Monday, March 26, 2012

Explore America: One of Ohio's Best Kept Secrets is Wine

Napa Valley comes to mind when we think domestic wines. But winemakers grew grapes in Ohio as far back as the 1830s. By 1865 Ohio produced more wine than any other state in the country. This state helped launch the wine industry in America...Ohio wineries might be one of the state's best kept secrets, something worth exploring when visiting the Buckeye State. What's for sure is that the wineries are definitely popular destinations and a worthwhile road trip for those who live here.

There are now about 150 wineries in the Buckeye State, and 60 percent of those grow their own fruit. Winchell says at least eight new wineries in Ohio will open in 2012. Ohio wine country is a welcome glimmer of hope in this tough economic climate.

If you're a wine connoisseur, support the Ohio economy and try some of their award-winning wines. Some wineries to check out include Firelands Winery in northwest Ohio. Firelands has been making wines since 1880. They offer tours, tasting of their award-winning wines, a gift shop and wine making supplies.

In southern Ohio, visitors have been enjoying Valley Vineyards since 1970, voted Best Red in Ohio for its cabernet franc, and there's wine and music on Thursdays.

In northeastern Ohio, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante specializes in vinifera grapes and they also offer an Italian restaurant and live music, in addition to their award-winning wines.

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