Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Purist in Wine and Food - Ken Tarsitano

Ken Tarsitano, owner and wine maker at Tarsitano Winery & Café in Conneaut, encouraged me to focus on current wineries along the lakeshore.  Ken takes growing grapes and making estate-bottled wines a step further:  he takes the extra steps to be an organic wine maker.  When one opens a bottle of Tarsitano wine, which must be tasted with bread warm from the oven and made behind the tasting counter, one tastes the Earth along the lake shore. On dairy land originally owned by the Finnish Ahos and Italian Tarsitanos in Conneaut, Tarsitano Winery perches on a ridge in a cedar-sided barn. The winery, certified organic in 1998, grows grapes more naturally by recognizing the negative charges of the vines. Wine production occurs year round with the introduction of new bottlings at Christmas to replace those brought out in the summer. The Lemberger wine is fruity and full-bodied and worth the trip. The smell of baking bread entices visitors to linger over a dish of pasta while admiring the rows of vineyards outside the window. All four Conneaut Creek wineries equal one Ferrante in production, so they collaborate with events like progressive dinners.

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