9 Ohio Wineries to Visit This Summer
Our state is home to a wealth of wineries that offer great places to relax, dine and even stay.
Located in Conneaut in the far northeast corner of Ohio’s wine country, Buccia Vineyards was remodeled in 2018 with a modern design that pays homage to the feel of the original winery. The place is known for its estate-grown wines that are made with grapes that do well in the maritime climate of Lake Erie and Conneaut Creek. Wines include a half dozen whites, a rose, a trio of reds and a dessert wine with aromas of honey and peach. Be sure to try the Rogers 15 variety Agawam. Bred in Massachusetts in 1856, the wine is unique to Buccia Vineyards.
“Nothing is better than putting a glass in someone’s hand and seeing the smile on their face as they take their first taste,” says Bill Holden, owner and winemaker.
Those who want to extend their visit a bit longer can book a stay at Buccia Vineyard’s bed-and-breakfast. The four suites offer queen-size beds, a kitchenette and custom tile walk-in showers. A wine flight and breakfast are included, and each suite has a four-person hot tub and a view of the vineyard from a private patio. 518 Gore Rd., Conneaut 44030, 440/593-5976, bucciavineyards.com
Heritage Vineyard Winery
This Coshocton County spot makes many of its wines from grapes grown on the estate. The extensive list of offerings ranges from fruit wines like Vineyard Peach and Cranberry Crush to sweet Harvest Moon (Niagara grapes) and semi-sweet Twilight Blush (Catawba grapes) to the semi-dry Lighthouse Red and dry Vidal Blanc.
“One of our sons, Brent, is the winemaker and has spent a lot of time perfecting his skill,” says Tina Endsley, owner of Heritage Vineyard Winery.
A visit to Heritage Vineyard Winery during the summer brings the promise of kicking back and enjoying a beautiful day on the winery’s expansive back patio. For those who’d like to stay a little longer, the Heritage Guesthouse is a great option for a getaway. The private cottage offers views of the winery, vineyard and garden. The guesthouse sleeps up to six people with two private bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and a full kitchen. The house is air-conditioned with satellite television, and the large wraparound porch with swing offers a welcoming spot to wind down with a glass of wine on a summer evening. 27561 Twp. Rd. 45, Warsaw 43844, 740/824-4314, heritagevineyardwinery.com
Rocky Point Winery
A trip along the Lake Erie shore means getting caught up in the peaceful and beautiful setting you’ll find in places such as Marblehead and other historic communities like it. Those looking for a unique overnight stay during their travels can find it at the Red Fern Inn, located on the second and third floors of the historic 1893 Marblehead Schoolhouse. Rocky Point Winery occupies the historic property’s first floor, offering wine lovers the opportunity to enjoy their choice of nine local wines and over 50 other selections.
“This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ohio,” says owner Chris Redfern, pointing to Marblehead’s proximity to the boat lines that ferry summer travelers to and from the Lake Erie islands, as well as summertime destinations like Cedar Point amusement park that are just a short drive away.
Red Fern Inn offers four rooms as well as complimentary bicycles to aid in their guests’ explorations of the area. The winery has private lounges and fire pits on the grounds, providing its patrons a place to cozy up and enjoy the outdoors. 111 W. Main St., Marblehead 43440, 419/967-5344, redferninn.com
Quarry Hill Winery
Come for the wine and the view, but stay for the tunes. Every Friday and Saturday night from May through October, this Erie County favorite offers live music to complement its scenic location.
“During the summer and fall we have plenty of outdoor seating with a patio and gazebo. It’s definitely a relaxed atmosphere,” says vintner Mac McLelland. “It’s low key, the music is always entertaining, and people seem to enjoy coming out and listening.”
Quarry Hill’s lineup of reds, whites, fruit and dessert wines (including a vidal ice wine made with grapes naturally frozen on the vine) is served alongside a daily limited food menu built to complement what’s in your glass. The vineyard was planted on the highest point on the property, which offers a glimpse of Lake Erie in the far distance. That elevation of 834 feet and proximity to the lake gives the grapes a longer growing season.
“We have a spectacular view. It sits up on a noll overlooking the rest of the farm, so all the way around you see vineyard and orchards, 360 degrees,” McLelland explains. “We’re one of the highest peaks in Erie County. It’s quite picturesque.” 8403 Mason Rd., Berlin Heights 44814, 419/588-3179, quarryhillwinery.org
Twenty One Barrels Cidery and Winery
Husband and wife Danielle and Shaun Pierce opened Twenty One Barrels Cidery and Winery in 2020. Located just outside the village of Bradford on the border of Darke and Miami counties, the spot hosts a regular lineup of music and food trucks.
“The stage sits in our vineyard,” says Shaun Pierce. “Guests bring their own lawn chairs and enjoy.”
Twenty One Barrels Cidery and Winery is unique for its cider offerings. The six options currently available on tap include dry and semi-sweet varieties as well as Ginger Lime, Mango Bomb and Blood Orange.
“Our cider is picking up in popularity,” Pierce says. “It’s about 50 percent of our business, so pretty evenly matched with our wine.”
The 14 available wines include reds and whites that run the sweet-to-dry spectrum, and all pressed ingredients for the cider and wine are locally or regionally sourced to promote and support Ohio growers. If you want a taste of something really sweet, try the Harris Creek Red, a bestseller named for the creek that runs through the property.
“It’s a Concord blend,” Pierce says. “It brings back a lot of memories of childhood and drinking Welch’s grape juice.” 9717 Horatio-Harris Creek Rd., Bradford 45308, 937/467-4498, 21barrels.com
The Canal Fulton building that houses Tiffany and Sean Craney’s Dragonfly Tea Room and Bed and Breakfast started as a train station before being used as a brewery, bakery, bike shop and more over the years. The second, newer building next to it housed a glassblowing studio before the Craneys turned it into their Dragonfly Winery in 2019.
“Bridal showers and baby showers are always the big events for the tearoom,” says Sean Craney. “You always learn more about your customers, and they wanted wine.”
The Craneys began producing wines in 2017, starting with three types: one white, one red and one pink. When the building next to them became available, the couple embraced the opportunity. They now serve 11 wines, with dry varietals such as cabernet, merlot, pinot noir and chardonnay and sweet selections including pink moscato and their popular blackberry merlot.
Dragonfly Winery regularly hosts music, including a Busking Night every Thursday, where musicians can sign up to take the stage. Friday and Saturday evenings bring performances by scheduled musicians, with the last Friday of each month being a Songwriters Round, where musicians are invited to sing their originals in a relaxed atmosphere. 215 Market St. W., Canal Fulton 44614, 330/854-4832, dragonflyontheriver.com/winery
Gervasi Vineyard opened in 2010 as a small winery with an Italian bistro and gift shop. Since then, it has become an expansive destination with a boutique hotel, luxury villas, a distillery and multiple dining options on the Tuscan-inspired property.
Diners can experience that rustic Italian atmosphere by making reservations for brunch at The Bistro, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The family-style meal offers a menu of made-to-order frittatas, parmesan fingerling breakfast potatoes, house-made sausage and rosemary ham and cinnamon roll bread pudding with pour-over maple icing, plus craft mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys. (A minimum of two diners is required.)
“You feel like you’re at someone’s kitchen table, and they just made all this wonderful food,” says Scott Swaldo, Gervasi Vineyard’s general manager. “It’s like our bed-and-breakfast kind of feel, and the sharing element always works.”
Gervasi Vineyard’s The Still House also offers all-day breakfast selections, including a sausage, egg and cheese calzone; apple raisin strata; chef-selected scones and fresh-baked traditional croissants, alongside Gervasi’s signature coffee line.
“People really love it,” Swaldo says of the coffeehouse environment. “It’s a beautiful space, the coffee is awesome, and the atmosphere is so unique.” 1700 55th St. NE, Canton 44721, 330/497-1000, gervasivineyard.com
Plum Run Winery
David and Diane Crosby opened Plum Run Winery in 2012 as an urban boutique winery in the heart of downtown Grove City. In 2016, Jodi Burroughs took over as owner and expanded the space to add a kitchen, brewery and taproom. In 2019, as a result of customer demand, the winery began serving brunch Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.
Signature items include breakfast tacos with Ohio-raised pork, eggs Benedict, Drunkin’ French Toast (pieces of Texas toast with a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal crust, fresh berries and Ohio maple syrup) and biscuits and gravy with sausage.
The spot also offers cocktails and morning-pick-me-ups, including bourbon cream coffee, Kahlua coffee and nitro cold brew coffee. Burroughs recommends the Guilded 75, a regular-menu cocktail featuring Watershed Guild Gin, Domaine De Canton, orange, lemon, simple syrup and a splash of Plum Run Catawba, for those looking to try something a little different for brunch. The bottomless mimosas — poured with orange, pineapple and cranberry juices (or a combination of two) — are popular as well.
“[Others] might have beer, they might have spirits, they might have wine, but a lot of people don’t have all three on Sundays,” Burroughs says. “It’s definitely a brunch highlight.” 3946 Broadway, Grove City 43123, 614/991-0338, plumrunwinery.com
Gideon Owen Wine Co.
Catawba Island Wine Co. opened in 1872 and was later acquired by Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery in 1937. Now the storied space has new management and a new name: Gideon Owen Wine Co.
Husband and wife Quintin and Donna Smith, who also own Port Clinton’s Twin Oast Brewing with their four children, are breathing new life into this celebrated spot.
The winery has full drink, lunch and dinner menus as well as a massive brunch menu with sweet and savory starters and plates. Favorites include the smoked salmon Benedict, prime rib hash, avocado toast and GO breakfast sandwich (a brioche bun stacked with egg, aged white cheddar cheese, roasted garlic aioli, mixed greens, breakfast potatoes and your choice of applewood bacon, Canadian bacon or sausage patties). For those who love freshwater fish, the hot walleye is one of the Gideon Owen Wine Co.’s can’t-miss items.
“We had a facelift on the brunch menu a little while ago,” Quintin Smith says. “There’s sort of a Nashville hot chicken craze. We decided nobody made a hot walleye, and it was actually pretty technically challenging ... We went through a bunch of iterations, but it’s really, really good.”
Craft cocktails are also available for brunch-time sipping, including mimosa flights, a mule, The Best Coffee Ever (espresso-infused vodka, Bailey’s, Kahlua and Godiva) and a GO bloody mary. 3845 E. Wine Cellar Rd., Port Clinton 43452, 419/797-4445, gideonowenwine.com