To grow 25 varieties of grapes on land near Lake Erie in Sandusky. The first vineyards were planted at Hermes Vineyards & Winery in 2002, ten years ago. A country drive south on Route 4 in Sandusky travels through lush farm country not far from Lake Erie’s shores. Hermes Vineyards, surrounded by wild flowers, hosts wine tastings in an old threshing barn with a dilapidated silo. But don’t be fooled by its rustic interior—the barn has been restored into an intimate spot in which to enjoy Ohio wines from European-style vinifera grapes.
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. The super-peppery Grenache and the award-winning 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon can make this wine maker proud. As can the amazing variety of wines. White wines include the well-made Semillon and true German Gewurztraminer and Reisling. Unlike most white wines, the Sauvignon Blanc is semi-sweet. The red wines include grapes originating in Spain, like the Tempranillo, some from France--French Petit Verdot and Merlot--and Italian vines including Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. The Sandusky vineyards contain only vinifera grapes--Italian, Spanish, Rhone, and Burgundy grapes are brought in from nurseries after the owner studies the clones. The grapes include Vignior, Alianco, Sangiovese, Nebiola, Cabernet, Tarilea, and Reisling.
Owner Dr. David Kraus's mother’s family grew grapes in Germany’s Moselle Valley where the Hermes family still grows grapes today.Formerly known as Sand Hill Winery, its name was changed to Hermes Winery to solve the confusion raised by the name of the vineyards, which has always been Hermes.