Tucked away amongst the river valleys of the Midwest, the Ohio wine industry is a well-kept secret. Far from iconic west coast wine country, Ohio is still considered to be among the top ten wine producers in the country. All thanks to Nicolas Longworth, the father of American grape culture, winemakers have been growing grapes throughout the state with success since 1823, and by the 1860s, Ohio’s wine production surpassed that of any other state in the nation. Cincinnati had become the center of national wine trade, and settlers were convinced that Ohio would one day rival the Rhine in its wine production.
Currently, there are over 120 wineries in the Buckeye State, attracting approximately two million guests each year. The highest concentration of wine production occurs in the northeast portion of the state, as the proximity to Lake Eerie helps moderate temperatures, providing ideal conditions for cooler-climate varietals to thrive. These include pinot noir, cabernet franc, chardonnay, riesling, semillion, and sauvignon blanc. Due to warmer temperatures in the southern part of the state, there are also vintners that grow cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and syrah. The rest of the state is well-known for growing labrusca varietals or vidal blanc, a French-American hybrid. In total, the state encompasses six wine growing regions, all of which include at least one metropolitan area. The Ohio Wine Producers Association has created six corresponding “Wine Trails” that creatively fill the space between each major city with suggestions of wineries, accommodations, and attractions to visit. From Cincinnati to Cleveland, Toledo to Dayton, and Columbus to Akron, the Wine Producers have created a comprehensive viticulture experience for your enjoyment.
Want to ship wines to Ohio? Want to know which wine clubs ship to Ohio?
The state of Ohio allows for limited direct shipping to private homes from small wineries that make less than 250,000 gallons of wine annually, provided that each household receives no more than 24 cases of wine each year.
These are our top wine clubs that ship to Ohio:
While Cincinnati may no longer lead the nation in wine trade, the Ohio River Valley still maintains a thriving wine culture.
For local shopping:
- A Bottle or Two: http://abottleortwo.com/
- City Cellars Fine Wines: http://www.citycellars.biz/
- Water Tower Fine Wines: http://www.watertowerfinewines.com/
- Anderson Winery: http://www.andersonwinery.com/
- Harmony Hill Wines: http://www.hhwines.com/
- Kinkead Ridge: http://www.kinkeadridge.com/
- La Vigna: http://www.winegrown.com/
In Northern Ohio, the Grand River Valley has the highest density of wine production in the state. Stretching just 22 miles long and four miles wide, this region has much to offer the wine connoisseur.
For Local Shopping:
- The Wine Spot: http://thewinespotonline.com/
- The Goddess Wine House: http://www.thegoddesswinehouse.blogspot.com/
- Pairings: http://www.pairingsohio.com/scripts/cpg.cfm/1
- Buccia Vineyard: http://www.bucciavineyard.com/
- Deer’s Leap Winery: http://www.deersleapwine.com/
- Maple Ridge Vineyard: http://www.mapleridgevineyard.com/
Throughout the year, the Ohio Wine Producers Association promotes seasonal events within its designated wine growing regions. In February, for example, the Lake Eerie Vines and Wines Trail sponsors “Chocolate is for Lovers,” a romance-inspired tour where visitors can explore vineyards, enjoy appetizers, and collect chocolate. For more information about Wine Trails and other annual promotions, visit the Ohio Wine Producers Association website: http://www.ohiowines.org/12_trails.shtml
Looking for a unique wine tasting event? Be sure to check out the Bacchanalian Society’s quarterly gatherings, an innovative project that combines wine with philanthropy, as the society helps local charities host competitive wine tasting events. This Cincinnati-based group is named for Bacchus, the Roman deity of wine and merriment, recognizing both the intoxicating powers of wine and its beneficial influence on society. To be admitted to a Bacchanalian gathering, each person or team must bring three bottles of the specified varietal. Two of the three bottles are bagged and ranked by other participants, and the third bottle is set aside to be awarded to the teams that brought the highest ranked wines. All proceeds from admission support local charities. For more information about tasting wine for a cause, visit the Bacchanalian Society’s website: http://bacchanaliansociety.com/