Best Wineries to Visit this Fall around Columbus, OH
Top Wineries with Many Using Grapes Grown Here in Ohio!
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If you’re familiar at all with the Columbus area, you’re aware that the city is known for many of its amazing breweries. The options for beer lovers are extensive! You may have already checked some of the best wineries of Ohio here, but did you know some of the best ones are actually located around Columbus? The city also has a number of wineries that tend to be more overlooked. The wineries around the Columbus area use grapes that are actually grown in Ohio, where you can find some great fixes for both red and white wine. You can also check out some gorgeous scenery at these places!
What Makes Wine Taste so Good?
The key in making a winery successful is having a strong and healthy vineyard. These are the main factors contributing to a good vineyard:
- Sun path: The vines should be exposed to some sun to ensure the best growth and overall health as possible.
- Yields: Tonnage per acre is key when assessing a vineyard, to ensure there is no overcropping or undercropping that occur. Undercropping can lead to short hang times, while hyper quick opening will lead to a higher lack of berry maturity and mostly ripe sugar levels.
- Vine maturity: The age of the vines usually correlates to the direct quality of the fruit. This means that older vines typically will produce the best fruit.
- Weather: How the vineyard reacts to weather issues that have occurred.
- Appearance: Appearance is very important. A vineyard’s appearance tells you a lot about its overall health.
Top Wineries around Columbus
Check out these wineries around Columbus that produce some of the most tasty wine in the state.
A bit of a historical figure in Columbus is the Wyandotte Winery, which you may have already heard a little bit about in one of our winery blogs. The winery was built originally by Floyd Jones, who was known as being more innovative when it came to making wine, using special ingredients like dandelion, red beet, and even red clover. The Wyandotte Winery is the area’s first and oldest winery, officially opening in 1977.
The goal of the winery was to make the environment more cozy and feeling at home, so Jones had designed the winery with a main production facility in the cellar, a wine shop/tasting room on the first floor, and a great living space for him and his family. Back when the winery was first being built, acres of field and forest surrounded it and the homes that once surrounded the winery are no longer there.
In 1985, the winery was sold to Bill and Jane Butler. Bill was known for creating some delicious wine, while his wife worked on the marketing aspects and created labels that depicted certain landmarks around the Columbus area. In 1990, the winery expanded a bit and became the William Graystone Winery and Restaurant. Bill and Jane created the venue to be a bit more elegant and unique for dinners and other special events. In 2004 the wine venue closed its doors, until current owners of the winery Valerie and Robin Coolidge came to save the day. After some more remodeling, the winery opened again in 2007 and is still thriving to this day.
Most of the grapes used at the winery are all grown directly in Ohio. There are only a few other grape varieties that don’t grow as well in Ohio that come from other states like California and New York.
The winery attributes lots of its influx of customers due to lots of other fun activities such as:
- Free cellar tours
- Live music & food trucks every Friday night
- Happy hours at various times throughout the week
The Wyandotte Winery also has its very own special wine club, where you can enjoy some great advantages if you sign up. Some advantages to club members include:
- Quarterly shipments of wine shipped directly to you (March, June, September, and December): You get the option to pick up the wines at the winery, or have it shipped directly to you.
- You choose the kinds of wine and number of bottles.
- One free tasting of up to six wines per month, and always half-price tastings.
- Special- member-only gifts in every shipment.
- 10% discount on all public events at both wineries.
- Receive access to wines that are released and not yet available to the general public.
- Thursdays: 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Fridays: 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Saturdays: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Winemaker’s Shop
In 1974, The Winemaker’s Shop was opened by Scott Francis and Nina Harwick, along with their two sons Alex and Ivan Francis. The facility was originally created to help people in the area actually pursue homebrewing and winemaking themselves by selling various equipment and supplies. Over time and with some increasing popularity, The Shop transformed into an actual winery. Currently, almost 50 original reds, whites, and roses are featured, and customers still get the option to brew their own wine when they visit!
The Shop Staff
Get to know some of the staff at The Winemaker’s Shop and a little bit about their background!
Scott honed his skills in making batches of beer and wine. He would frequently give workshops to the amateur Wine Guild of Columbus and even taught at the Creative Arts Program through the Ohio State University. Scott also has a brewer’s degree that he obtained from the Seibels Institute of Brewing in Chicago, IL.
After moving to Columbus in 1978, Nina met Scott and started to work for The Shop. Nina didn’t have much experience with brewing/wine making, but has gotten lots by staying with the business up until present day. Along with Scott, Nina has also taught and trained many brewers and enlisted them with all of the skills they need to be successful.
Alex & Ivan Francis
Alex and Ivan Francis, sons of the owner, have been there to help with the brewing process for many years. Ivan graduated with a Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Community Development from Ohio State University, while Alex is currently still attending the same school.
The Shop offers wine making classes that take place for about 2 hours a few days out of the week. The Shop also offers blind wine tastings, food pairings, and group painting.
- Tuesdays through Fridays: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hidden Lakes Winery
Located in Canal Winchester, you can find the scenic Hidden Lakes Winery & Distillery. This winery was originally opened by Damon Pfeifer, who is a 5th generation winemaker that continues to carry on his family tradition. The Pfeifer family originally settled in Kansas in the late 1860's as farmers after the Civil War. The family had built a small three room house, a barn and a chicken coop on a 186 acre farm, where the rich soil and snow banks made the summers vibrant with tons of grapes grown to carry on the tradition of delicious wine making recipes. The winery was first opened in 2009, and features a dining room with an indoor fireplace along with a gift shop, patio, and menu of food and drinks. You can also find almost 15 varieties of red and white wine that can be served by the glass, frozen slushies, and even tastings.
It’s important to note that this winery is closed every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Normal operating hours are:
- Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Cooper Hawk’s Winery and Restaurant
If you’re looking for more of a high class experience if you must, check out Cooper Hawk’s Winery and Restaurant. Since first opening in 2005, Cooper Hawk has specialized in traveling the whole world to find the best grapes to create the most high quality wine. Popular hotspots include:
Cooper Hawk is most ideal for those who love to enjoy a good meal while they sip on their wine. The menu includes flavors from around the world that are all made fresh from scratch in the kitchen. The restaurant also has a host of tasting rooms that embrace the rich experience of Napa and give guests the opportunity to explore and expand their palates to help enrich their wine journey. High end decanters, wine accessories, gifts, along with a gourmet food line allow guests to live the “Cooper’s Hawk lifestyle” at home.
The menu features over 100 edibles and over 45 wines that include reds & whites, sparkling, mulled, fruit, sangria, and other varieties. The restaurant has produced a whopping 600,000 gallons of wine since it opened. The restaurant has also won over 400 awards for its various wines which include Barbera, Malbec, and Pinot Noir. Each of these have also won over 30 titles. Similar to the Wyandotte Winery, Cooper Hawk offers a similar wine club experience where you can get wine delivered directly to your doorstep along with a whole lot of discounts.
Carryout at the restaurant is available from Sunday to Thursday at 11am - 9pm and from 11am - 9:30pm Friday and Saturday. Tasting Rooms are also open from Sunday to Thursday from 11am - 9:30pm and from 11am - 10pm Friday and Saturday for wine tasting and wine purchases.
Via Vecchia Winery
This next winery, Via Vecchia winery, exists as both a wedding venue and a winery. The space is about 7,700 sq. ft total, with heaps of gorgeous romantic exposed brick and wood beam aesthetic. A factor that draws so many people to this winery is the fact that all beverages are completely organic, gluten free, and vegan.
Each year the winery holds a special event around Halloween, the Haunted Winery Tours! Go on a winery tour and learn about the building's haunted house guests and pre prohibition history. Currently, the haunted tour dates are scheduled for:
- October 24th
- October 26th
- November 9th
Business hours are not currently located on the winery’s website, but you can call to make an appointment or get more information at 614-886-2839.
Soine Vineyards Winery
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Another family owned vineyard located near Columbus in Powell, OH is the Soine Vineyards Winery. First established in 2003, this family owned vineyard always gives its visitors a fun time along with a quaint and family friendly atmosphere. Drive back the gravel driveway that leads to the winery, and visitors will be surrounded by the vines that yield the grapes which form the wine.
Once you arrive at the winery, the owner, Eric Sainey, will be there to explain his vines, grapes, along with the chemical process of making the Soine Vineyard wines. You will also be presented with a variety of red, white and blush tables wines to try during the wine tasting. With almost 15 types of different wines, Soine Vineyards offers every visitor with a variety of red, white, and blush table wines.
Check out some of the top red and white wines available at Soine Vineyards Winery:
Duove: Wine full bodied with modest oak tones. Smooth tannin with cherry and black pepper notes. Priced at $17.
2018 Chambourcin: Medium bodied with noticeable oak. Modest fruit includes blackberry and cherry with strong black pepper. Priced at $16.
2019 Landot Noir: Mild, velvet smooth wine complemented with lots of soft tannin. Hints of light fruit include cherry and slight pepper tones. Priced at $17.
2019 Vidal Blanc: Dry wine that provides refreshing citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit complimented by a fresh, honey quality. Priced at $15
Soleil: Full-bodied dry white. Reminiscent of Chardonnay with slight oak tones with mild creamy butter character. Priced at $14.
2018 Cayuga White: Off-dry wine with less than 1% of residual sugar. Fragrant rose and grapefruit aromas. Priced at 15$.
Currently this winery is open:
- Fridays: 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
So, Which One?
Let us know in the comments which of these wineries seem most appealing. If you end up visiting a couple, happy tasting!
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