One Sunday afternoon, the tasting room at Debevino Winery steadily fills as customers swirl and sip at the bar. Others assemble at wine barrels that act as high-top tables. The place evokes a scene in Napa or Long Island’s North Fork, but no, these wine enthusiasts are in Walpole, less than a mile from Gillette Stadium. Three brothers and two cousins, that equal five lifelong best friends, opened the winery in January. The owners John, Rich, and Paul Bevilacqua, Al DeNapoli and Dom Arpino all grew up together in Roslindale. Sons and grandsons of immigrants from rural southern Italy with a century-long family tradition of home winemaking, they carried on the custom. A black-and-white photo from 1977 on one wall is proof. The then-young men are in their basement winery, where they once crushed, pressed, and fermented grapes, with bottles of wine in hand. “Starting a winery is our dream realized,” says Rich. They combined letters from their last names to come up with Debevino (loosely translated from Italian, it means drink of wine). The four — one is retired from public relations — still have full-time careers in construction, telecommunications, as a lawyer and engineer. “I think our fathers would say, ‘You guys are crazy,’ ” says DeNapoli. They bring in grapes from California’s Suisun Valley, a premier viticulture region neighboring Napa. Arpino is the vintner and crafts five red wines, three whites and a rose, with minimal intervention (tastings are $12 for four sample pours; $8 a glass; $18 to $20 a bottle). Some varieties have earned awards in homemade wine competitions. Standouts are the sauvignon blanc, crisp and aromatic with grapefruit and lemony flavors; a rich and plummy petite sirah; and a peppery zinfandel. For a fun and instructive weekend evening or afternoon, the tasting room is open Friday, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For details and to reserve a tasting, go to debevino.com. 2255 Providence Highway, Walpole, 508-622-3333.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.