As a Pittsburgh gal, I always considered Tuscany Wine Country and California, but, close to Pittsburgh, I am about to discover Geneva-On-The-Lake and its amazing wineries! Today’s share will uncover 5 Ohio wineries and vineyards only a stone’s throw away! Glasses up and cheers to incredible destinations celebrating everything wine.
Wine Country In Ohio
*My trip was hosted.
When I first saw the invitation to discover wine country in Ohio, I actually did a doubletake. Yep, closer than I ever imagined in the most pristine area boasting many more than 5 wineries and vineyards, but one can only taste so much wine in a day!
I love my glass of wine, but for today, let’s just say I heart my GLASSES of wine! Someone has to find the premium source of all things wine and share it right? So as I travel through the Geneva-on-the-lake area, I uncovered some fantastic, superbly crafted wine boasting seductive aromas and flavors!
Get out of Pittsburgh, Maryland, Indiana, Chicago, Kentucky, and anywhere else you are, at least for the weekend, and head to Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio for great wine tasting and eats! It’s time for a wine country in Ohio experience.
Facts About Wine Country In Ohio
What is very interesting is that in Geneva-On-The-Lake, in Ashtabula Ohio, there are around 25 wineries in the Geneva-on-the-Lake area alone. However, that is relative as overall Ohio boasts, more than 280 wineries and vineyards in the state! Truly a quaint area, and perfect for girlfriend getaways and romantic dates!
Wine Country In Ohio
To be very clear and very frank, with all of you, I did not drink and drive. I was taken around in a shuttle with a group of ladies as my trip was hosted. We enjoyed wine tasting throughout Geneva on the Lake.
I suggest either a designated driver or hiring a private service to take you from winery to winery so you don’t drink and drive. After all you are here to enjoy the wine experience, do it with gusto and do this responsibly.
It Takes A Saint… Ohio Wine Country First Stop
It’s both a winery and vineyard with a tasting room and to experience this first was definitely a treat!
11 AM, after all, it’s never too early to start the wine tasting right? Or just assume it is 5 O’clock somewhere and leave it at that, I do! Cheers!
The location is immaculate. Vines begin right off the parking lot and on their acreage.
Art, the owner Art was on hand to guide us through our tasting to educate and delight. Take a look inside, this is what I saw as I entered and you know I love to share.
After all, what is a trip to wine country without seeing inside and out? By the way, it was a rainy morning, but you will see as we progress through our wine travels, the day cleared up and showed us the beauty of the area!
Ching, Ching, & Sip! Sip! Hooray, it’s a brand new wine-tasting day! It fits right?
Art. Owner of St. Joseph’s Vineyards. Wine Country in Ohio
Now I want to show you who Art is, and if you really want to know about wine, varietals, textures, which are ripely flavored, and why then go here first! He is a walking wine encyclopedia. Sample, taste, and listen.
The vineyard is family-run and located in Grand River Valley. 2018 marks their 20th year in business. In fact, St. Joseph Vineyard is the first in the region to grow and make Pinot Noir. An interesting point: some of the ‘reds’ have been recognized in those famous California competitions! The family has grown grape in Ohio since 1972!
Wines are produced in small quantities, and grapes are all handpicked. Art brought some Italian varietals with him from Italy after a visit!
Wine Country In Ohio Decorated with Awards
Did I mention that St. Joseph’s winery has a few reds that have been recognized in California competitions? Well, someone WON big! Here you have it the official way to see the winners! Which do you want to take home?
I’d like to personally thank Art for his hospitality and tastings. It was an exceptional event, and each red that I tried were nicely integrated and blended. Each was fruit-driven and admittedly harmonious.
No. 2: Wine Country in Ohio: Debonne Vineyards
Lunch and wine here. Or Dinner and wine, either way, it’s a fabulous time. I want to go back, and I can’t wait to return!
Welcome to a large estate winery with 175 acres of vine, so you can imagine the yield. Head towards Madison, Ohio which is just about an hour east of Cleveland. Truly this estate winery makes up part of wine country in Ohio, not only acreage but in taste!
Wine Country in Ohio: What To Know About Debonne Vineyard
Notable about this vineyard is not only the lovely size but it is the first to open a microbrewery as well! Wouldn’t this make a great bridal shower venue? It’s gorgeous and I would have loved to have been here without rain to venture through the property more.
It is quaint, yet large, and there are multiple tables, and a patio, as well as an additional bar that is for Brews! Yep, I said brews right on the other side of the bar area, so wine it up or drink your fresh craft beers! This vineyard makes it easy for everyone to enjoy. There is food, craft beer, and wine, so Hello to the party!
Wine Country In Ohio: Debonne Vineyards, Best Known For…
*Debonne Vineyards is best known for Riesling and Ice Wine. Additionally, the winery also produces excellent Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin (reds), Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris(whites). We got to tour the facility, so I snapped a few pics for you. Truly I would like to bring a few of these home and have my own DANA Reserve on hand, lol!
This is the can’t miss stop of a trip to wine country in Ohio. A vineyard is quintessential of the area. Eat, drink and walk the grounds. Allow me to share the wine menu with you, just so you have a feel for what you can test, and drink! Don’t worry I tried a few of them for you, so Cheers!
Wine Country in Ohio: Touring Debonne Vineyards
Getting to see where the winemaking happens making sipping a glass even more alluring. There are actually party rooms, the larger room for parties and the bar area. That’s not the only space here, there’s so much more to uncover.
Yes, this can definitely be used as a bridal shower destination or a perfect wedding destination.
Wine Country Ohio. Can I take this home with me?
Alright, imagine a wine-loving kind of girl about to take on an adventure into the tunnel of wine! I mean, you can only imagine my pure excitement to be one-on-one with wine!
The estate is gorgeous and well-appointed.
Wine Country in Ohio. Eat and Drink. Debonne Vineyard
You will be captivated by the lovely aromas of food wafting from the Grille at Debonne. Truly articulated foods to pair with wine. Kick back, relax and enjoy. To tell you that the hummus plate is huge is an understatement. Imagine an entire small plastic container of hummus, roasted red pepper, baby carrots, and mini naan flatbread.
Guess what? This appetizer is best served with a group of friends and at least ONE bottle of wine. Sip, Sip Hooray! I travel the world tasting great foods and pairing wines, so this was perfect for me! In reality, this should have just been my lunch.
Next was a Caprese panini. Created with fresh mozzarella and tomato, basil pesto, grilled on sourdough. Phenomenal. The food is genuinely delicious, the cheese and crackers totally seal the deal. Cheer with wine while you graze is a total AMEN to them!
No. 3 Stop in Wine Country of Ohio: M Cellars
Tour, taste and be happy. M Cellars is a newer area winery as it opened in 2012. Estate grown wines from Rkatsiteli and Pinot Gris, to reds of Noiret and Concord. This is a boutique winery created from passion, dedication, and hard work.
The tasting room is gorgeous, there is an upper area, a fireplace area, and outdoor seating. The feel is a very open concept, much different from the others we visited. It is definitely newer. M Cellars too has some award-winning wines.
Tasting Room At M Cellars
Wine enthusiasts behold you are about to taste the flavors of M Cellar. A tasting bar, a loft, and a ‘grand’ room, where will you choose? Perhaps the outdoor sitting area where you discover a 2-tiered patio/deck.
Strong fruit flavors will beckon your tastebuds, as the artisan, hand-crafted wine flows freely from the bottles. Each sip unfolds to reveal deep, rich flavors.
No. 4 Stop Wine Country in Ohio: Ferrante Winery
Welcome to a truly tenured, state-of-the-art winery operation. At Ferrante Winery you will find a lovely tasting room to enjoy all the different wines as well as the Signature Series. When you pull into the parking here, you have truly arrived at the Mother of wine and food!
Now the sun was coming out and I smelled garlic wafting in the air. Oh, the fragrant scent is like a hunger creator even when you’re not hungry. I knew I would love this stop!
Wine County in Ohio: An Italian Winery!
This is the Italian wine experience I had been waiting for all day long. The property, the building, the ambiance will not disappoint. Truly exceptional in every way, from the architecture to the deco, it’s stunning.
Truly, if I could have stayed here all day I would have. Not that the other wineries were not amazing, just the fact that this Italian gal likes her Italian wines and the food smell that was filtrating the air made me hungry. I smelled garlic and basil, all the true smells of Italy.
Outdoors and Indoors at Ferrante
Wine country in Ohio certainly shelters some massive wineries and thus why so popular! The Ferrante terrace is large and offers plenty of seating, however, my guess is that Ferrante’s is always hopping and you want to get there early to take that seat! The indoor seating is gorgeous as well.
Come to Ferrante to taste wine, but plan on eating too! The ambiance will just ‘suck you in” for lack of a better way to describe it. I have to say the story is not just the wine, it’s the ambiance, and its a venue.
Touring Ferrante Winery
So here we go again, and I am mesmerized by the capacity and size of the wine development area. Anyone else want to take a diving trip into the tanks? into it? It can not just be me. LOL. Ok so maybe it is me alone, and that is great because there is a lot of wine for me to enjoy.
Yes, you see stainless steel, not oak barrels. This change was made after a fire years ago, and these actually are sitting well into the ground, not at foot level.
We did a little tour, and that was fun, but I really could not wait to bring on the wine-tasting after seeing all of this. Honestly, touring gives you insight and allows you to gain whole new respect for the work that goes into winemaking.
Here, they have moved away from traditional cork and had a whole new machine that does ‘twist-off. Cork is a resource that is becoming ‘extinct’ and thus the pop we all like to hear is going away, as explained by our guide. Ferrante is right on top of this and you can see the capping machine above.
On to the Tasting after all Wine country in Ohio is about tasting too!
At Ferrant, I did a 4 glass wine tasting here and each wine was impressive and held its own. Ice Wine is really big in Ohio and usually not my favorite but suddenly I did not mind it. Even the Ice Wine was delicious. You might be able to sway me a little, but keep the red flowing, please!
A fabulous way to wind down after a day visit through Wine Country in Ohio
No. 5 The Lakehouse Inn & Winery
A boutique resort with sunsets to enjoy with a glass of wine. The Lakehouse Inn is an 8 bedroom, 4 cottage bed and breakfast. Additionally, it offers a full production winery and meals offered are Farm-to-Table.
Listening to the owners speak, and his responsibilities, and how much work goes into his day made me tired. Truly one of the most industrious people I have met. HE never stops and their growth over the years shows the trail of where they started and how far they’ve come!
I can’t even fathom how they went from buying meat, to opening a meat warehouse and curing on their own, in addition to making wine and running an inn and restaurant. It’s a lot and he’s got it all going on without a flaw.
For those that love early mornings and sunrises, be sure to head to the shoreline to enjoy the best of nature upfront and personal.
How to enjoy your wine at the Lakehouse Inn & Winery (exclusive Wine Country in Ohio)
The property itself is immaculate and offers splendid gardens sure to impress.
Take a bottle with you, sit on the terrace, and let life pass by. Sip. Enjoy. Plan your return visit. It’s fabulous!
The Crosswinds Grille at The Lakehouse Inn
The Crosswinds Grille is the perfect way to end your wine tasting and foodie experience. Since you are staying the night, freshen up and get ready to enjoy farm-to-table cuisine. The boutique property has cultivated amazing relationships with local farms. Chef Nate Fagnilli is a true artisan of upscale farm-to-table cuisine.
Put your napkin on your lap, sip your wine and eat divine! Then, take your wine, and go enjoy the sunset on the terrace, there is nothing else like this in the area! Chill, sip, and lavishly live life out loud!
That’s how to celebrate wine country in Ohio! DANA XO