Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wining Again, in Ohio Wine Country

Husband Paul bought me Patricia Latimer’s Ohio Wine Country Excursions for Christmas. We enjoyed many romantic trips to New York’s Finger Lakes region, where the vineyards roll down the hills to the deep glacier-grooved lakes, but Ohio’s wineries were closer to home. In the 19th century, Ohio was the major wine producing state along the Ohio River and, beginning in the 1830s, along Lake Erie and its islands. My sense of adventure was kindled when I began to learn about native Ohio grapes and how wine producers graft the vines to make French-American hybrids like Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc and the European vinifera varieties l love. The stories of Ohio’s wineries all begin with the land—the temperatures must be moderate and the growing season long. One must begin with an acre and plant the vines and see how they do. It’s a leap of faith, the buying and clearing of land and growing grapes, hoping they will produce quantities of juice that can be fermented into wine. The making of wine is as romantic as the hope that a lover will while away the hours on your back porch or a picnic near a pond in the woods, with a bottle of wine. My Ohio wine country adventures began at Markko vineyards.

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