Bad beach day? Head to a vineyard

Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:02pm EDT
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By Leslie Gevirtz

TRURO, Massachusetts (Reuters Life!) - Cape Cod, the peninsula in Massachusetts shaped like a fighter's upraised arm jabbing into the North Atlantic, is famed for its sand dunes, salty air and the Kennedy family.

It also has vineyards that visitors flock to on rainy summer afternoons.

"We're a rainy day activity," said Kristen Roberts, whose father Dave, a veteran of the marketing and sales side of the wine business, bought Truro Vineyards four years ago from two horticulturists.

"They were lovely women and they had the background. They studied the soil and the climate and as a result planted Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes," Dave Roberts said, pointing to the 3.5 acres under cultivation.

Most of the vines date back to 1991, he added.

Age is important for vines. Newly planted vines won't produce for three to four years, while vines older than 60 years don't produce as many bunches, though their grapes are filled with flavor and complexity.

Eighteen-year-old vines are moving into their prime.

"We have planted some Merlot. But we're wrestling with it," said the 68-year-old vintner.   Continued...

<p>A grape picker cleans a bunch of grapes during a day of grape harvest in south-eastern France September 21, 2005. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>