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. Things to do in Ohio's wine country include the Bridges Driving Tour and the Grand River Canoe Livery and drinking wine at the 40 wineries that are tucked along the Lake Erie shore.
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 10-11, 2015).

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. Bring a picnic to eat in one of its pavilions. (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. An attached patio overlooks the vineyards and the lush Grand River Valley. (440) 298-3709; saintjosephvineyard.com

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