Weekend Getaway in Ohio's Wine Country | Midwest Living

Weekend Getaway in Ohio's Wine Country

Covered bridges and lush farmland give way to bountiful vineyards south of Lake Erie.
Along the Bridges Driving Tour.
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Chalet Debonne Vineyards.
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Day 1

Harbor Perk in Ashtabula roasts beans on-site three times a week for an extra-fresh cup of coffee.

The popular, self-directed Bridges Driving Tour features 18 covered bridges, including the 613-foot-long Smolen-Gulf, one of the stars of the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival (October 11–12, 2014).

In the two-block shopping area by the harbor, most of the art on display at the Sandpiper Gallery is by Ohioans and Carlisle’s Home in the Harbor sells home decor.

Head 4 miles southwest of downtown Geneva to Ferrante Winery and Ristorante for family-recipe meatballs and wines made on-site.

A four-story fireplace and live music welcome guests to the contemporary-country inn The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake (from $139); rooms have views of Lake Erie, and guests get vouchers for breakfast in the on-site Horizons Restaurant and Lounge or seasonal The Terrace Grille.

Day 2

Paddling the Grand River is carefree thanks to the well-run Grand River Canoe Livery in Rock Creek.

Foodies love light fare like the basil focaccia, cured-meat plate and olive plate in the winery-cafe at Tarsitano Winery in Conneaut.

Rees’ Corner feels like a retro five-and-dime store, complete with an old-fashioned soda fountain where they’ll mix a phosphate for you.

The cozy, laid-back atmosphere of The Winery at Spring Hill near Geneva enhances visitors’ sampling of 22 wines—from dry to semisweet—and specialty pizzas and Ohio cheese platters.

More information: The Ohio Wine Producers Association (800) 227-6972; ohiowines.org

5 Great Places to Sample Notable Wine

1 Laurello Vineyards A small but worthwhile stop between some of the area’s larger wineries, this spot in Geneva serves smooth reds and homemade pizzas in a laid-back atmosphere. (440) 415-0661; laurellovineyards.com

2 Chalet Debonne Vineyards Known for drawing a crowd in Madison, the sprawling grounds feature a winery with a tasting room, bar area and stage for musicians, plus an attached brewery. Winery tours by request. (440) 466-3485; debonne.com

3 Markko Vineyard Arnie Esterer is one of the most well-established and respected vintners in the region, and the reason why is clear when you taste his wines in the low-key Conneaut tasting room. (440) 593-3197; markko.com

4 South River Vineyard An 1892 white-steepled church in Geneva sells wine with names inspired by religion, like Karma, Exodus and Trinity. Be sure to bring your own snacks. (440) 466-6676; southrivervineyard.com

5 St. Joseph Vineyard Toast with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the winery’s Pinot Vista Tasting Room in Madison. The family-run vineyard has another tasting room in Thompson. (440) 298-3709; saintjosephvineyard.com

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