August 2007 Issue
A Toast to Ohio
At a small winery in the Sonoma Valley this summer, the vintner asked a dozen assembled tourists - several of whom were from Ohio - how many of them drink wine regularly. He defined "regularly" as "almost every day." Just one person raised her hand.
How many drink wine only on special occasions? he asked. The majority responded affirmatively. And how many almost never drink wine? Three or four hands went up.
Yet there they all were, happily enjoying their lessons about the history and the nuances of California wines. Even those who barely took a sip were drinking in the beauty of the lush Sonoma Valley on a perfect summer day.
When their visit was concluded, the group squeezed back into the tour guide's too-small van for the ride back to San Francisco where they were dispatched at a series of generic high-rise hotels. A pleasant respite, but too brief and logistically challenging.
Hey, don't get me wrong: A getaway to California wine country can certainly be a refreshing tonic for anyone at any time. But whether to wine country or the beach, for Ohioans each trip across the country brings home the inescapable fact that our state truly does have it all.
In this month's cover story, contributing editor Jenny Pavlasek takes you on three "Vintage Weekends" close to home. The experience at each locale is such that, like those recent visitors to the Sonoma Valley, you need not pack an expertise in wine.
You should, however, plan to spend a good deal of your visit learning why Ohio wines are the award winners they are. And how, as the Ohio Wine Producers Association points out, Ohio wine country offers you the opportunity to discover the charm of "rolling vineyards, sparkling lakes, quaint countrysides, unique gift shops, picnics in the sunshine" and more.
Ohio Magazine has been exploring Ohio wine country for many years, and we look at our coverage in much the same way a vintner looks at his grapevines - each year has its own distinctive character. In our visit to Ohio's wine country this time, we create some perfect pairings – interesting wineries and neat places to stay, all unique to the Buckeye State.
Along with our visits to Hermes Vineyards in Sandusky, Mastropietro Winery in Berlin Center, and Meranda-Nixon Winery in Ripley, we show you the way to two riverfront B&Bs, a scenic lodge and a pristine campus inn.
"We can't think of a more relaxing weekend than strolling through vineyards and tasting the latest vintage, then retiring with one of your bottles to an inviting back porch at a nearby B&B," Jenny Pavlasek writes.
So roam, taste and explore. Toast yet another aspect of the beauty, the adventure and the fun of life in Ohio.