featuring Ohio wine trails and tastings

Brothers Drake Meadery

brothers-drake-meadery-columbusBrother’s Drake Meadery in Columbus, Ohio is open Wed – Fri from from 5pm – 12am, Sat from 1pm – 12am,

Brothers Drake Meadery is an urban producer of wines made from honey.  Sourced from local wildflower honey and only sold in Ohio, it is not only delicious but a modern take on an ancient tradition, and a building block in strengthening the local economy.  The Meadery also serves as a bar hosting community events and live music.  Visit the website above for a tour of the production facility or to book an event.

Camelot Cellars Winery & Bistro in Columbus Ohio

camelot-cellars-columbus-ohio-wineryCamelot Cellars is open Tue – Fri from 4-10pm and Saturday from 11am – 10pm

Camelot Cellars is an award winning Urban Boutique Winery, handcrafting their own wines sourcing premier juices from vineyards all over the world. Offerings include retail wines by the bottle, wine tastings, flights, and event spaces. They also have beer on tap, hard ciders and an Italian Bistro featuring hand-made pastas, scratch-made sauces, flatbreads, cheese boards and more. Saturday Brunch from 11-2 is always a busy time, so it’s best to make a reservation. Their Wine-making Lab allows guests to handcraft or adopt their very own wine and personalize bottles with a custom label. The Winery can accommodate up to 125 guests.

After spending many years in the Short North, Camelot Cellars moved to Olde Towne East in 2016 for more space to accommodate for demand. The new location has 20 bar seats, comfortable seating for more than 70 people, and an interactive customer wine-making area. The surrounding community is a perfect fit for the locally made, wine-is-art vibe at Camelot.

Their juices come from vineyards around the world. They’ve become nationally recognized winning 41 medals in national and international wine competitions. It’s their attention to detail that ensures that their wine is of high quality. They also dedicate themselves to their customer’s guidance and education, ensuring great customer services.

Janine Aquino took over Camelot Cellars in 2011. She’s originally from the Hudson Valley area of New York (her family owned John Aquino Sons, Inc.) making her a fourth generation wine professional. She grew up on the vineyard, worked at several of them, and studied food and wine parings at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Camelot Cellars regularly host events such as: corporate team building, social networking, Wedding rehearsal dinners, bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversaries and themed nights including a wine & psychic night, painting night, book clubs and more. They offer free Winery Tours on Saturdays at 12:30 and 4:30, reservations required.

Bardwell Winery Mt. Orab, Ohio

bardwell-winery-2The Bardwell Winery Mt. Orab, Ohio serves food  Thursday – Friday from 4-10pm and Saturday 2-10 pm.

Bardwell Winery Mt. Orab, Ohio:  Located in the historic Moon Buggy Factory in Brown County, it is their pleasure to offer hand-crafted, small batch wines with ample varieties sure to please every taste.  Their menu includes numerous appetizers and made to order pizza.  All sauces and dips are home-made.

Darke County Whiskey, Wine, & Ale Trail

Welcome to the Darke County Whiskey, Wine, & Ale Trail.

The Darke County Whiskey, Wine, & Ale Trail is the only trail in Ohio that combines whiskey, wine, & craft beer. The trail takes you to the oldest distillery in Ohio at Indian Creek Distillery. Sip award-winning wines at a former Ohio Magazine “Best Winery” winner at The Winery at Versailles. Visit the “Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches” on your way to Moeller Brew Barn. Swing through Arcanum and play fetch with Fuel, the logo namesake of A.R. Winery, the newest winery in Darke County. Enjoy a spectacular country sunset on the back porch of Tailspin Brewing Company, in what was once an old dairy barn. Tap your feet to live music on the patio of Kennedy Vineyard. Enjoy the ambiance of an old schoolhouse at (you guessed it) Olde Schoolhouse Winery. This and more are found throughout the picturesque rural setting of western Ohio’s Darke County.

Harmony Hill Vineyards & Estate Winery Bethel, Ohio

harmony-hill-vineyard-wineryHarmony Hill Vineyards & Estate Winery Bethel, Ohio is usually open from the end of May to early October on Fridays from 5-9pm and Saturdays from 2-9pm plus summer holidays (Entertainment Daily).

  • Location: (Map It) 2534 Swings Corner Point Isabel Road in Bethel, Ohio  45106
  • Phone: 513-734-3548 Alternate Phone: 513-315-8786
  • Web: http://www.hhwines.com/

Harmony Hill Vineyards & Estate Winery is southwest Ohio’s premier winery destination. It is a small boutique winery nestled in the quiet village of Bethel, just miles from the historic Ohio River Valley. Harmony Hill features a picturesque country setting surrounded by a 70 acre Nationally Certified Wildlife Refuge farm. Their underground wine cave is one of only six similar structures in the country. Sample premium award winning wines among the fermentation bins in the working winery or view vineyards from the covered outdoor patios. Miles of walking trails, pristine flower gardens and manicured grounds make Harmony Hill the perfect destination for those who yearn for a taste of the country, with daily entertainment an added benefit. Picnicking in the vineyards or under the shade of the hundreds of trees that surround the winery is encouraged. Harmony Hill is an adult only venue with a minimum age of 18. Harmony Hill has been featured in Ohio Magazine, Wall Street Journal and PBS America’s Heartland television series, in addition to major newspapers across Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Kinkead Ridge Estate Winery Ripley, Ohio

The Kinkead Ridge Estate Winery in Ripley, Ohio is usually open Saturday during summer from Noon – 5pm.  Call first.

The mission of Kinkead Ridge Estate Winery  Ripley, Ohio is to produce ultra-premium estate-bottled wine in Southern Ohio (Ohio River Valley appellation), exclusively vinifera, with great attention and care paid to cultural practices and classic winemaking techniques. The primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier, Riesling. Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc. Prior to planting their all-vinifera vineyard on a ridge-top in Ripley in 1999, the partners formerly owned a 40-acre Pinot Noir vineyard in Oregon. The site has world-class potential, with its deep unglaciated limestone soil, southeast aspect, and drainage to the Ohio River. All of their wines are made from grapes from their vineyard. They are available in restaurants and fine wine stores throughout Ohio. In general, the winery opens to the public on Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Annual Barrel Tasting) and the first two Saturdays before Christmas. In a productive year, the winery is also open on summer Saturdays. Please check the website for hours before you visit. The annual vineyard tour is Labor Day Weekend. Two Kinkead Ridge wines have been rated in the Top 100 Exciting Wine Finds in the World by Tom Stevenson, British editor of the New Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia.

Meier’s Wine Cellars in Silverton, Ohio

The Meier’s Wine Cellars in Silverton, Ohio is open Tuesday – Thursday from 9am – 5pm and Friday – Saturday from 10am – 7pm. Closed Sunday-Monday and holidays.

Meier’s Wine Cellars in Silverton, Ohio is the oldest and largest winery in the state dating back more than 100 years. Award winning table wines, dessert wines, vermouth, sparkling wines, and sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice. Tastings, video tour, gift shop, groups welcome by appointment.

The Winery at Versailles

The Winery at Versailles in Versailles, Ohio is open Mon – Wed from 10am – 6pm, Thurs from 10am – 8pm, Fri & Sat from 10am – 9pm.

The Winery at Versailles in Versailles, Ohio:  Small family winery, serving award winning wines.  Over 30 different wines to select from.  Tastings available.  Tours are free.  Cafe area, loft, outside picnic area.  Can accommodate small parties and events.  Snacks available.

Woodstone Creek Winery Cincinnati, Ohio

The Woodstone Creek Winery in Cincinnati is open most Saturdays from 2pm – 7pm.

The Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery in Cincinnati:  Built as a bank in the 1930s, the sturdy structure was saved from the wrecking ball to house Ohio’s first microdistillery. All made on-site, Woodstone’s extremely small batch bourbon, whiskey, single malts, vodka and gin have garnered international attention. Woodstone also produces award winning grape varietals, blends, port, specialty meads (honey wine) dry to sweet. Welcoming tasting room with beautiful restored art-deco maple and mahogany bar. Convenient to downtown and expressways. Lots of free parking. Retail sales, gift shop, art gallery, handicap accessible.

Terra Cotta Vineyards New Concord, Ohio

The Terra Cotta Vineyards in New Concord, Ohio is open from Mid-February – December on Fridays and Saturdays (Thursdays too Apr – Dec). 

Terra Cotta Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard that started as a dream. With approximately 2 acres of vines planted with help from family and friends the dream became a reality.  They celebrated their 5th anniversary September 2004. They have outside porches and a shelter building where visitors can enjoy their wines in addition to the gorgeous view and spectacular sunsets! Cookouts are held during the months of May through October by reservation.  Motorcoach tours are welcome. Wines range from dry to sweet and include Chambourcin, Seyval, Vidal, and Concord in addition to some blended wines.  Visitors can also enjoy wines from the inside tasting room.  Snacks, soft drinks, cheese and crackers are available for purchase.  Terra Cotta Vineyards welcomes groups for a unique wine tasting experience and also have a gift shop. At Terra Cotta Vineyards, they create a memorable experience for you!

Unicorn Wine Guild Belpre, Ohio

unicorn-wineThe Unicorn Wine Guild Belpre in  Ohio is usually open Monday – Saturday (Call to confirm).

  • Location: (Map It) 1816 Washington Boulevard (In Washington Square Plaza), Belpre, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-423-1300 or  (866) 979-TEAS( 8327)
  • Web: www.unicornwineguild.com

Unicorn Wine Guild in Belpre, Ohio is an urban winery, tea room and coffee house, Unicorn Wine Guild offers over 40 wines, Tehku loose leaf teas and Silver Bridge and La Creama coffees. A Home Winemaker’s Center and  wine and beer supplies assist the hobbyist. The light menu features gluten-free items. Custom made gift baskets and specialty cakes (regular or gluten-free) are available as are facilities for small meetings or events up to 40 people upon reservation. Free secure wireless internet access. Handicapped accessible. Afternoon tea by reservation. Close to Blennerhasset Island access. Registered Parliamentarian, certified etiquette instructor and experienced event planner on staff. Check the website for schedule of events.

Rainbow Hills Vineyards Newcomerstown, OH

rainbow-hills-vineyardsThe Rainbow Hills Vineyards in Newcomerstown, Ohio is open year-round Mondays – Saturday from 11am – 6pm (June – September open until 9 pm Friday and Saturday).

Rainbow Hills Vineyards in Newcomerstown:  Nestled in the gently rolling hills of scenic eastern Coshocton County, Rainbow Hills Vineyards offers a variety of dinner and sipping wines. The countryside and atmosphere are exquisite. Here, only American grape and hybrid varieties are grown and used with emphasis on producing high quality wines.

Visitors to Rainbow Hills Vineyards enjoy lounging in the serene setting and strolling along the decks that stretch into the woods. And tempting bread and cheese boards await with each glass of wine. A favorite spot at Rainbow Hills is the pond where guests gather for picnics and enjoy the sun or shade with their wine. And in order to find just the right wine for your palate, Rainbow Hills will help you on your quest for perfection.

Ravens Glenn Winery Lafayette, Ohio

The Ravens Glenn Winery in Lafayette, Ohio: The restaurant, tasting bar & gift shop are open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday brunch 11am- 2pm.  Tasting room and  wine sales available Monday from 11am- 4pm, Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 8pm and Sunday from 11am – 4pm.

Ravens Glenn Winery in Lafayette, Ohio:  Known as Ohio’s Crown Jewel of Wineries, Ravens Glenn is located on the banks of the beautiful Tuscarawas River. It is without a doubt, one of Ohio’s most picturesque family-owned wineries. It is open year-round, motor coach friendly, delightful casual Italian dining, step-on greeting. Winery tours for groups of 12 or more by appointment. Group size California-style tasting bar. Banquet facility seats up to 200. Large gift shop . Easy access from I-77 . Sunday Champagne Buffet

Yellow Butterfly Winery Newcomerstown, Ohio

yellow-butterfly-wineryThe Yellow Butterfly Winery in Newcomerstown, Ohio is open Feb – Mar from Wednesdays to Saturdays and April – December from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

The Yellow Butterfly Winery is nestled in one of Ohio’s most beautiful country settings not too far from Amish country. Enjoy the enchantment of sipping fine wine in the century barn or relax on the deck taking in a rare view of great natural beauty and alpacas grazing on the hillside not too far away. From June to September the Yellow Butterfly Winery offers delicious country style meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations requested.

Wyandotte Winery Columbus, Ohio

wyandotte-logoThe Wyandotte Winery in Columbus, Ohio is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1pm to 7pm with extended hours on most Friday evenings. (Special & private events scheduled outside regular hours).

Wyandotte Winery in Columbus, Ohio:  Free Winery Tours – Saturday 12:30 and 3:30 PM. Please call for reservations. Winemaker:  Robin Coolidge & Chief Whiner: Valerie Coolidge.

Established in 1976, Wyandotte Winery is located in northeast Columbus just minutes from Easton Town Center. Owners Robin and Valerie Coolidge purchased the winery in 2006 producing a variety of fine handcrafted wines ranging in styles from dry to sweet. A wine tasting at Wyandotte Winery is a fun and educational experience and has a cost of only $5 for 5 different wine samples. Reservations are not required for tastings for groups under 8 people and are available during open hours; please plan to arrive no later than 6:15 PM for tastings. Small plates are available while you enjoy your tasting or a bottle of wine. The intimate tasting room and gift shop feature a wine themed décor that is warm and inviting. Wyandotte Winery also offers unique home-baked gourmet wine cakes available by the slice or packaged in a decorative gift tin perfect for gift giving. Wyandotte Winery’s wine labels were created from a series of original watercolors by a local artist and depict various landmarks around Columbus presenting a local appeal for tourists as well as natives. Personalized custom labels are available for your special occasions: weddings, anniversaries, graduations etc… After hours the winery can be reserved for private parties or corporate events. Special events scheduled regularly include: Murder Mystery Dinners, Euchre Nights, Women Who Wine, Summer Sizzlers Cookouts, Food and Wine Pairing Dinners, Wyandotte Wednesdays (Hump-day Happy Hour) Haunted Wine Cellar and more! Check out their website for complete schedule of events.

Three Rivers Wine Trail Coshocton, Ohio

wine-mixPlay Video of the Three Rivers Wine Trail in Coshocton, Ohio.

Ohio Wineries have become a popular destination for Midwest travelers and residents alike and in the rolling Appalachian foothills of Coshocton, Ohio, you’ll find that wineries abound with great wine in unique settings.  Coshocton’s Three Rivers Wine Trail in East-Central Ohio, offers five distinctive wineries all within a 15 minute drive of each other—Heritage Vineyard Winery, Raven’s Glenn Winery, Rainbow Hills Winery, and Yellow Butterfly Winery.

Heritage Vineyard Winery is located at 27561 Township Road 45 in Warsaw, Ohio.  They offer a variety of estate-grown American and French hybrid wines in a casual, relaxing and fun atmosphere.  They often have live musical entertainment on summer weekends as well. Relax in their quiet, wooded setting while enjoying over a dozen of their wines ranging from sweet fruit wines to dry whites and reds.

The next stop on the trail is Raven’s Glenn Winery and Italian Restaurant located at 56183 County Road 143 in West Lafayette.  Raven’s Glenn offers tastings of their award-winning wines, a gift shop and has delightful Italian dining indoors or outside on the patio.  They also offer free tours of the winery every Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Raven’s Glenn Winery has a full selection of over twenty wines including gold medal winners that can be enjoyed in a Tuscan-style setting.

You’ll find Rainbow Hills Vineyards at 26349 Township Road 251 in Newcomerstown, Ohio.  Guests enjoy the tempting bread and cheese boards with a glass of wine while relaxing on their spacious outdoor decks built into the wooded hillside. Rainbow Hills offers a variety of dinner and sipping wines made from American grape and French hybrid varieties grown onsite.

The final stop on the Three Rivers Wine Trail is at Yellow Butterfly Winery located at 11661 Blue Ridge Road in Newcomerstown, Ohio.  Enjoy sipping fine wine in their nearly 100-year-old, beautifully restored barn or relax on the deck and take in a striking view of the great natural beauty. Yellow Butterfly Winery is also home to an Alpaca farm, so winery guests also adore watching these delightful animals in the nearby field.

There are several lodging options to make your Three Rivers Wine Trail experience a getaway.  Three of the wineries also have overnight accommodations in their bed & breakfasts at Heritage Vineyard Winery, Rainbow Hills Winery and at Yellow Butterfly Winery.  Coshocton Village Inn & Suites also offers the Wine Tasting Suite Escape overnight package that includes wine and a winery gift certificate.

Several other unique overnight accommodations are also available in the area and can be found at www.VisitCoshocton.com.  A winery shuttle option is also available with prior reservations. Make the Three Rivers Wine Trail in Coshocton, Ohio part of your future winery excursions.

Coshocton is also home to Historic Roscoe Village, a restored 1800s Canal-era town and the Monticello III Horse-drawn Canal Boat Ride.  For more information on the Three Rivers Wine Trail go to www.ThreeRiversWineTrailOhio.com or call the Coshocton Visitors Bureau at 800-338-4724.

D&D Smith Winery Norwalk, Ohio

dd-smith-wineryThe D&D Smith Winery in Norwalk, Ohio is open Wed 1-5pm, Thur 1-9pm, Fri 1-10pm, Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-6pm (Be sure to check website for seasonal schedule).

  • Location: (Map It) 401 West Main St. (Old West Main Street off Rt 61 by the Norwalk Armory-National Guard) in Norwalk, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-577-0242
  • Web: www.ddsmithwinery.com

D & D Smith Winery in Norwalk, Ohio operates from an 1870 Victorian style house in a peaceful setting along the Norwalk Creek, where a mature grove of pine trees stretch across the Southern portion of the property. Guests are welcome to try samples, buy a glass of wine, or buy the bottle and relax at the winery with a small menu of food items to choose from.  Wine ingredients and small wine making equipment are available for purchase.  Buses are welcome along with other small or large groups.  Where family and friends come together, guests are welcomed to celebrate birthday parties and other special occasions on premise.  Call ahead to advise of larger parties of 20 or more to ensure preparation for your arrival. Indoor and outdoor seating is provided. Grills and picnic tables are available for guest use.  See website above for the weekend entertainment and special events schedule.

Mon Ami Winery & Restaurant Port Clinton

The Mon Ami Winery & Restaurant in Port Clinton opens Wednesday – Thursday at 4 p.m., Friday – Saturday lunch 11:30 a.m., Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m.

Mon Ami Winery & Restaurant in Port Clinton is ranked as one of the most impressive wineries and restaurants of northern Ohio. The Restaurant menu features exquisite creations from the Mon Ami’s executive chef. This Sandusky winery offers delicious food and indoor and outdoor seating for their guests. Diners can enjoy Mon Ami’s historic backdrop and experience their local wine and cuisine from a winery that has been grown out of a history that dates back to 1872. The restaurant’s charm can be showcased during its live entertainment every weekend. Wine tasting is available. Mon Ami Winery makes its own award winning wines and grape juice that ship throughout the entire country.

Stoney Ridge Winery Bryan, Ohio

The Stoney Ridge Winery in Bryan, Ohio is open year-round. Visit the website below for their days and hours vary.

stoneyridgewineStoney Ridge Winery in Bryan, Ohio:  Tucked away in the far northwest corner of Ohio, Stoney Ridge Winery offers visitors a relaxing atmosphere away from the hassles of everyday life.

Enter into the serene country vineyards traveling a narrow drive nestled among the rows and rows of manicured vines.  Approaching the uniquely designed winery, visitors are enchanted by the beautiful one-acre pond.  Upon entering the winery, guests are delighted by the rustic wood interior and cozy fieldstone fireplace.  Meander up to the tasting bar to sample the award-winning handcrafted wines sure to please most everyone’s taste.

Stoney Ridge Winery offers Vinifera, French Hybrid blends and seasonal fruit wines. Browse the gift shop including Amish cheeses, crafts, and gift baskets.  Feel free to leisurely enjoy a glass of wine or juice and a cheese appetizer on the patio overlooking the pond or beside the warm fireplace.

Debonné Vineyards Madison, Ohio

The Debonné Vineyards in Madison, Ohio is open January – November. Visit the website below for their days and hours vary.

Debonné Vineyards has been growing its own grapes for four generations making it a true estate winery and the vintners who grow the grapes in Northeast Ohio, with more than 120 cultivated acres in the Grand River Valley. This classic “European” family winery produces nationally recognized premium wines with quality control that starts in the vineyard and ends in the bottle. Enjoy year round activities such as hot air balloon races, concerts, car shows, Sunday Jazz Fests and wine & food events among others. You can also find Debonné wines in stores and restaurants statewide.

Plan your most special events like weddings and parties at the winery and choose from a varied selection of rooms and atmospheres to host your event. Individual wine tastings are available anytime and bus tours or large groups are welcome by reservation only to better accommodate your visit; for groups of 25 or more different tasting packages are offered to suit your needs.

Debonne Vineyards presents Cellar Rats Brewery, Ohio’s largest winery/brewery combination. This microbrew features the beer making process and guests will be able to sample selected brews in the new upstairs tasting room. A looking glass floor allows visitors to look down into the brewery to view the crew hard at work.

Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant Madison, Ohio

The Grand River Cellars  Winery & Restaurant is open May – December on Mon & Tue 12-6pm, Wed 12-8pm, Thr 12-9pm, Fri & Sat 12-11pm, and Sun 12-8pm.

Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant is located far off the main road, which presents a very exclusive setting.  The winery is nestled in the woods allowing for afternoon shade on the hot summer days and a tranquil setting during the winter months.

Inside you will be welcomed by a warm and inviting atmosphere that includes a beautiful fireplace, many hand-painted murals, and a large bar area for friends to gather.   Wine tasting is always available and wines are easily selected in the store.   A gift shop includes fun and festive wine related items.

The winery is owned and operated by Cindy Lindberg, with seasoned partners including Tony Debevc owner of Debonne Vineyards and Tony Rego from Debonne Vineyards.

The private party room has hosted a variety of parties from wedding showers to family reunions to surprise parties.  This beautiful room can fit up to 50 guests and has views of the vineyards and fields and the outside patio.

The winery is landscaped with water features, beautiful seasonal flowers, and grapevines.  The outside patio hosts a variety of entertainers all summer long and smooth jazz on Sunday afternoons.

An extensive menu features a variety of appetizers, grilled sandwiches and entrees including steaks, chicken, ribs, shrimp, and lobster.  The restaurant is always open when the winery is open.

Grand River Cellars prides itself in producing quality wines from grapes grown in the Grand River Valley Wine Region.   Its Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Grigio all benefit from the care taken in the vineyard to produce a quality Ohio wine.

John Christ Winery Avon Lake, Ohio

The John Christ Winery in Avon Lake, Ohio is open year-round. Visit the website below for their days and hours vary.

John Christ Winery in Avon Lake:  This winery features tours, a tasting room and picnic area overlooking a golf course. There are acres of vineyards, a wine bar and hospitality room for hosting special events. It is named after a Macedonian who started it in 1946.

Klingshirn Winery Avon Lake, Ohio

The Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake, Ohio is open 10am – 6pm Monday – Saturday.

Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake:  This winery was founded in 1935 by the Klingshirn family, is now operated by the third generation of Klingshirns. Back in 1935, due to the large grape surplus, Albert Klingshirn began producing wine commercially from the cellar of his home. Within five years, he was operating a small winery from the home. In 1955, his son, Allan, bought and expanded the operation. By 1978, it was four-times larger. Today, Alan’s son, Lee, serves as the winemaker. Lee has a degree in Viticulture and Ecology from Ohio State University.

Old Firehouse Winery Geneva-On-The-Lake

The Old Firehouse Winery at Geneva-On-The-Lake is open daily year-round. Visit the website below for their days and hours vary.

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,” Woodward 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,” Woodward said.

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.   There are special events and nightly summer entertainment. Its location in a marvelous resort town makes 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.

Virant Family Winery Geneva, Ohio

The Virant Family Winery in Geneva, Ohio has seasonal hours updated at their website below.

Virant Family Winery in Geneva:  Situated in the vineyards of the Grand River valley, Virant Family Winery offers 14 great wines, a warm, relaxing atmosphere, good food, and the feeling of being with family.  Steak, rib, and chicken dinners along with musical entertainment is offered on Saturday nights.  Virant Family Winery, where you’re treated like family!

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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