When people think of wine, they normally think of France, Italy or California. But did you know that Ohio is the 9th largest producer of wine in the nation?
With over one hundred wineries throughout the state, there’s a lot to choose from. Some offer expansive restaurants and large tasting rooms while others are small and cozy. Here’s my list to help you sip your way through NE Ohio.
6062 S River Rd W, Geneva
This is my absolute favorite for many reasons. The main building is a beautiful church that was moved from a town I used to live in. Stained glass windows and pews included. They have expansive covered patios and a pavilion with a fireplace. Their wine is fantastic. (My favorites are the Trinity and Blush Ice Wine.) And they even let you bring your own food. The atmosphere is quiet and the sunsets can’t be beat. Pack a picnic – you’ll want to stay awhile. I could spend all summer here.
1700 55th Street NE, North Canton
This North Canton stunner is extremely popular and as a result is normally very crowded. With a full service restaurant, wine bar, wine classes, a gift store, cooking classes and outdoor lawn games, there is something for everyone. You can bring a blanket or chairs and lounge by the lake as you enjoy your wine. The Sunday Supper is a multi-course family style feast that is a perfect excuse to get the family together…with no dishes! They even offer overnight accommodations in the Tuscan inspired Villas. Perfect for an indulgent romantic getaway.
155 Treat Road, Aurora
Tucked away near the old Sea World, this is Aurora’s hidden gem. The wines are definitely drinkable but the real reason to come here is the venue. The cozy tasting room, wine cellar, and beautiful patio and gardens will having you coming back for more. They offer appetizers and a couple entrees in addition to the wines and a full bar. Try the Syrah for a dry red or the Drift Away if you like something sweeter.
7800 Warner Rd, Madison
This boutique winery is known for their award winning pinot noir. In addition to their original tasting room that is open by appointment only, they have expanded and have a second location called Pinot Vista Vineyard. The deck offers lovely views of the vineyard.
4573 State Rt. 307 East, Harpersfield Township
The dark and cozy tasting room is contrasted with the bright and lively patio. Take your pick and stay awhile. Be sure to do a tasting. My pick is the Chocolate Cellar: 4 reds of your choice served with dark chocolate for $6. If you prefer the sweeter wines, try the Give Me Some Sugar: Fun, Flirty and Fruity for $3.75. A favorite wine here is the Cosmo blend. Their wood burning oven turns out delicious thin crust pizzas (gluten free available!) but they also have sandwiches and a great assortment of appetizers. .
5585 State Route 307, Harpersfield Township
If you make the trip to Geneva, you’ll definitely work up an appetite while you’re enjoying all the wine. Ferrante has a huge restaurant with delicious Italian food and a sprawling patio. In the summer I like to make sangria out of their Raspberry Blanc. When the weather is cooler, head out there to grab a bottle of the Celebration Spice. Just heat slightly and pour it in a mug for instant mulled wine.
5653 Lake Road East, Geneva-on-the-Lake
The Lakehouse is situated on Lake Erie and has gorgeous views in addition to cooling breezes. This bed and breakfast also has a spa and Crosswinds Grille, a full service farm to table restaurant. It’s a great place to spend a weekend or an evening.
If you haven’t been to our local wineries, what are you waiting for? You can also check out The Ohio Wine Producers Association for a interactive map and a comprehensive list. Grab some friends and discover the Grapeness of Ohio.
Crystal Angersola is the author of Eat*Drink*Cleveland. She’s a hungry girl who craves great food and loves to throw parties. Follow her on Twitter at @EatDrinkCle or on Facebook where she’ll share her discoveries of all fun and good things to eat in NE Ohio and beyond.