When you think of domestic wines you probably don’t think about New England varietals or taking a trip to vineyards in Massachusetts. I learned that I was dead wrong after visiting a couple of the vineyards recently. With wide varieties of wines available, from Chardonnays to sparking wines, there are options for most palettes.
While I have been a fan of the Temecula wine region, just outside of San Diego for some time, the New England vineyards were surprising in that they have quite a bit to offer. Many of these vineyards also feature well appointed tasting rooms and grounds that are perfect for sharing a bottle of your favorite vintage after completing a tasting with one of the sommeliers.
The Coastal Wine trail
The New England wine trail begins in southern Connecticut, winds through Rhode Island and Massachusetts, ending in Truro on Cape Cod. The nine vineyards that make up the trail vary from extremely relaxed and low key (Running Brook) to a bit higher end (Westport Rivers and Coastal Vineyards).
The highlights of the Wine Trail
At Truro Vineyards on Cape Cod you cannot miss the chance to taste the Truro Vineyards Cranberry Red. A truly unique wine, with a hint of cranberry flavor, this wine is difficult to find outside of Cape Cod, though distribution has grown in the past few years. They also offer other unique varietals in the Lighthouse Series as well as traditional reds and whites.
At Westport Rivers be sure to at least try the 2006 Westport Brut RJR. This Gold Medal winner was named one of Oprah’s favorite things and has been served in the White House under three different presidents. Westport Rivers Vineyard also has a very scenic, New England charm to it. If weather permits, I’d recommend grabbing a bottle of Cinco Caes ($17.99) and heading out to the picnic table area to enjoy the view and ambiance.
At any of the participating vineyards you can also pick up your own coastal wine trail passport, which provides information about the vineyards. BY collecting stamps at the vineyards that you visit you can be entered to win some great prizes, including a 7-day cruise, 2-night Cape Cod getaway or gift certificates to the vineyards.
Planning your wine trail tour
Since there are quite a few vineyards, taking a couple days to complete the wine trail is ideal. Start your trip at Langworthy Farm on the Connecticut / Rhode Island border and end in Truro on Cape Cod. For places to stay, I’d recommend finding a room in New Bedford and grabbing some incredible tapas at Cork Wine and Tapas. Ending in Truro, I’d grab a room in Wellfleet, the next town over, where there are quite a few dining and hotel options.
61 Pardon Hill Road
South Dartmouth, MA 02748
T: (774) 202-4876
Open April—December, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Noon—5PM
582 Wapping Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871
T: (401) 847-3777 / F: (401) 846-0507
Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm / Sundays noon-5pm
Tour Info: Public Vineyard Tours Daily at 2pm
308 Shore Rd. (Scenic Rte. 1A)
Westerly, R.I 02891
T: (401)322-7791 /Toll Free (888)355-7083
Memorial Day- New Years Eve, 12PM-5PM, Wed.-Sun.
Off Season: Jan.2-Memorial Day, 12PM-5PM, Fri., Sat. Sun.
909 East Main Rd. (Rte. 138)
Middletown, RI 02842
T: (401) 848-5161 / F: (401) 848-5162
Open 7 Days A Week, Mon – Sat 10am to 5pm / Sunday Noon to 5pm
Tour Info: Public Winery Tours Daily at 1 and 3pm
335 Old Fall River Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
T: (508) 985-1998 / F: (508) 985-1998
Open Year Round 12-5 pm 7 days a week
162 West Main Road
Little Compton, RI 02837
T: (401) 635-8486 / T: (401) 635-2101
Open daily, Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day 10 – 6
Columbus Day – Memorial Day Weekend 11-5
523 Taugwonk Road, PO Box 463
Stongington, CT 06378
T: (860) 535-1222 / F: (860) 535-2182
Open Mon-Fri 11am-4pm / Sat-Sun 11-5pm
11 Shore Road (Route 6A)
North Truro, MA 02652
T: (508)487-6200 | F: (508)487-1688
Hours of Operation: April 3rd gift shop and tasting room are open for the season. Friday-Saturday 11-5, Sunday 12-5
May 1st- open 7 days a week for wine tastings and gift shop. Monday-Saturday 11-5, Sunday 12-5
417 Hix Bridge Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
T: 800 993-9695 ex:2 or T: (508) 636-3423
Open year round Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Closed Sunday
Free Winery Tours offered Saturday at 1pm and 3pm