Wine lovers are often surprised to see Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the Lake Erie Region. Lake Erie moderates the lake temperatures, giving the islands and lakeshore a long growing season. While other areas of the state have difficulty growing vinifera wines, the growers in the Lake Erie Appellation can take advantage of their unique climate and grow some of those "noble grapes." Wine connoisseurs and European descendents knew the best wine came from European varietals. Ohio’s serious winemakers were influenced by the passionate efforts of Californians to cultivate hybrid and vinifera grapes and by Dr. Konstantin Frank of New York’s Finger Lakes region, who learned how to cultivate vinifera grapes in New York. In the 1960s and 1970s, Ohio’s family farms and wine-loving entrepreneurs turned towards planting vineyards to create high-quality European-style vinifera wines. Chardonnay and Cabernet grapes grew alongside native Concord and hybrid Catawba. The first one to try grafting vinifera root stock on native stock was Arnie Esterer of Markko Vineyards. The tables on his deck are waiting for you.