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Food + Drink | Wineries

Ohio Wine Month: 12 Wineries for Tastings, Events & More

Whether you’re looking for dinners, classes, tours or special events, these offerings across the state are just a sip of what Ohio’s wineries have to offer.

Majestic Oak Winery, Grand Rapids 
Individual & Group Tastings • During Winery Hours
The large oak tree in the center of this northwest Ohio vineyard serves as a welcoming backdrop for sampling wines. Flights come with a choice of either 1- or 2-ounce pours of four different varieties, ranging from reds and whites to blush and fruit wines. “Sweet red is our best-seller, but there are people who specifically come here for blueberry … for strawberry,” says co-owner Laura Rufenacht. “Every wine has its own followers.” Outings of between eight and 50 people can book a group tasting that offers a choice of eight 1-ounce samples of not only Majestic Oak’s wines but also beer from the winery’s Neon Groundhog Brewery. 13554 Mohler Rd., Grand Rapids 43522, 419/875-6474, majesticoakwinery.com
Crush House at Gervasi Vineyard
Gervasi Vineyard, Canton
Public & Private Tours & Tastings • Various Times
This 55-acre Tuscan-inspired resort in Canton offers both public and private tours and tastings. On Saturdays, public tours are available at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. and are free of charge, while ticketed public pairing tours are offered at 3 and 4:30 p.m. The free tours teach about the history of the property, the beginnings of the winery and offer insight into the bottling process. Ticketed tours are followed by two 1-ounce tastings of white wines and two 1-ounce tastings of red wines paired with four small bites and finished with chocolate. Private tours are also available and run 45 to 60 minutes in length, followed by a choice of various food-pairing and wine-tasting experiences afterward. 1700 55th St. NE, Canton 44721, 330/497-1000, gervasivineyard.com

Merry Family Winery, Bidwell 
Tours & Tastings • Tastings During Business Hours, Tours by Appointment
Gallia County’s first winery and craft brewery offers tastings during business hours that can be purchased individually or in flights of three or six. Tour opportunities are by appointment and limited to smaller groups of 25 and fewer people in order to keep the experience valuable. Scheduled tours are also available from time to time, usually when a new variety or special offering is available. Those who get a tour of the property get to see the vineyards as well as the brewery’s hop yards. “[Customers] get to learn the whole process,” says co-owner Lisa Merry, “from the vine all the way through to the actual glass.” 2376 St. Rte. 850, Bidwell 45614, 740/245-9463, merryfamilywinery.com

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CLASSES

Gillig Winery, Findlay 
Paint & Partake • Visit website for schedule
Get your creative juices flowing and support a good cause at this Hancock County winery’s periodic painting event. Ever since Paint & Partake was first offered at the winery in 2016, a portion of proceeds have gone to Awakening Minds, a Findlay nonprofit organization that helps those with special needs learn and improve skills through therapeutic, educational and developmental programs. Paint & Partake patrons receive five 1-ounce tastings — usually two reds, two whites and a fruit wine — to enjoy while putting their own spin on the painting taught each month. Appetizers such as flatbreads, cheeses, meats and crackers are available to enjoy along with the wines. 1720 Northridge Rd., Findlay 45840, 419/408-3230, gilligwinery.com
Breitenbach Vinyasa in the Vineyard
Breitenbach Wine Cellars, Dover
Vinyasa in the Vineyard • June 21, July 19, Aug. 16
Enjoy an hour of yoga followed by sangria and conversation. Sarah DiFazio, owner of Dover’s Be Yoga Studios, teaches this class intended for people of all skill levels and held on the covered patio of the Toolshed, an event venue located about a half-mile from the main Breitenbach Wine Cellars building. Attendees will take part in vinyasa, a form of yoga that focuses on movement linked with breath. Afterward, they can wind down with a glass of Breitenbach Wine Cellars’ housemade sangria. “I’m not going to make people stand on their heads or do handstands,” DiFazio says of her yoga class. “I want them to walk out of it feeling refreshed.” 5934 Old Route 39 NW, Dover 44622, 330/343-3603, breitenbachwine.com

Blend of Seven Winery, Delaware
Pound & Pour • Visit Website for Dates
Once a month, instructor Rachael Dunn gets Blend of Seven Winery patrons moving with 45 minutes of choreographed cardio followed by wine. She teaches Pound — a music-driven, high-energy program during which participants use quarter-pound sticks to feel the burn. A combination of cardio, Pilates and strength training, the class leads participants through standing, lunging and seated workouts that can burn more than 900 calories per session. “Usually in exercise classes, you don’t really get a chance to sit down and talk to people besides ‘hi’ and ‘bye,’ ” says Dunn. “It creates an opportunity to get to know people just a little bit better.” 1400 Stratford Rd., Delaware 43015, 740/417-4286, blendofsevenwinery.com

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FESTIVALS & EVENTS

Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant, West Lafayette
Red, Wine & Blue Festival • June 22 
Celebrate the Fourth of July a couple weeks early at Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant’s Red, Wine & Blue Festival. For a small fee, visitors receive a wristband that allows them to sample four half glasses of the winery’s standouts, such as Raven Rouge, as they stroll the vineyards, take part in a scavenger hunt and enjoy views of the Tuscarawas River, which passes by the Coshocton County winery. (Each attendee receives a commemorative wine glass to take home with them.) Evening brings the music of the Big Fat Dog Blues Band, and food stations will be set up throughout the day to serve hungry winery visitors. 56183 County Rd. 143, West Lafayette 43845, 740/545-1000, ravensglenn.com

The Winery at Versailles, Versailles
Flea Market • June 29 
This Darke County winery’s flea market brings a range of interesting finds, from fresh flowers and jewelry to wine-bottle tiki torches and homemade quilts. “Flea markets and festivals with craft vendors used to be a really big thing,” says winery event coordinator Carlena Sneed. “So, in March [2018], I decided to take the leap of faith … and within three days, I had over 100 applications.” Fifty vendors will set up shop in the vineyard. As patrons peruse the booths, they can enjoy wine, cocktails and beer. Casual eats such as shredded chicken sandwiches, pork or beef nachos and more will be available for hungry visitors to purchase. 6572 St. Rte. 47, Versailles 45380, 937/526-3232, wineryatversailles.com
Blue Barn Concert Series
Blue Barn Winery, Wooster
Live Music • Visit Website for Dates
Brett and Marcia Urian began hosting live music at their restored Civil War-era barn soon after they opened Blue Barn Winery in 2015. “We attract [customers] who enjoy the old rock ’n’ roll,” says Brett. This summer’s lineup includes Canton’s LaFlavor and Cleveland’s The Motown Band as well as acts that pay tribute to legends such as The Beatles and Johnny Cash. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food to enjoy with the winery’s lineup of sweet and dry red and white wines. Although music is free on Friday and Sunday evenings, there is a $10 cover charge on Saturdays, which includes a complimentary drink. 4407 Columbus Rd., Wooster 44691, 330/575-1028, bluebarnwinery.com

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DINNERS

Maize Valley Winery, Hartville
Vintner’s Dinners • Third Thursday of Every Month 
These family-style meals are organized around a theme that carries throughout the year. For 2019, the culinary staff is incorporating a secret ingredient into every dish served over the course of an evening. So far, oranges, chocolate, eggs and apricots have played starring roles. “In general, we don’t do anything crazy,” co-owner Michelle Bakan says. “But we do joke that there are some people who have been coming for a long time, and they’ll say, ‘I can’t believe I’m eating what you’re serving me but I am and I love it.’ ”6193 Edison St. NE, Hartville 44632, 330/877-8344, maizevalley.com
Laurentia Winery Dinner
Laurentia Vineyard & Winery, Madison 
Tasting Room Kitchen • Kitchen Open Wed.–Sun.
This Lake County winery takes a seasonal approach to its menu, pairing wine flights with small plates. The Tasting Room Kitchen prepares everything from scratch and makes use of in-season crops and products from local purveyors. “[Our wines] capture a huge range of aroma, flavor and texture that happen to partner incredibly well with a very dynamic range of cuisine,” says winemaker Eric Schroeder. “We’re able to do things from light springtime menus all the way to wild-game dinners — really capturing that whole spectrum.” Chef Patrick Dunn’s menu changes frequently and regularly features five to nine specials, but a variety of pizzas and flatbreads are available for winery visitors to enjoy year-round. Try the chicken pesto flatbread with Laurentia’s reserve chardonnay and the margherita pizza with the estate rose. 4599 S. Madison Rd., Madison 44057, 440/296-9175, laurentiawinery.com

French Ridge Vineyards, Killbuck
Steakfest • June 22, July 20, Aug. 10
This Holmes County vineyard offers a trio of cook-your-own steak dinners. The meal features rib-eye steak, baked potato, salad, Amish-made bread and desserts and wine. Visitors can choose from 22 wines, while a three-piece acoustic band provides background music. The communal-grilling aspect of the experience finds a few tables at a time cooking together, and owner Scott Buente says he began hosting the dinners as a way to cultivate a sense of community among his customers. “The purpose is to come out, enjoy your family and friends and have a good meal,” he says. “Enjoy a little soft music and head home.” 2586 Township Rd. 34, Killbuck 44637, 330/377-4962, frenchridgevineyards.com