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Eat, Drink and be Merry!

Plymouth Bay Winery

The longest running winery in Plymouth, Plymouth Bay Winery has been a staple of the area for 27 years. “We’ve been in this physical location for 22,” explains Michael Carr, the current owner. Michael and Pam Carr bought the Plymouth Bay Winery a little over 10 years ago in May of 2011. 

Producing anywhere from 11 to 15 varietals of wine, there’s always something new being bottled anytime of the year. Michael offers, “What we like to say is that we’re in the hospitality business. And we just happen to make the best fruit wines too. We want people to ‘experience delicious.’”

Plymouth Bay currently produces over half a dozen fruit wines, ranging from blackberry, apricot, cranberry, cherry, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry. “Peach is our current seasonal wine,” Michael shares. 

Photos by Hannah Van Buren

While the ingredients of the wine itself are not grown by the winery, they work with growers throughout the Northeast. “We get the product either as juice or as flash frozen concentrate,” explains Michael. “We reconstitute the concentrate and then we ferment it from there. We ferment, we blend, we bottle, we label–we do everything here.”

The winery’s catch phrase, “Play with Bay”, denotes an air of interaction. With a bottling facility right on site, visitors get the chance to peer through glass doors and catch a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes production. “Guests can try five of our wines and get a keepsake glass. They also get to try some of our wine jellies and sauces.” These wine jellies and sauces (and chocolates!) gained the winery a spot on “Chronicle” as well as “Good Morning America”. Michael describes a few different combinations of flavor mash-ups, “We’ve made a Concord Grape wine which is what we pair with peanut butter pretzels. We also have people dip Nilla Wafers in our strawberry, cherry or raspberry wines, and it tastes like a holiday cookie.” 

For the curious, Plymouth Bay added a Recipe Playbook on their website that details the ingredients and flavor profiles that go into making each wine unique. “We tell people when they visit: ‘We hope you like our wines; we hope you like our wine jellies.’” Michael says. “But you should always enjoy the experience; you’ve decided to sit and take your time to visit us. We want to make sure you have a great time.”

Plymouth Bay Winery is open seven days a weekLocated at 141 Water Street (rear building), Plymouth, MA

Truro Vineyards  + South Hollow Spirits

We’re sitting with our toes in the grass, sipping and slurping fresh Wellfleet oysters and frozen spiced rum mudslides. Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy” echoes across the great lawn while acrobats gracefully work aerial silks from twenty feet in the air. If this was a dream it would be a darn good one, but it’s just another day at Truro Vineyards. “The circus came to town!” Kristen Roberts announces to us with her trademark smile. Kristen, who is the winery’s ringleader, is making sure that everyone is having a good time—from patrons partaking in wine tastings and folks noshing from the food trucks, to the D.J and local kids working as greeters. 

After closing hours on Sundays in July and August, “Sunday Funday” kicks off for two hours of everything life should be about—good food and drink, meeting new friends and listening to music. Although clowns and acrobats aren’t the norm, they fit in as well with Truro Vineyards’ sense of adventure and fun.

Photos provided by Truro Vineyards

Kristen’s father David Roberts kicked the adventure off back in 2007 when, as the family tells it, “Dad took a bike ride down the road, and returned with a winery.” Since then, the business has grown just as fast as their vines. Truro Vineyards now boasts a large scenic outdoor tasting and events pavilion, a spacious indoor venue for rehearsal dinners, weddings and fundraisers, a greatly expanded gift shop chock full of local art and food artisans, a 2,000 square foot distillery, the Crush Pad food truck serving grub with gourmet twists (courtesy of Truro’s treasured Black Fish Restaurant), and the addition of many more outdoor dining areas to keep up with the crowds. 

Our mudslides hail from The Hollow, a bar within a shack, loaded from top to bottom with the wines of the day, chosen each week by the Roberts family. Thanks to the incredible talents of head winemaker Milan Vujnic from Croatia, their inventory is  expansive and currently offers seven red and seven white varietals, as well as a sparkling Brut Rosé, a light bodied Blush, a dry Rosé  and a perfect-for-punch Cranberry Red. 

Wines are offered in an array of vessels—from elegant bottles adorned with captivating Cape Cod artwork, to collectible lighthouse shaped bottles and even “beach ready” cans.  

The man behind the cocktails is Kristen’s brother David Jr., who is the wizard of South Hollow Spirits, Cape Cod’s first legal distillery since prohibition. Dave’s line of spirits is expanding almost as fast as his awards and accolades, and currently include a Twenty Boat Spiced Rum, which is made with spices from their neighbor, the Atlantic Spice Company (and makes a killer frozen drink, did we mention that?), a white rum, an amber rum and Dry Line Gin, made with Truro-grown red cedar juniper berries and angelica root. Although Dave stays more behind the scenes, he too makes sure everyone is having a great time by constantly inventing new and innovative cocktails that highlight his efforts. Many variations of his cocktails can be found on the South Hollow Spirits’ website. 

Speaking of websites, all of the wines of Truro Vineyards, as well as most of their gift shop, can be purchased online, where oenophiles can sign up for their Wine Club, which has more perks than a Grammy winner’s swag bag. Club members can enjoy getting wines in the mail, receive free wine tastings for two during any visit, private VIP tasting areas and 20% off just about anything for purchase. It seems like the Robert’s family has figured it all out. Their two businesses, Truro Vineyards and South Hollow Spirits, are thriving. Visitors from afar flock to the fun, while the Truro locals are grateful to have such a philanthropic and celebrated family in their own backyard. As Stevie Nicks sings, “Lightening strikes, maybe once, maybe twice.”   ~ Tommy Dott

Truro Vineyards + South Hollow Spirits is located at 11 Shore Road (Route 6A), Truro, MA

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