I thoroughly enjoy wine exploration. Wine is now produced in all 50 of the United States. I look forward to each opportunity that arises to try new wines from all over the US as well as each wine producing country and region in the world; the possibilities are truly endless. Therefore, when I received an email from Marco at Travessia Urban Winery in downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts graciously offering me media samples of his wine I promptly accepted the offer. Travessia is Portuguese and means “a trip across great distance of sea or land; a passage: ‘the journey of life,’” as explained on the Travessia web site.
Marco Montez is the owner and winemaker of Travessia. Marco grew up in Portugal where the idea of wine making was artisanal; producing wine by hand (and feet) was the only way and wine was made for consumption by family and friends. Marco came to the US at the encouragement of his uncle who immigrated in the early 80’s. Since Marco grew up with winemaking in his blood and tradition each fall, he chose to pursue it as an occupation in the US. Although Marco has no formal training in enology, Running Brook Winery invited Marco in spring 2007 to join their winemaking team. Marco not only understands and practices traditional wine making techniques, he also enjoys the freedom to experiment with new formulas and methods.
Marco opened Travessia Urban Winery in December 2008. Though the winery is located in an urban setting, they source all their grapes from Massachusetts growers; therefore, their wines are representative of the Massachusetts appellations. Marco sources his grapes from Running Brook Vineyards and Westport Rivers, both in Southeastern Massachusetts. Marco opposes blending grapes from regions outside Massachusetts, recognizing it changes the character of the wine so when you purchase Travessia wines you know you are purchasing 100% Massachusetts grown grapes. Marco is not seeking to produce wines that mimic other wine growing regions in the world; rather, he seeks to produce wines that are “honest, distinctive, and characteristic of [the Massachusetts] region. Furthermore, Marco’s wines are an “authentic reflection of the local soils and micro climate’ in Massachusetts.
Travessia 2013 Pinot Noir Rosé: This wine was crafted from 100% Pinot Noir. It poured a pleasing light salmon/coral with high viscosity into the glass. On the nose this rose offered subtle aromas of strawberries, citrus, fresh cut herbs and floral notes. On the palate it carried the aromas forward with flavors of strawberry, herbs and lemon zest on the back of the palate. This rosé was dry with a tart finish, medium in body and finish. It contained 11.5% alcohol with no malolactic fermentation and no oak aging. It was crisp and light. Only 230 cases produced. SRP $16 at winery.
Travessia 2013 Vidal Blanc: This wine was crafted from 100% Vidal Blanc, a grape most frequently used in ice wines. It poured a pale gold with high clarity into the glass and met the nose with inviting aromas of tropical fruit, melons, fresh cut grass and floral notes. On the palate it offered a variety of pleasing flavors such as fresh cut pineapple, grapefruit, white peaches, cantelope and fresh cut grass with the tartness of lemon zest that lingered on the back of the palate. It was crisp and refreshing with a slight effervescence. It offered a round acidity with a full mouth feel and lingering finish. It contained 12.5% alcohol with no malolactic fermentation and no oak aging. This wine was palate pleasing. Only 240 cases produced. SRP $15 at winery.
Travessia 2013 Chardonnay: This wine was crafted of 100% chardonnay. It was pale staw in color with high clarity and brilliance. On the nose this chardonnay offered aromas of stone fruit, pears and apples with a hint of funk. On the palate it delivered flavors of Bartlett pears, Granny Smith apples and toasted oak. It was a bit tart on the back of the palate. It was a medium body wine that offered a full mouth coating and long finish. It contained 13% alcohol, underwent partial malolactic fermentation and was aged in new French oak barrels for 4 months. It was not my style of chardonnay but it is a style that sells and should be very popular among consumers. Only 190 cases produced. SRP $ 18 at winery.
Travessia 2013 Riesling: This 100% Riesling poured a light straw with green highlights with nice clarity into the glass. It met the nose with the inviting Riesling aromas of fresh, bright stone fruit, tropical fruit and honeysuckle. Those flavors followed through as this Riesling delivered invigorating flavors of white peaches, Bartlett pears, cantaloupe and honeydew melons and a hint of petrol that developed over time on the back of the palate. This Riesling seduced with round acidity, rich creaminess and a lingering finish that begged for another sip. It contained 11% alcohol with no malolactic fermentation and no oak aging. As a big time Riesling lover I enjoyed this wine. Only 340 cases produced. SRP $18 at the winery.
According to Appellation America’s web site there are a dozen wineries in Massachusetts with vineyards concentrated in the coastal lands within the New England AVA. There are approximately 13 different grape varieties grown in Massachusetts. Within the Southeastern New England AVA the bays and ocean moderate seasonal extremes providing average daily temperatures of 30 degree Fahrenheit in January and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in July, while also provided stable temperatures throughout the days and nights. This provides suitable conditions for cold-hardy vinifera varieties, such as Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as French hybrids, such as Vidal Blanc.
I encourage you to visit Travessia Urban Winery’s web site to learn more about them as well as view their entire portfolio of wine. Have you had wine from Massachusetts? Travessia is working hard to produce high quality wines at reasonable prices. I encourage you to order a few bottles, invite some friends over and try their wines.
My Song Selection: Marco Montez is an “Indie” wine maker so I am pairing his wines with an Indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY. The song I have chosen to pair with Travessia Wines is Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear. What better way to enjoy east coast indie wine than listening to east coast indie music.
Get your own bottles of Travessia Urban Winery’s rosé, vidal blanc, chardonnay and riesling and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!