The Old Firehouse Winery at Geneva-On-The-Lake is open daily (closed only on Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas). Hours: May 1 to September: Seven Days from Noon to Midnight. October to December 31: Sunday through Thursday Noon to 7PM, Friday and Saturday Noon to 11PM. January to April, Friday & Saturday Noon to 11PM, Sunday through Thursday Noon to 7PM.
Old Firehouse Winery Geneva-On-The-Lake: This quaint and enticing winery is located right in the heart of the Resort town of Geneva-on-the-Lake, situated in the Village’s first fire station. The name, Old Firehouse Winery, summarizes the atmosphere; an eclectic collection of fire paraphernalia and the fact that this was indeed the first Firehouse in Geneva-on-the-Lake. Besides its historic charm, much of the enjoyment in visiting the Old Firehouse is in its setting: the Lake Erie Shoreline.
The three partners in the Winery, Dave Otto, Joyce Otto, and Don Woodward never thought twice about their decision to start a new winery in Northeast Ohio, an area long known for outstanding wines and home to over a half-dozen wineries.
“The area’s reputation for fine wines, singular grapes, and the extraordinary wineries is precisely why we chose Northeast Ohio,” stated Dave Otto, managing partner. “Without quality grapes readily available, you are not going to have a quality wine.”
But why The Old Firehouse Winery? “You can thank my partner Don Woodward for that”, answered Dave.
A third generation volunteer firefighter, Don is now retired as a firefighter and EMT with the Geneva-on-the-Lake Fire Department and was the Assistant Fire Chief for a number of years. His grandfather was one of the original seven firemen who started the Fire Department in 1924.
“It really is an engaging story as to how this came to be the first firehouse,” explains Woodward, one of the partners in the Winery. “After fruitlessly battling blazes with a “bucket brigade,” several local businessmen chipped in and ordered a 1924 Graham Brothers firetruck. They now had a truck on the way, and had two immediate issues to address: a place to put the truck and who was going to be fire chief. Emery Tyler offered the use of his barn. Everyone was so grateful they promptly made him chief,” Don continued.
“So in 1987, Dave, his mom Joyce, and myself looked at an old run down barn and a rusting, 1924 Graham Brothers firetruck, and decided we had our Winery.” The firetruck still silently stands guard at the front of the Firehouse.
During the Summer months, the large, meandering patio and gazebo overlooking Lake Erie features a full service menu with dishes ranging from sandwiches to ethnic foods, to Barbecue chicken and ribs. Old Firehouse is known not only for its fine food; almost of the eighteen wines have at one time won medals in statewide competition. Nightly entertainment is featured seven nights throughout the summer.
Lake Erie wines, such as Raspberry Reflections, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, White Catawba, Pink Catawba, Grape Jamboree, Merlot, Sweet Concord, Firehouse Red, Lighthouse Niagara, Reflections of Lake Erie, Chambourcin and Port are made right on premises. Two different fruit wines are also featured, such as Spiced Apple and Peach. Prices range from $7.99 a bottle to $12.95 for the Premium “Firehouse Cellars” brand and $25.00 for our Port & $35.00 for our Ice Wine. Special events, nightly Summer Entertainment and its location in a marvelous Resort town have made this a popular Northeast Ohio attraction.
Special events are featured throughout the year. The most popular events include the Lake Erie Wine Fest in June, Firemen’s Roundup in June, the Celtic Feis in August, the two day Clam Bake and Food Extravaganza in September and the three day Christmas Party in December. Call for dates and details. Free tours are offered for groups of 20 or more, reservations are appreciated.
One of the major attractions in this region is the Lake Erie resort Village itself, a rare melange of shops, nightclubs, public parks, lake front cottages and amusements.