Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hermes Winery

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.” 

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