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Food + Drink | Wineries

15 Wine Country Finds

These wineries offer entertainment and activities that go beyond what’s in your glass.

TOURS & TASTINGS

Wine Cave Tastings

Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant | Madison
Owner Cindy Lindberg transformed a cold-fermentation room into a cozy space to host tastings for guests. Visitors gather around a large wooden table and sample five wines paired with appetizers that complement the varieties. “[It’s] a unique dining experience that you’re not going to find [elsewhere] in this area,” says Kathleen Trebets, the winery’s general manager. Call or visit website for pricing; Sat. 12:30 & 1:30 p.m.; 5750 S. Madison Rd., Madison 44057, 440/298-9838, grandrivercellars.com

Vineyard Tour
French Ridge Vineyards and Winery | Killbuck
Enjoy a guided tour of French Ridge Vineyard’s property to get a closer look at the grapes that go into their 17 wine varieties. $5; tours offered August through September; 2586 Township Rd. 34, Killbuck 44637, 330/377-4962, frenchridgevineyards.com

Winery & Vineyard Tour
Meranda-Nixon Winery | Ripley
This 13 1/2-acre, southeast Ohio vineyard is a family operation, with the owners’ four children even helping with tours. “[People] can go out and see what’s going on in the vineyard, and the kids explain what’s growing,” says co-owner Maura Meranda. 6517 Laycock Rd., Ripley 45167, 855/651-9188, meranda-nixonwinery.com


FESTIVALS

Wine & Beer Festival | June 3–4
Valley Vineyards | Morrow
This vineyard’s roots reach back to when founder Ken Schuchter ordered too many grapevines — receiving 30 acres worth instead of 3. “It made us the biggest vineyard in about six states at the time, and now we’re the second-largest in Ohio,” says co-owner Joe Schuchter. Every summer, the vineyard hosts its Wine & Beer Festival, which includes tours and tastings in addition to music and food. “We really want people to know why we grow grapes and why we make wine and beer here in southern Ohio,” Schuchter says. 2276 E. U.S. 22 & 3, Morrow 45152, 513/899-2485, valleyvineyards.com

Annual Summer Solstice Festival | June 17–19

Sarah’s Vineyard | Cuyahoga Falls
What started as a simple art festival has grown into three days of shopping, music and wine. “Our wines are on a portable tap system. … So every time we empty a keg, we cheer,” says general manager Sarah Altieri. 1204 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls 44223, 330/929-8057, sarahsvineyardwinery.com

Winestock | Aug. 6
Hillside Winery | Gilboa
For one day, you can relive the ’60s with live music and a sweeter Winestock creation made for the festival. “Everyone dresses in their hippie attire,” says owner Lou Schaublin. 221 Main St., Gilboa 45875, 419/456-3434, thehillsidewinery.com


FOOD NIGHTS

Tacos & Open Mic
Majestic Oak Winery | Grand Rapids
Majestic Oak Winery co-owner Laura Rufenacht says her sweet Shade Tree White is the perfect companion to spicy foods. “I always say the spicier the food, the sweeter the wine,” she adds. Every third Thursday of the month, food trucks serve tacos during an evening that also includes an open-mic night for musicians. 13554 Mohler Rd., Grand Rapids 43522, 419/875-6474, majesticoakwinery.com

Cookouts
Terra Cotta Vineyards | New Concord
Grill strip steak, marinated pork or salmon over charcoal during one of Terra Cotta Vineyard’s cookout nights. “They can schedule an intimate evening for two or get some friends together,” says co-owner Donna Roberts. Visit website for dates and pricing; 2285 Rix Mills Rd., New Concord 43762, 740/872-3791, terracottavineyards.com

Wine & Chocolate Pairing
Barrel Run Crossing Winery & Vineyard | Rootstown
During the Sugar-Luv chocolate pairing every third Friday of the month, visitors receive five truffles (flavors range from chocolate-covered salted caramel to Mayan spice) with five complementing wine samples. $7.50; 3272 Industry Rd., Rootstown 44272, 330/325-1075, brxwinery.com


CLASSES


Wine & Canvas
Rockside Winery & Vineyard | Lancaster
This winery turns into an art studio the third Saturday of each month, as artists teach participants how to re-create a painting while also putting their own spin on it. Visit website for pricing; 2363 Lancaster Newark Rd. NE, Lancaster 43130, 740/687-4414, rocksidewinery.com

Winemaking Class
Unicorn Wine Guild | Belpre
This winery offers a monthly class for would-be winemakers. “It’s for beginners and even people who have been doing it a while,” says co-owner Barbara Whitaker. 1816 Washington Blvd., Belpre 45714, 740/423-1300, unicornwineguild.com

Yoga Class
Plum Run Winery | Grove City
Wine lovers can take part in a monthly yoga class with participants receiving 10 tasting tickets to use afterward. Visit website for pricing; 3946 Broadway, Grove City 43123, 614/991-0338, plumrunwinery.com


ACTIVITIES

Corn Maze | Sept. 10–Oct. 29
Maize Valley Winery | Hartville
Bill Bakan remembers the first corn maze he made in 1998, when the family farm needed a boost. “I was walking out in the middle of the field, killing perfectly healthy corn thinking, I hope this works,” says the co-owner of Maize Valley Winery. It did, and a new maze, which resembles a familiar image from the air, is created each year. 6193 Edison St. NE, Hartville 44632, 330/877-8344, maizevalley.com

Bicycle Tour | Aug. 13

South River Vineyard | Geneva
This Ashtabula County vineyard is the starting and ending point of the Bridges and Vines Bicycle Tour, which takes cyclists past fields and over historic bridges. 6062 S. River Rd., Geneva 44041, 440/466-6676, southrivervineyard.com

Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides | May 25–28
Debonné Vineyards | Madison
Every other Wednesday, guests can see Ohio’s largest estate winery from the basket of a hot air balloon. “You’re tethered to the ground, but you get a beautiful view of the surrounding area,” says Michelle Dunay, manager of Debonné Vineyards. Visit website for pricing; 7840 Doty Rd., Madison 44057, 440/466-3485, debonne.com

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