If you daydream of drinking a glass of wine with beautiful scenery in view, you can make it a reality at a Cape Cod winery. The Massachusetts Cape has three wonderful wineries and vineyards, while three others are located just a day trip away. However, these aren’t the only places to enjoy locally grown fruits and friendly hospitality. Whether you’re a Cape Cod local or visiting for vacation, we hope that this list of Cape Cod wineries, vineyards, and more helps you plan a memorable experience.
Things to Know Before You Visit Cape Cod Wineries & Vineyards
Before we get into the list, let’s address a few common questions…
1. What is the difference between a Cape Cod winery and a vineyard?
Basically, a winery is property where grapes and other fruits are turned into wine. It may have winemaking equipment, storage facilities, and bottling facilities. Many wineries have tasting rooms and offer tours that demonstrate how they make the wine.
A vineyard is where the grapes (and sometimes other fruits) are grown. Usually, it’s the first thing that pops into your head when you imagine wine country. Without the vineyard, the winemaking process wouldn’t be possible.
However, not all vineyards have a winery, and not all wineries have a vineyard. Some wineries source their grapes and other fruits from third-party vineyards. When a winery says that it uses estate-grown fruit, though, you know that it has its own vineyard. And if a vineyard has a tasting room but no winery, it likely purchases the wines from a third-party winery.
2. What is a wine farmer called?
Generally, this person is called a grape farmer or grape grower. Since the practice of growing grapes is called viticulture, a person who does this is technically called a viticulturist. Also, a person who cultivates grapes for wine is called a vigneron, while a person who makes or sells wines is called a vintner.
3. Is it customary to tip for a wine tasting?
Most tasting rooms don’t expect tips, but tips are always appreciated. It’s a nice gesture for the pourer if you taste more wines than expected, are with a large group, or had an exceptional experience.
Now, let’s get into the best Cape Cod wineries, vineyards, and more.
A Top-Notch Winery & Vineyard in the Upper Cape
In the Upper Cape region, Cape Cod Winery is located in Falmouth, a bustling town with more than 68 miles of shoreline. This historical town has a rich agricultural history. The East Falmouth neighborhood is where commercial cranberry bog and strawberry operations became successful in the 20th century.
Several local farms carry on this legacy. In fact, Cape Cod Winery’s land was one of the first strawberry farms in the early 1900s.
The winery and vineyard is a small family-run business, and the owners (Pete and Erika Orlandella) often greet visitors. During the summer, you’re likely to see their three kids and extended family members helping in the gift shop and tasting room. In addition, the winery hosts events throughout the year — live music concerts and wine-and-yoga experiences — and is dog-friendly!
While you’re in the Upper Cape, you could stop by Trevi Cafe and Wine Bar in Mashpee. It has a diverse, unique selection of about 30 Old World and New World wines that pair seamlessly with its Mediterranean-style cuisine. The contemporary restaurant has lunch and dinner menus, and you can order wine by the glass or bottle.
The Best Place to Enjoy Wine in the Mid-Cape
Entering the Mid-Cape, the best place to enjoy wine is at Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Hyannis, a village in the town of Barnstable. This fourth-generation family business was founded in 1940 and offers excellent customer service. The store has an extensive collection of wines — from the inexpensive to the high end. It stocks brands at every price point and for any occasion.
Kappy’s is known for showcasing the best wines during events. If you visit Cape Cod in April, you could partake in the Spring Wine Tasting. The store has hosted several wine dinners with multicourse meals and the world’s greatest wines too.
An Outstanding Lower Cape Cod Winery
In Harwich of the Lower Cape, First Crush Winery has been producing award-winning wines for decades. The name is a play on words that depicts the realities of winemaking and the social enjoyment of drinking wine. The mission behind it is to impress even the most discerning wine lovers by using the finest equipment, technology, and fruit in the land.
At the core of First Crush Winery is a COOPerative that provides an optional opportunity for the members to help make the wine that they’ll eventually take home. The winery produces 4,200 cases of wine every year with fruit that it gets from trusted growers in Northern California. You can get a taste of the results at the winery, which rests just off the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
A standard wine tasting includes samples of five wines and a plate of local cheese and crackers. In addition to that, the premier tasting includes a sample of a vintner reserve wine, a chocolate cookie, and a keepsake wineglass. You can order wine by the glass and the popular turbo wine slushy as well.
Note: Harwich isn’t the only town in the Lower Cape that offers an amazing Cape Cod wine experience. There are several restaurants in Brewster that have amazing wine lists as well as delicious dishes.
The Finest Outer Cape Winery & Vineyard
Truro Vineyards in the Outer Cape is the pioneer of growing maritime grapes. The vineyard was established in Truro in 1991 and is the only vinifera vineyard (or common grape vineyard) in the region.
The 5-acre farm grows merlot, chardonnay, and cabernet franc wine grape varieties, and the farmers pick the grapes by hand at harvest. Because of the sandy soil, temperate climate, and warm ocean breezes, the grapes have lush character and intense flavor. The vineyard sources grapes from other Massachusetts, New York, and California vineyards to make handcrafted wines.
In a carefully restored 1830s farmhouse, you’ll find the gift shop and tasting room. The five wines included in the tasting flight change weekly. If you plan to visit with a group of people, you can reserve a table for a guided private tasting and keepsake wineglass for each person.
On the Truro Vineyards property, you can sample Twenty Boat Rums and Dry Line Gins. The spirits are produced by the on-site distillery — South Hollow Spirits.
A Fun Winery Tour on Cape Cod
While you could plan your own Cape Cod winery and vineyard tour, TapTastings can arrange a tour for you instead. Located in Mashpee, the company specializes in excursions of all kinds and for all occasions.
You can book a travel-only excursion that takes you where you want to go without any extras. On the other hand, you can book an all-inclusive tour that includes pickup, drop-off, safe transportation, venue arrangements, drink and food costs, and more.
For a wine excursion, you can choose from Cape Cod Winery, First Crush Winery, and Truro Vineyards — or all three! If you want to do more than taste wine, you can go to a brewery, coffee shop, bakery, or anywhere else. You can customize your excursion however you like without worrying about driving.
More Wineries & Vineyards Near Cape Cod
If you want to visit more than Cape Cod’s wineries and vineyards, there are a few others nearby.
Plymouth Bay Winery
To the west of Cape Cod, Plymouth Bay Winery in Plymouth makes wines from native, locally grown berries and grapes. The tasting room is open daily, and you can stop by with or without a reservation. Each Plymouth tasting experience includes five wine samples and a plate of hummus or cheese with fresh fruit and crackers (a gluten-free option is available). You can try more samples for an additional charge, and order wine by the glass.
1620 Winery & Wine Bar
At 1620 Winery & Wine Bar in Plymouth, you get two premier destinations in one. The 1620 Winery at Cordage Park is a stunning event space and a fully operational winery that produces award-winning wines. It’s located on the site of the historic Cordage Rope Company. With the Vintners Experience, you get a tour of the winery and a tasting of select wines directly from the barrels and tanks.
Down the road and next to the 1620 Wine Bar on the Waterfront is the winery’s tasting room, where you can enjoy samples at any time. You don’t need a reservation to sample small and large wine flights. The wine bar has a great view of the harbor, a full tapas menu, one of the most extensive lists of cocktails and wines in the region, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cisco Brewers Inc.
To the southeast of Cape Cod, Cisco Brewers Inc. is located on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket. This family of companies includes Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery, and Nantucket Vineyard. It has the first and only craft brewery on the island.
While Nantucket Vineyard grew its own grapes in the past, now it sources the fruit from other vineyards and makes wine on the island. You can schedule a tour of the brewery and other facilities. Alongside world-class wines, you can sample award-winning beers, spirits, and local foods.
Best Cape Cod Bed & Breakfast for Your Wine Tour
Whether you plan your own Cape Cod winery tour or have a company arrange everything for you, having a central location to rest is ideal. Candleberry Inn is an elegant bed and breakfast located in Brewster in the Lower Cape and near the middle of the peninsula.
We can bring a little bit of the wine tasting experience to your room whenever you like with a bottle of wine. If you’re a newlywed couple, we can help you plan the ultimate Cape Cod honeymoon. Also, we can suggest tons of other things to do in Brewster during your stay.