During a spontaneous trip out to the Cape in March 1999, we spoke briefly with the owner of the Cape Cod Winery from the car and found that, while they don't officially open until around Memorial Day, they would be there through the afternoon. We pulled into the gorgeous vineyard and found the staff out caring for the vines. They prune the vines twice a year - once around now, and once again in the summer. Each time, a detailed plan for how each vine type will be trimmed is laid out. The attention to detail at Cape Cod Winery has paid off - although only in operation since 1994, they are already winning awards for their fantastic reds and whites.
One of the two winery owners, Dr. Kristina Lazzari, met us and brought us inside for a tasting. Her sister, Paula, poured the wines and explained each as we went. All of the wines are extremely low in sulfites, and are cold stabilized. Although they are not certified as organic, they use purely organic methods whenever possible. This helps the inorganic tools that they require in emergencies to have their full effect.
First was the Pinot Grigio. This is aged for 6-8 months over the winter, and had a delicious, citrusy aroma to it. Definitely one of the best, if not the best, whites I have tasted around.
Next came the Nobska White. "Nobska" is the name of the local lighthouse, and the white is a blanc de blanc blend of Seyval and Vidal grapes. These are also cold-fermented, and use a Champagne yeast. While this was also citrusy, it also had more of a honey flavor to it. Very full of body. We remarked that this wine would be excellent blended into a white port.
The Nobska Cranberry Blush is a Seyval / Cranberry blend. One can't drive through the Cape without seeing all of the rosy-red cranberry bogs about! This was a beautiful blush blend, not too sweet, not too tart. For simplicity, they purchase the juice of cranberries from a major local vendor.
Finally, my favorite, the Nobska Red. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this red is incredibly full bodied and had mouth-sucking flavor. Aged in Kentucky Oak for 18 months, it uses Red Bordeaux yeast. This wine matures quickly due to the low levels of sulfites in the wine. This helps to soften the tannins more quickly and, while it could be cellared for up to five years, we found it quite delicious as it stands.
There is also a Merlot, aged in oak barrels for 2 months, but this sells out so quickly that you need to be at the winery when it is released, or shortly thereafter, to sample a taste. If you're in the area, be sure to stop by!
We toured the vineyards themselves, watching the workers prune the vines and learning more about Cape Cod's organic approach. They use ladybugs and praying mantisses to curb pests, and even allow Japanese beetles to help them thin out the leaves a bit in mid-summer. Both owners of the winery have PhDs in Biochemistry, so they study every aspect of the vines' growth, taking notes and studying the results. Their wine shows the effort put into it.
Cape Cod Winery is open Memorial Day through October, with tastings on Saturday and Sunday 12-5. During July and August hours are Thursday to Sunday 12-5 for winetasting and sales.
We've visited the Cape Cod Winery many times since that initial visit, and the wines get better and better! For those sensitive to sulfites, the owners make several sulfite free wines.
Important Note!! Church Street Winery, located in Raynham Mass, has named a wine of theirs 'Cape Cod Wine'. This is not made on Cape Cod nor does it have anything to do with the Cape Cod Winery.
Cape Cod Winery Website
The Wineries of Massachusetts
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