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Urban Winemaking Meets Massachusetts Grapes at Travessia Winery

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Small-batch artisanal winemaking is what Travessia Winery in downtown New Bedford does best. Making just over 1,000 cases of wine per year is a passion for Owner and Winemaker Marco Montez, whose winery's name means "a passage" or "the journey of life" in Portuguese.

Growing up on his family's vineyard in northern Portugal, he helped grow and make wine that primarily was drunk by family and friends. Montez moved to the U.S. at age 17, and got back into winemaking in his 30s with the help of his uncle, who also had moved to America and was a lifelong winemaker. In 2007, Montez was approached to help create wines for Running Brook Vineyards, and the next year, he opened Travessia Winery. Next comes owning land for his own vineyard in Southeast New England, so he can control the type and quality of the grapes produced.

Montez learned to make wine the hands-on way. He is prone to creations outside the bottle, so to speak, that give his wines a distinct, yet simple, flavor, and almost all grapes used in Travessia wines are sourced from Massachusetts.

Even though U.S. law allows blending 15 percent of grapes from other regions with the local wine-making grapes without alerting the consumer, Montez believes "the mixing of local and non-local grapes alters the true origin of the wine." All Travessia's Massachusetts wines are made solely with grapes from the state.

The wine speaks for itself, sipped in this urban setting. "There are no pretty views, beautiful landscapes and romantic sunsets here," Montez says. "Those who love Travessia and keep coming back do it simply because of the quality of our wines."

The Wine Club gives wine connoisseurs a chance to taste the wineries options in whites, rosés and reds, from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, along with special perks if you live in the area. Sorry, out-of-state visitors, but shipping is only available within Massachusetts, at least for now.

From a wine fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society to featuring one local visual artist a month on "The Wall", Travessia continually gives back to the community that supports it. Those who come for a taste or two and purchase a piece of artwork can know that all sales go directly to the artist.

New Bedford is a special place for Montez as the city that welcomed him into this country. "Once I decided to open an urban winery," he explains, "there was no other place that came to mind."

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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