Ohio's changing seasons provide the perfect growing conditions for grapes, making the region well-known for wineries and vineyards. Warmer months are the perfect time to visit some of Ohio's wineries, when summer activities are in full swing.
Take a ride on the wild side
Take a step back in time with a whirl on the Ferris wheel at the Old Firehouse Winery. Located at 5499 Lake Road on the coast of Lake Erie in the small town of Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Old Firehouse Winery is home not only to a large selection of wines, but to a vintage 1956 Ferris wheel with views overlooking Lake Erie. The summer events (dinner theaters, clam bakes, live music and craft fairs) classify the Firehouse as one of the most unique wineries in Ohio. For additional information, visit www.oldfirehousewinery.com.
Just a hop, skip and a jump
Heading west, Heineman's Winery is accessible by ferry and boasts more than 100 years in business. Located at 978 Catawba St. on Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, the historic winery features wines cultivated from local grapes. Allow time to visit the Crystal Cave, an underground cavern with bragging rights to the world's largest geode. Tours of the cave are given daily during summer months. For information, visit www.heinemanswinery.com.
Head to the heart of the heartland
To taste wines from many regions, check out the Wine Bistro in Columbus. With two locations (8231 North High St., Worthington, and 1750 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington), the wine bar features hundreds of wines from around the world. The menu's focus is on the wine, and appetizer pairings are specifically selected to highlight flavor and bouquet. Information about available wines can be found at www.winebistrocolumbus.com.
Enjoy the thrill of the grill
Valley Vineyards offers a selection of estate wines at its vineyard in the small town of Morrow in southern Ohio, between Dayton and Cincinnati. Valley Vineyards is known for its year-round weekend cookouts, where guests can grill their own meat while enjoying a specialty wine. Valley Vineyards is located at 2276 East U.S. 22 and 3. Visit www.valleyvineyards.com more information.
Get a taste of the simple life
If you're seeking peace and solitude, head to Breitenbach Wine Cellars in the heart of quiet Ohio Amish country. Breitenbach is located in Der Marktplatz at 5934 Old Route 39 N.W. in Dover. Breitenbach's specialty grape, berry and fruit wines are made at their Dover location. A trip to Breitenbach is not complete without a visit to the Amish store, where shoppers can pick up specialty Amish meats and cheeses to accompany their wine purchases. Visit www.breitenbachwine.com to learn more.
Ohio has much to offer all wine lovers. Take time this summer to enjoy some of Ohio's best wineries and sprawling vineyards.