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The Cellar: Coastal Wine Trail’s Running Brook Vineyards

Friday, August 17, 2012

 

Running Brook Vineyards is a real find on the Coastal Wine Trail, offering a terrific dessert wine as well as tasty Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

This summer and fall, Steffen Rasch is exploring Southern New England’s Coastal Wine Trail. This week he visits Running Brook Vineyard in North Dartmouth, MA.

Running Brook Vineyard is owned and operated by Pedro Teixeira and Manuel Morais, who founded the Estate in 1998. Pedro and Manuel, both natives of the Azores, have a traditional approach to winemaking. Their wines are a clear expression of cool climate grapes and the unique micro-climate of Southern New England, as well as a splash of their Portuguese heritage.

The vineyard

Running Brook has two vineyards, one 8-acre vineyard in Dartmouth and a 13-acre vineyard located in Westport. Given the cool climate, it is no surprise that their combined 21 acres are planted primarily with white grape varietals with Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc make up 70% of their planting. The rest consists of Pinot Gris and the red varietals Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir. As with most small operations there is no irrigation system and all the harvesting is done by hand.

Pedro and Manuel make some pretty interesting wines, among them some unique sweet wines using several traditional techniques. Their late harvest dessert wine, 'Frost' wine, is made from Vidal Blanc grapes that have been left hanging on the vine exposing them to frost. With the water inside the grape frozen, the clusters are harvested and pressed for its densely flavored juice concentrated with sugar and acidity. They also make sweet wine from botrytis-infected Chardonnay grapes and two Port style wines, a white made from Vidal Blanc and a red made from Petit Verdot—both fortified with a Vidal Blanc based brandy.

The wines

At a recent visit I tasted the current lineup, including a barrel sample of the awesome 2011 Frost, not yet bottled. Among my favorites were the 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay and the 2010 Vidal Blanc, displaying crisp green apple and canned peach respectfully. I also really enjoyed their 2007 Pinot Noir, which displayed wonderful bright, red fruit and a spicy finish.

Special note: At Running Brook they love to entertain. Visit them tonight, Friday 8/17, for the TGIF Free Music Night featuring Jeff Dunn or come down this Sunday afternoon, 8/19, for 'Cigar Sunday'. Call (508) 985-1998 for more information or visit their Web site.

Enjoy!

Running Brook Vineyards, 335 Old Fall River Rd, North Dartmouth. Open daily from noon to 5pm.

Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at [email protected]. And as always, don’t forget to follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook and sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.

 

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