Tips for Visiting Ohio Wine Country

Ashtabula County produces 50 percent of all grapes grown in Ohio and boasts over 30 wineries. It’s why we’re called Ohio Wine Country.

Ashtabula County produces 50 percent of all grapes grown in Ohio and boasts over 30 wineries. It’s why we’re called Ohio Wine Country.

The Start of it All

Thousands of years ago, our land was covered by glaciers whose retreat formed what we know today as the Great Lakes. It is the rich and fertile soil left behind paired with the area’s climate that creates conditions ideal for growing grapes. These conditions gave life to a vibrant and expanding vineyard region, known as the Grand River Valley, currently home to over 30 wineries.

What is Ohio Wine Country Like?

On the ridge of the Grand River, visitors will find rolling acres of manicured vineyards. Sunny fall days release the sweet smell of ripening grapes. The delicious scent hangs heavy in the air and locals drive with their windows down, breathing deep. Fresh-pressed grape juice is unlike anything you’ve tasted and is only available for a window of time.

Ohio Ice Wine

Unique to the region is Ice Wine, produced in very few places around the country. Typically made from Vidal Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, or Cabernet Franc, these grapes are harvested while frozen. The longer a grape stays on the vine, the greater the residual sugar content. Each frozen grape only yields two to three drops of juice! It is not uncommon to see grapes being picked at midnight with headlamps and flashlights. The result is a very sweet dessert wine.

Join in: The annual ice wine festival is held each March with ice carving demonstrations, wine marshmallows around the fire, and live music. Visit the events calendar to find out more about the festival.

Things to do at Wineries

The wineries are very hands-on. Guests are often served or given a tour of the cellar by owners, their family, and friends. Visitors can participate in a robust calendar of events 12 months a year, take on a tasting trail, or join a pairing class.

Winter Winery Activities

If a chill is in the air, curl up by a crackling fire with a plate of crusty bread and local cheese while you listen to live music. Winery shops are filled with unique gifts to take home with your favorite bottle.

Summer Events at the Vineyards

Warm weather events range from tastings among the vines to bike trails. Looking to unwind? Sign up for a Yoga in the Vineyards class (wine is included, of course).

What to Wear to a Winery

Most impressive about these wineries is their lack of pretense. Come as you are: dressed up or dressed down. Drink what you like: sweet or dry. Many locations proudly serve local craft beers. There is a camaraderie and sense of pride amongst these neighbors who invite guests to sip their passion. Let them know what you enjoy, and they will be happy to make a recommendation for your next stop in Ohio Wine Country.

For a full list of wineries in The Grand River Valley, click here.

Categorized Under: Ohio Wine Things to Do