Sundays in the Mattapoisett area are ripe for wandering. The unwritten rule for most businesses is to cherish silent Sundays. As such, the doors snug closed add a challenging air to the hunt for “something to do.” Last Sunday, after a lunch of burritos and sangria with friends, The Bartender and his crew sought a studio space for the painter among us, and Kelly and I strolled well-worn cobblestones in search of coffee. Instead, we were met with a sign whose chalky scrawls beckoned us towards the warmth of an urban winery for a tasting. Through weighty, glass-paned doors we entered Travessia.
The tasting room welcomes with old world style. Rich, dark wood shelves wines and jellies. Glossy, vintage tiles of purple grapes and leafy greens glisten a frame around the room whose footing is a muted, yet-dizzying-still pattern reminiscent of my North End apartment days. Steel tanks announce their temperature monitoring with lulling hums. Casks mellow on either side of the room, an unassuming entrance to work spaces.
The young woman serving exudes passion for the wine she pours. While we sip our way through Pinot Grigio and unoaked Chardonnay, we learn that she’s a teacher as well as grad student who appreciates slow Sundays so she may catch up on reading. Over the honeyed Vidal Blanc, I imagine aloud a peach and strawberry sangria. She shares that she’s a sangria purist, having lived in Spain where she’d scoop cups of the real deal straight from barrels. By the dry Rosé, I’m admitting to my wine studies and we’re sharing in our delight of wine learning. Then, comes their red blend.
A moment later, I forget about the seasonal chill outside. The grapes, sourced from California, emit warmth through deep berry, spice, oak and chocolate tastes. Just a sip and I’m back in Northern California with my Dad, tasting our way around the local vineyards in Sonoma, Napa and Healdsburg. I pay closer attention to the vines draping the land that surrounded the visits of my youth, but were taken for granted in their familiarity. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I began my tasting travels. Those wineries beckoned mature appreciation for the land. Its fruits. Its labor. That’s when I decided to study the grape.
I drain the glass with patient sips. We must return to the men who wait for us in a local pub. Wanting to fade back to that sense of place again, I purchase a bottle.
I hope to remove the cork with Kelly and our beaus while seated beside the wood stove on another Sunday in the deep of winter. When, perhaps, we’ll need a fanciful trip in mind to warm our spirits while quiet is the only drifter upon the snowy landscape that surrounds.