Toast to the North Coast: The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Winery Guide

August 06, 2013

Lake Erie Shores & Islands celebrates its wine-making heritage with the upcoming Toast of Ohio Wine Festival on August 9-10. The festival will feature ten Ohio wineries, along with food offerings and entertainment that pairs perfectly. Firelands Winery

Did you know that northern Ohio was the largest producer of wine in the nation prior to the Prohibition Era? In the 1820’s, the very first Catawba grapes were planted above the Ohio River by Cincinnati lawyer, Nicholas Longworth. The grapes were sweeter than most wines being produced at that time and quickly rose in popularity. The nurturing climate of the lakeshore moderates extreme temperatures and makes for excellent growing conditions.

Drink to the region’s fascinating heritage and check out these fantastic wineries along the Lake Erie Shores & Islands wine trail:

o    John Christ Winery: An award-wining winery whose wine is produced and bottled on site.
o    Klingshirn Winery: A family-owned winery that started in a cellar in 1935, this winery has grown into making almost 20 different wines and various blends of champagne.

South Bass Island
o    Heineman’s Winery: Celebrating its 125th anniversary, this is the oldest family-owned winery in Ohio. Relax in the wine garden and sample over 20 different wines. Don’t miss the adjacent Crystal Cave!
o    Put-in-Bay Winery & Doller House: Take advantage of the scenic lake views while sampling these wonderful wine blends at the 1800’s estate. Consider a tour of the home and island life museum.

o    Firelands Winery: Taste and learn about the history of these award-winning and nationally recognized wines from red, to white, to sparkling. Winery tours are available.
o    Hermes Vineyard & Winery: Have a glass of Merlot in this historic restored pioneer barn with modern décor and live weekend entertainment.

Berlin Heights
o    Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard: Visit this winery to enjoy tasting fruit-blended wines and take in the beautiful surrounding views. Stop in the orchard market for fresh produce.

o    Mon Ami Restaurant & Historic Winery: A historic winery with a full-service restaurant and live music on the weekends, this atmosphere will turn anyone into a wine-o.

o    Chateau Tebeau: Stroll by the koi pond or sit by the fireplace from this very welcoming winery.

Kelleys Island
o    Kelley’s Island Wine Co.: Outdoor picnic tables, dining, and award-winning wines make this a prime spot for a fun night at the island.

o    D&D Smith Winery: Visit this historic home-turned-winery with a family-friendly atmosphere with wines from dry to fruity.

o    Paper Moon Winery: Oak barrel tables, an outdoor fire ring, and a spacious lawn provide this winery with a beautiful atmosphere perfect for wine sampling.

o    Matus Winery: 75 year-old Matus farm presents picturesque views with fun events such as all-day Riesling and sangria slushies and all you can eat pasta.
o    Vermilion Valley Vineyards: With over 5,000 classic-variety vines, this vineyard and winery has high quality wines and food, plus happenings like stargazing and trivia night.

Enjoy a guided tour on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands wine trail. Let Northcoast Grapevine Tours be “your guide to Ohio wines” with escorted tours to wineries along the shoreline. Half-day or full-day tours make for fond memories; also available for private group tours.

Tagged: Wineries, Lake Erie, wine, ohio, lake erie shores and islands