Couple sitting on picnic blanket with two dogs, wine and charcuterie board at Cask 307 in Madison (photo courtesy of Cask 307)
Food + Drink | Wineries

Ohio Wine Month 2023: 7 Wineries to Visit this Summer

From the foothills of Appalachia to the islands of Lake Erie, Ohio produces a wide selection of wines.

Cask 307 | Madison 

This A-frame structure tucked just off Interstate 90 in Lake County makes a dozen small-batch wines and serves six varieties of Double Wing Brewing Co. craft beer. Beth and Tony Debevc opened Cask 307 in June 2019, and the winery’s unique offerings include a bourbon chardonnay that delivers smoky peach, apple and caramel flavors, as well as a robust Marigold wine that is orange in color.

“By leaving the skins on, it gives the wine an orange color but not flavor,” explains Donna List, Cask 307’s tasting room manager. “Ours is a chardonnay grape that we use and has floral notes to it.”

For the beer fans, there are also six varieties of craft brews from Tony Debevc’s Double Wing Brewing Co., which operates on the property of Debonne Vineyards. Cask 307 is part of the Grand River Valley appellation — a viticultural area along Ohio’s northeastern Lake Erie shore — and grapes for the wines are grown on 200 acres across the region. Outside Cask 307’s tasting room, a patio with Adirondack chairs invites visitors to kick back and enjoy the live music on summer weekends.

Although the winery does not have a full kitchen on-site, a small food menu spans sandwiches, flatbreads and charcuterie boards. 7259 Warner Rd., Madison 44507, 440/307-9586,

Bottle of Painted Lady Peach wine at Monarch Winery in Kelleys Island (photo courtesy of Monarch Winery)

Monarch Winery | Kelleys Island

This small Kelleys Island spot down the road from the Lake Erie island’s state park serves a lineup of four fruit wines. Owner Abbey Rosado and her husband, Rodney, first opened a gift shop in 2020 before adding the winery a year later. They both had experience in the industry, with Abbey’s parents owning Kelleys Island Wine Co.

“My husband and I were looking to start our own business on [the island], and we decided that we wanted to experiment with fruit wines,” says Rosado.

While working for Kelleys Island Wine Co., the couple had made fruit wines that proved popular with customers, so they decided to continue in that vein when opening Monarch Winery. For a treat fit for summer on the water, try Rosado’s favorite, Pearl Crescent Pear, an off-dry white wine with fresh pear undertones.

When the summer heat comes in full force, order a wine slushie to enjoy outside on the winery’s patio, which hosts live music on Saturdays, or in the wine garden. The quaint, open-air greenhouse garden features a pond as well as plenty of plants to wander among while sipping sweet fruit wines such as peach and blueberry. 604 Division St., Kelleys Island 43438, 419/746-2899,

People sitting on the patio and enjoying wine at Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard & Winery in Eaton (photo courtesy of Olde Schoolhouse Winery)
Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard and Winery | Eaton

School is always in session at this 1800s red brick schoolhouse along state Route 726 in Preble County that has Tuscan-style interior decor and outdoor space for summer visitors. Since opening in June 2016, Mark Zdobinski, his wife and their business partners have drawn wine lovers to this rural spot for a diverse collection of around 30 wines, ranging from a dry rose and chardonnay to sweet varieties.

Sweet wines on the menu include the top-selling Bad Ass Berry, which blends flavors of blueberry and red raspberry into a sip that pairs well with an afternoon on the winery’s patio overlooking the small on-site vineyard.

Zdobinski has been making wine since 1979 and focuses on locally grown grapes for the varieties he crafts for Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard and Winery.

“We have just shy of 2 acres of grapes,” he says, “so that obviously produces a small portion of what we do.”

The grapes for the vidal come from Urbana in Champaign County, while those for the cabernet come from Washington Court House in Fayette County. Summer brings a rotating lineup of food trucks and music on Friday and Saturday nights. 152 St. Rte. 726, Eaton 45320, 937/472-9463,

Patrons enjoying the outdoor seating at Shamrock Vineyard in Waldo (photo courtesy of Shamrock Vineyard)
Shamrock Vineyard | Waldo

Four generations of the Creasap family have ties to this vineyard that opened in the Marion County village of Waldo in 1984. Located at the end of a half-mile-long driveway off County Road 25, Shamrock Vineyard lays claim to having some of the oldest grapevines in central Ohio. Current owner Thomas “Van” Creasap’s grandfather planted them in 1971 as a hobby while working as a local physician. 

The Chateau Shamrock wines — labeled to showcase Creasap’s grandmother’s French heritage — come in seven varieties, including the dry white Delaware varietal. One of Creasap’s favorites, it has a fruity profile that his grandmother referred to as a “spritely bouquet.” For something sweeter, try the Windfall White, billed as the vineyard’s sweetest offering.

Summer is the perfect time to visit, with Twilight Dinners on the green overlooking the vineyard, where you can enjoy a bottle of wine alongside a catered meat, potato and vegetable meal followed by dessert.

“We’re tucked away in the midst of some green fields, and it’s calm, quiet and peaceful,” says Creasap. “You get to hear the birds chirping as the sun sets and enjoy a beautiful evening out in the country.” 111 County Rd. 25, Waldo 43356, 740/726-2883,

Couple drinking wine on patio at Winery at Wolf Creek in Norton (photo by Karin McKenna)
Winery at Wolf Creek | Norton

Located on a hilltop just outside Akron, this 35-acre winery has vineyards with eight varieties of grapes, over two dozen styles of wine and goats. The Weinberg family founded the place in 1980, but Andy Troutman and his wife, Deanna, have owned it since 2002.

“Years ago, when I started out, I thought I wanted to make goat cheese and make wine, and you realize how much work the wine business is,” says Andy Troutman. “The goats have always just hung around and had a free ride.”

Inside the cozy tasting room that looks out over the vineyard, guests sit by the fire on cool evenings or head outside on warm nights to grab a spot on the covered patio or a seat on the lawn. The wines at this family-friendly spot range from dry to sweet reds and whites. Troutman recommends the cherry, blueberry or apple fruit wines for the summer months.

Customers can pair the wine with an on-site selection of cheese and salami from Grandpa’s Cheesebarn — a nearby branch of the original location in Ashland — or get food delivered from spots like the local favorite Fat Boy’s Pizza. 2637 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd., Norton 44203, 330/666-9285,

Wine bottles on display at Leisure Time Winery in Napoleon (photo courtesy of Leisure Time Winery)
Grape Times
Check out these other spots for a taste of local wine and outdoor relaxation.

Pleasant Hill Vineyards | Athens
Located in the countryside south of Athens, off state Route 33, this family-owned vineyard is tucked among the rolling Appalachian foothills. The 13 varieties of wine on the menu range from dry reds and whites to a sweet rose with a Catawba grape base and a semisweet soleil with notes of black raspberry. Nosh on flatbreads and cheese plates or visit on Saturdays for wood-fire pizzas. Since summer is also cocktail season, get the best of both worlds with rotating options that include a tropical wine spritzer. 5015 Pleasant Hill Rd., Athens 45701, 740/502-3525,

Leisure Time Winery | Napoleon
Husband-and-wife duo Jerry and Lori Shaver opened Leisure Time Winery in the Henry County city of Napoleon in 2014 and make more than 20 wine varieties for guests to enjoy. During the sunny season, try Lazy Daze, a semisweet Riesling; the sweet red Comfort Zone made with Concord grapes; or the dry white Stress Reliever. The winery features a rustic tasting room as well as plenty of places to sit outside. A full-service kitchen serves up appetizers, pizzas, panini and shareable desserts like iced cinnamon bread and cherry- or apple-topped dessert pizzas. 16982 County Road M2, Napoleon 43545, 419/758-3442,