Scott and I spent this past weekend in Ohio for my birthday. The sole purpose of the trip was to get my National Parks Passport stamped at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But, since that only takes about a half a day, we had to fill the rest of the weekend. Never having been to Cleveland, or Ohio for that matter, we knew we wanted to go to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but weren’t sure what else to do with a full extra day. In doing some research, we found that the area has a wine trail that supposedly produces some pretty superb wines and, in fact, Ohio boasts more wineries per square mile than in any other region – including Napa. Literally hundreds of acres of rolling, lush vineyards, produce award winning wines like Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, easy to enjoy Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc as well as local favorites made from native varieties. So I printed off the brochure http://www.ohiowines.org/pdf/vines_wines_brochure.pdf turned on the navigation and we headed out for a vineyard sort of scavenger hunt. We knew we’d never get to them all (and be able to safely drive back to our hotel) so we set our sights at 10 over the course of the day. Our choices were Buccia Vineyards, Dears Leap, DeBonne’ Vineyards, Ferrante Winery, Grand River Cellars, Old Firehouse Winery, Tarsitano Winery, The Lakehouse Inn Winery, and Laurello Vineyards. Our favorite of the day was not planned and actually listed as an almost afterthought on the brochure: South River Winery. A century old church (complete with original pews, wainscoting, flooring and stained glass windows) converted into a wine tasting room and a newly added pavilion out back overlooking an amazing vineyard. I fondly refer back to it as the church of my two saviours—God and Wine—and should Scott and I ever choose to get married, it will most certainly be there. We ended the day watching the sunset over the beautiful shores of Lake Erie sipping wine on the deck of The Lakehouse Inn. It was an extraordinary day and I’ll confess now that our expectations were not that high for a quality wine tasting experience after having tasted wines all over the world. But, we were so pleasantly surprised that we can’t wait to go back and revisit our favorites and hit the wineries we missed. If the Cleveland/Lake Erie area is not on your radar, it should be! Here is another great website for area wine info http://www.tasteohiowines.com/

 

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The church of my two saviours…..God and Wine!

 

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I loved the original church pews and the wine tasting served on a prayer board.

 

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Maybe I did……….maybe I didn’t!

 

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A perfect end to a perfect day….sharing a kiss with my best guy while watching the sunset on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie!

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