The first time Paul and I visited Harpersfield, we sat on the deck and listened to an accordian player in a yard that felt like it could be in France. We went back in the winter and sat by the large hearth and sipped red wine to keep warm. We took friends with us on a weekend when a band entertained and the crowd became routy. While researching the book, the owners welcomed me to their table and told me their tales. I'm looking forward to being there again this coming Sunday to share my book and drink a glass or two of Wes Gerlosky's exceptional hand-crafted French-inspired wine.
What a wonderful time I had on a rainy day at Hermes Winery last weekend. I anticipated being lonely at the table set up with my books, but people came and went and most of them stopped at the table, looked through the book, and liked what they saw. Some were familiar with the history of the area and the challenges of winemaking, and they found my book to be thorough. Others came through with thoughts of starting their own wineries on family property, as Dr. Kraus, owner of Hermes Winery has done.
The first vineyards were planted at Hermes Vineyards & Winery in 2002.The Sandusky vineyards contains 25 varieties of grages on over 25 acres, all of which are vinifera.The Italian, Spanish, Rhone, and Burgundy grapes include Vignior, Alianco, Nebiola, Tarilea.The list of wines is mesmerizing, and all the varieties of grapes on grown right on the premises.The wine list contains no grapes native to Ohio, no Catawbas or Concords or anything other varieties enjoyed in the area during Ohio’s early winemaking days before the Prohibition. “A Note From the Owner” on the website gives a bit of a history lesson.“Starting in the 1850s, German grapegrowers like my ancestors, were attracted to Sandusky’s chalky limestone soils and long, temperate growing season, created by the moderating influences of the western basin of Lake Erie and the Sandusky Bay . . . In fact, for a quarter of a century after the fall of the Cincinnati wine industry (America’s first) due to grapevine diseases in the mid 1800s and prior to the emergence of the California wine predominance in the late 1800s, Sandusky was the leading wine producer both for quality and quantity in the country.”
Lake Erie Wineries highlight the spirit of entrepreneurs and those passionate about wine. This weekend is all about wine at Vintage Ohio, the premier Ohio wine tasting event, where I'll be, books in tow. There are over 40 wineries in the Lake Erie Appellation and many of them (Debonne, Buccia, Emerine, Ferrante, Grand River Cellars, John Christ, Klingshirn, Old Firehouse, Old Mill, Paper Moon, St. Joseph, the Winery at Spring Hill, and Vermilion Valley) will be there.Lake Erie is the prime growing region in the state, but wineries throughout the Buckeye State offer wines from Pinot Grigio to Pink Catawba.If you’re going to Vintage Ohio, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you the discount code for discounted admission.