Every Winery Has a Story to Tell

In the early 1800s, when explorers saw winemaker Nicholas Longworth’s Catawba, Alexander and Isabella grapevines growing on hillsides along the Ohio River, Ohio became known as “vinland.” By the mid-1800s, Ohio produced more wine than any other state. Today, new vineyards yield a variety of grapes, including vinifera, and the state ranks sixth in U.S. wine production. Like wineries the world over, each winery has its own story to tell. These are the stories of some of Ohio’s newer wineries.

When Dominic and Shelly Piunno purchased St. Joseph Vineyard in Madison, their vision of an Italian-style winery was born. Baci Winery’s vineyards, renovated tasting room, extensive outdoor patio, and secondary guest building with a bar, a rustic brick floor and large barn doors, are impressive. Music fills the air during Ohio’s warmer seasons, and visitors enjoy award-winning fine wines crafted by winemaker Lauren Fiala. Executive Chef Thomas Makar’s seasonal Italian menu includes starters like fried calamari and baked brie, and includes salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta. “We are planning to host live music this year,” explains General Manager Candace DiGirolamo, “along with various wine experiences, including wine tastings, cellar tours, and wine dinners.” There are many reasons to visit.

www.baciwinery.com  

 

Vince and Amanda Lovejoy’s renovation of a circa 1875 barn in Hartville into the 1875 Winery& Restaurant was a labor of love. Live music and events occur year-round in the winery which features an impressive 24-foot, four-sided fireplace, a tranquil water wall, a unique pizza “hut,” the original silo, and three pavilions on a fully stocked lake. The 1875 Winery & Restaurant now bottles estate wines and is celebrated as one of the best in the area. Amanda designs the wine labels to highlight her husband Vince’s cars that are displayed on the property. Their best-selling wines are Hazzard, a semi-dry red, and Dollie, a sweet light white wine. Amanda believes the winery’s success stems from “our beautiful grounds, friendly staff, delicious wines, creative cocktails, and delectable food options.” Unwind at 1875.

www.1875ohiowinery.com

 

Brian and Carrie Adams and their daughter, Ashley, own the Headley Inn Winery & Vineyard in Zanesville. The winery’s award-winning estate wines, handcrafted by Brian and Carrie from Chardonel and Noiret grapes grown in their two-acre vineyard, also include wines made from Chambourcin, Niagara, Vidal Blanc and Catawba grapes, and blackberries and peaches. A historic landmark located on the National Road, the Headley Inn traces its roots back to 1833 when it opened as a tavern with lodging for westward travelers. Today, a charming B&B offers modern conveniences, and the winery is a recent addition. During the summer, the winery features live entertainment and food trucks with local fare. Head to Zanesville to experience a bit of Ohio history while sipping artisanal wines.

www.headleyinn.com

 

Chris and Kim Rohr own Lost Trail Winery and Vineyard, a destination, Adirondack-camp-inspired winery in Canton. Chris handcrafts Basecamp, a wine made from, and named after, their 13-acre estate vineyard of Frontenac Gris. The winery makes eleven small-batch wines. The bestseller, Triad, is named after the Adirondack Mountains Tupper Lake Hiking Triad Challenge, completed by the Rohr family. The Hungry Hiker food trailer serves scratch-made trail and campfire cuisine like the Mt. Van Hoevenburger, an 8-ounce Angus brisket patty on a brioche bun with toppings. The winery features live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and it hosts many events. The Fir Crazy Workshops have included paint and sips, hat-making, and sourdough starter classes. Choose this winery for its laid-back, camp-like feel.

www.losttrailwinery.com

 

Twenty One Barrels in Bradford, a premier hard cider producer, now makes wines that rival the ciders. The 21-acre establishment, which is owned by Danielle and Shaun Pierce, was voted the best winery and cidery in Dayton in 2023. Shaun’s handcrafted ciders and wines have won awards across the United States. “With live music and seasonal events adding to the atmosphere year-round, a visit to Twenty One Barrels promises unforgettable flavors and memorable moments,” Shaun says. The diverse range of craft wines includes the popular Harris Creek Red, a sweet Concord and Niagara blend, and bubbly canned wines. The establishment’s commitment to local production, quality craftsmanship, tradition, and community shines through in everything it does. www.21barrels.com

 

Ohio’s wineries have come a long way since the 19th century, and every winery has a story to tell. While visiting Ohio’s diverse wineries, ask about their stories and take those stories and memories home to revisit over a bottle of their wine.

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