level of only 12.5%. Perfect for those who prefer a less full bodied Zin and a great red for a hot summer night. The grapes are sourced from Lodi, California.
For me, the 2008 Cabernet France was the standout wine. Touted as the signature varietal, the grapes are grown onsite. The wine has a classic Cab France minerality, with an under the earth flavor and a smooth finish. I always get excited to see a bottle of 100% cabernet franc, a more recent trend here in the US.
The best selling wines are in the Lighthouse Series: Cranberry Red and Diamond White. Any of these unusual wines would be perfect gifts for the wine lovers in your life. The Diamond White comes in a stunning cobalt blue bottle, which no doubt contributes to this being the most popular wine at this vineyard.
The outdoor wine tasting season is short in New England and a new group comes in every half an hour to maximize seatings. My advice? Bring some cheese and crackers, try the quick tasting, and then choose a bottle or two to bring out to the front picnic tables for a more leisurely tasting.
While you’re picking out a bottle to enjoy, check out the wonderful gift shop which does a brisk business after the tours and tastings. You’ll find everything you could need from wine gadgets, books, and other paraphernalia to get through any wine decorating need.
If you don’t find yourself in Truro this summer, you can join the wine club and receive shipments throughout the year. If you are in the Boston area, there are many fine restaurants that now serve these wines by the glass, such as Top of the Hub, Davio’s, Henrietta’s Table, and Bondir.
You can find out more information on Truro Vineyards here: http://trurovineyardsofcapecod.com
On the way to the vineyard, if you want to stop to enjoy some classic Cape fare, you might want to stop by Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar. Reminiscent of Gott’s Roadside in Napa Valley, you can get a nice glass of wine or beer to go with your fried clams!
All in all, a wonderful way to spend a day in Olde Cape Cod!