The Vintage Ohio Wine Festival was held August 6 and 7 in the beautiful Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland.
Participating wineries were: Breitenback Wine Cellars, Buccia Vineyard, Candlelight Winery, Debonne Vineyards, Emerine Estates, Ferrante Winery, Grand River Cellars, Grape and Granary, It's Your Winery, Klingshirn Winery, Maize Valley Winery, Marietta Wine Cellars, Old Firehouse Winery, Old Mill Winery, St. Joseph Vineyard, The Winery at Spring Hill, Valley Vineyards and Wyandotte Winery.
The first impression is “huge” as we spied the assortments of tents and hundreds of cars in fields serving as parking lots. Spiderman accompanied Green Dragon and me on the trip. When we were getting our tickets he asked how many tastings you could get. He couldn’t have asked for a better response: “You can have a hundred if you want.”The grounds had a truly festival atmosphere with three stages of music, a wide range of food booths plus educational programs and other cool products. One of the most unique products we saw was the wine caddy. This is a cord that is worn around the neck attached to a coiled copper tube into which your wine glass fits. You can enjoy the festival “hands free” without worrying where you left your wine glass.
We circulated trying the different wines and nibbling some small food samples. We found a few new favorites: Klingshirn Winery had a nice assortment including their Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Pinot Grigio; Grand River Cellars scored with their Stonewood Red and Austin’s Red. Ferrante had a very popular booth and we enjoyed their semi-sweet Grand River Valley Riesling. However, they didn’t bring some of our favorite dry wines.
The focus of this event is mostly on sweeter wines, which aren't our favorites. We really liked the wineries that had "dry" and "sweet" lines. The "dry" line was like the EZ Pass lane on the Turnpike. You can zip right up, then go back for seconds before someone waiting in the long "sweet" line could reach the counter.
As we wound up the afternoon, we needed some food before hitting the road. We grabbed a couple gyros and an Angus burger and paired it with a glass of nice Reserve Pinot Noir from St. Joseph.