Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the Midst of the Vermilion Valley

David Benzing and his partners at Vermilion Valley Vineyards opened their beautiful eco-friendly winery on Gore Orphanage Road several years ago.  The enviornmentally-friendly winery building is surrounded by vineyards. The winery seeks to educate its patrons on the different styles of wine--estate-bottled vinifera, labrusca, fruit--and has planted oer 5000 grape vines.  Music and food are offered on select weekends.  Also check their calendar for star gazing on scheduled evenings.  Meats and accompaniments are available to create your own picnic meal, including pick-it-yourself sweet corn, salad fixings, and blueberries and other fruits in season. Vermilion Valley Vineyards and Winery about two miles east of the village of Birmingham in northern Lorain County. It will be included on the September 8 wine tour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Only a Paper Moon . . .

I'm putting off selecting the menu for lunch on the September 8 wine tour, want to think through how I want the experience to be for the guests, and I'm still waiting for RSVPs.  I've enjoyed the Panini sandwiches in the past, and one of the best things at the winery is the ability to see the winemaking operations from the dining area.  The winery makes a number of good wines, but we should focus on the dry Riesling.  Last summer, Adam Cawrse (winemaker) visited Canada to attend a conference focused entirely on Riesling. He wanted to gain knknowledge and techniques to make Riesling for Paper Moon.  Adam oversees Lake Erie Appellation grapes as they are hand sorted, crushed, lightly pressed, and juiced. Cold fermentation takes 3-4 weeks.  Smel and taste the fruit the comes through in the Reisling--do you taste peach, pear, melon, apple? It may be too late to get the special Silver Lining Riesling, but it's not too late to taste Paper Moon's newest release of this "Noble Grape" wine.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The “Blitz” was a homemade tractor built in the early 1940s for use of the Klingshirn family, which began operating Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake in 1935. The grapes originally produced wine for the family but large grape crops caused Albert R. Klingshirn to start selling his wine commercially. Lee Klingshirn, the third generation owner and operator of the winery, continues the family farm business today.  We'll meet Lee on September 8 during our wineries tour.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Old Wine Truck and a Ferris Wheel . . . On Lake Erie

I haven't been back to Old Firehouse Winery since before I finished the book, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in their casks this weekend. I'll be there with fellow writer Gina Geither, whose book, Island of Tory, will be on sale with the wineries book.  I hope Gina tastes some of the Old Firehouse's wines with me.  It should make the Celtic Festival more fun. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Firelands Postcard Society

When I researched my book I found postcards and wine labels, maps and pamphlets, old photos and advertising copy. Because the book is historical, any item that could be reproduced in a black-and-white TIFF or JPEG format at pre-ordained resolution settings was fair game.  The folks at the Firelands Postcard Society, which meets at the Sandusky Senior Center, know all about old stuff, and they'll be bringing their wine memorabilia with them to tomorrow night's meeting where I'll tell them all I know about the grape industry in Sandusky, especially around the turn of the century, when Sandusky was second in the nation in production.  The old-timers at the meeting will probably be able to tell me a thing or two about Dorn Winery, the Hommel family, and how Sweet Valley Wine Co. moved its offices from the islands to Sandusky.