A Wine Oasis
While we’ve tasted quite a bit of Chateau Tebeau wine at the Glass City Wine Festival and the Island Wine Festival, we’ve never been to the winery. Time to correct that!
The winery is located in Helena (population 224!) in Sandusky County, between Fremont and Gibsonburg. The Lake Erie shore is dotted with wineries, but not so in this part of Ohio. Chateau Tebeau is an oasis in a wine desert.
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A Good Choice For Sipping, Strolling or Dining
The original vineyard had 300 vines and they have since planted another vineyard with three times the amount of vines. The winters of 2014 and 2015 were devastating to Ohio wineries. We were looking forward to trying some Chateau Tebeau Cabernet Franc, but alas, the bad weather meant none was available.
The tasting room is spacious, nicely decorated and – we understand – a fantastic place for a meal or to enjoy live music. In the warmer weather, guests can enjoy their wine out on the deck, in the gazebo or picnic area.
Growing Strong, Growing Local
We sampled the Riesling next. The grapes come from New York State and this made for a pleasant wine with a semi-sweet finish.
It was time to move on to the reds. We began with the 2012 Noiret. Noiret is a hybrid developed by Cornell University. It was created to withstand cold weather and produces a light bodied red. This Noiret had a very cherry flavor and an almost Sweet Tart taste. We liked it!
I was looking forward to the Frontenac. Frontenac is another cold-hardy grape, this one developed by the University of Minnesota. Some hybrid grapes lack boldness, but not Frontenac. This wine had cherry aromas and tastes of leather and plum. This is very well done.
We finished up with the 2014 Petite Sirah. This was made with grapes from Lodi, California. Lodi produces some stellar wines, especially Zinfandel. This was particularly juicy and we recommend it when you visit.
You can find Chateau Tebeau wines at the upcoming Glass City Wine Festival and even in some Toledo area stores – but the best experience is reserved for visitors to the winery.