On the Wines and Vines trail along Lake Erie east of Cleveland, you're in a historic wine district along the shores of the lake in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. What makes the Lake Erie Appellation unique is the temperate climate that allows viticulturists to grow vinifera Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Chardonnay grapes, as well as Vignoles, Baco Noir, and Lemberger varieties. Notable wineries that make bottle estate-grown wines are Klingshirn, Vermilion Valley, Quarry Hill, Tarsitano, and Markko. The experience of tasting wine ranges from standing in bottle storage room, sitting by a cozy fire by with a view of Lake Erie, or eating a sausage and cheese plate at a picnic table.
The Lake Erie Islands are known to have the longest growing season in the Eastern United States. Half of Isle Saint George, also known as North Bass Island, is covered by grapes. Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, and many other grapes grow hardy on the island. Catawba and Delaware grapes have been cultivated on the low, flat island since its settlement in the first half of the nineteenth century. Firelands Winery, one of Ohio’s largest, and Heineman’s, Ohio’s longest continuously-operating winery, use Isle St. George grapes. No wineries exist on North Bass Island.
The Finger Lakes region lies south of the Lake Erie region, but the great lakes from New York and into Indiana.