Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ohio Wineries Earn The Ohio Quality Wine Designation

Bookmark and Share  Eight wines from three Ohio wineries received the prestigious Ohio Quality Wine award designation.

This is an important program that is helping to define a high quality standard for Ohio wines. Ohio has a winemaking tradition that dates back more than a century. You know when you have an OQW wine that you are truly "tasting Ohio" in your glass.

The Ohio Quality Wine award designation, created in 2007 by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee, is assigned to wines made from at least 90 percent Ohio-grown vinifera and hybrid grapes. These wines must also achieve at least 15 of 20 points on a sensory evaluation and pass a chemical analysis conducted by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster before receiving the quality seal.

The latest wineries to receive this designation include Breitenbach Wine Cellars (Dover), Burnet Ridge Winery (Cincinnati), and Ferrante Winery (Geneva).

The wines earning the designation from Breitenbach are their Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake Erie), Merlot (Lake Erie), Solara Cream Sherry (Grand River Valley) and Tawny Port (Ohio River Valley). For Burnet Ridge their 2010 Pinot Gris (Lake Erie) earned the OQW. Ferrante has three of their Signature Series wines now designated as OQW, their 2009 Signature Series Cabernet Franc (Grand River Valley), 2010 Signature Series Pinot Grigio (Grand River Valley), and the 2010 Signature Series Riesling (Grand River Valley).

By focusing on wines made from Ohio grapes, the Ohio Quality Wine program spurs the expansion and renovation of Ohio’s vineyards to meet the needs of Ohio winemakers. The program provides five judgings per year to include all possible wine releases. Chemical analysis sets this quality program apart from others by identifying flaws that can be missed when only sensory testing is used. There are currently 174 wines that have earned this top status.

The Ohio Grape Industries Committee is housed at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and provides wineries a means to market their top-quality wines against well-known California and European wines. To learn more about the program or for a complete list of Ohio Quality Wines, visit

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