Drown Your Patriots Postseason Sorrows at This New Winery Near Gillette Stadium
Family-owned Debevino Winery brings Walpole 50 years of Italian-inspired craftsmanship, plus a game-day-friendly tasting room.
For one local Italian-American extended family, decades of sharing a winemaking hobby has turned into a unique new business in the town of Walpole. Debevino Winery opens this weekend on Rt. 1 South, just a mile from Gillette Stadium—and just in time to give the community something to do other than lament the Patriots’ early exit from the playoffs.
Debevino Winery is owned and operated by winemakers and cousins Al DeNapoli; brothers John, Rich and Paul Bevilacqua; and Dom Arpino. The company name is a portmanteau of their three surnames—and it also loosely translates from Italian to mean “drink of wine.” The men grew up in Roslindale, after their parents and grandparents emigrated from southern Italy. Since the early 1900s, their family has been making its own wines, including for decades in Greater Boston. This is the first time their wines are commercially available, but in 2017 and 2018, certain varieties have taken home the gold in several categories at the Italian American San Giovanni Annual Homemade Wine Competition.
The New World offerings in Debevino’s portfolio are inspired by their great-grandfathers’ low-intervention traditions, made with a limited use of sulfites and no other additives. Along with a semi-sweet “Rozzi Rosé,” named for their hometown, Debevino offers sangiovese, malbec, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, riesling, and pinot grigio styles. All wines are available at the tasting room by the glass or as part of a $12, four-sample tasting flight; and they’re also for sale on-site by the bottle and case. Visitors can take tours of the production floor when the tasting room is open.
The grapes come from vineyards in the Suisin Valley, certified by the state of California as “sustainable agriculture.” While not “certified organic,” the growers limit their use of water, and hand-pick the grapes instead of using machinery. Debevino produced this year’s harvest in an offsite facility, as their winery was under construction, but future vintages will ferment in Walpole using cultivated yeast strains.
The 1,000-square foot winery features a front tasting room with a 10-foot bar, a wraparound drink rail, and wine barrels for standing-height tables. The production space in the rear of the building also has some freestanding tables. A lush patio with ample outdoor seating will open this spring.
DeNapoli’s son, John, a Walpole native and Washington, D.C.-based restaurant architect and designer, envisioned the space with rustic woods, emerald tiles, copper and terra cotta details, and design elements like greenery and family photos. There’s also a wide-screen, high-def TV inside the tasting room, because it’s going to be a prime Gillette pregaming spot, after all. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the production floor, which is full of modern winemaking equipment, as well as several century-old pieces the families have used over the decades.
Rich Bevilacqua’s daughter, Lauren Bevilacqua Cantú, who was also raised in Walpole, created Debevino Winery’s brand identity, including labels, signage, and website.
Beginning Friday, Jan. 10, Debevino Winery is open each weekend, and the family has plans to add hours in the future. Also in the cards are themed events, including “Pats and Pours” tailgate parties, live music, and food trucks. The space is also available for private rentals.
Debevino is launching with a “Partners in Wine” cooperative membership, which comes with discounted pricing on cases of wine, the opportunity to join the winemakers for hands-on grape-crushing and bottling experiences, and more membership benefits.
“We’re truly so excited about being able to share our family’s love of natural winemaking with others and growing our Debevino family. We were often asked by people if they could buy some of our wine, but it was simply a labor of love for personal enjoyment. Now, we are answering that call and fulfilling our lifelong dream of opening a winery together,” Rich Bevilacqua said in a press release. “We think our fathers, and their fathers, would be very proud of how our generation, and hopefully those to follow, continue to hold onto the Debevino tradition.”
2255 Providence Highway (Rt. 1 South), Walpole, 508-622-3333, debevino.com.