Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ohio Winery Visit: Matus Winery

We planned a little Ohio weekend getaway so that we could visit several wineries on our drive between Toledo and Cleveland.

Our first stop was Matus Winery, located at 15674 Gore Orphanage Road in Wakeman. The winery is located on the 75-year-old farmland of the Matus Family. The large barn-like tasting structure has plenty of room to stretch out while you enjoy your wine.
Sylvia Miller was our host during our visit and was friendly and attentive, giving us a special tour of the tank room where we could see the winemaking in process.

The wine at Matus is non-vintage but most is made from grapes grown on the winery property. We were a bit disappointed to learn that the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were not available. I had checked the wine list in advance and was counting on that duo as being two dry wines amidst moslyt sweeter selections. The Cabernet has been an award winner and the last bottling was exceptional, so it quickly sold out.

Sylvia set us up with some cheese and crackers and a couple of trays of samples. The samples are 50 cents each. We sampled the Chardonnay, Vidal and Niagara on the white side along with Moonlight. Moonlight is made from estate-grown Traminette, which is a close relative to Gewürztraminer. This was finished in a sweeter style and had a bit of pepper on the finish.

Wines were simple and mostly sweet. The Niagara was from Lake Erie grapes and was a good example of the easy drinking white that’s quite popular on hot summer days.

The reds had a couple nice surprises. The Sunset is a blend of Chambourcin, Frontenac, Foche, and Baco Noir grown at Matus. It is semi-dry (but drier than almost all the other wines offered). I don’t think I’ve ever had this combination of grapes before and I found it interesting with a bit of tartness.

Matus also offers Outback, which is a fruit wine made with elderberry and blackberry. Green Dragon wasn’t willing to taste this, but I thought this would be an ideal sipping wine for those blustery winter days that aren’t too far around the corner. Matus offers a pear wine as well.

We stopped in during the early afternoon but this looks like it is a lively place during the weekends, especially when there is a band. Matus has plenty of seating and a great fireplace room. Fridays at 5:30 PM they offer a dinner special and entertainment is scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays. There is a chili cook-off this weekend that looks like a lot of fun.

For those who like life (and their wine) on the sweet side and enjoy lively entertainment, Matus is a good choice.
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