The Vintage Ohio Wine Festival is one of my favorite Cleveland summer time traditions – and it’s also the favorite of many other people. My friend Erin plans her August work schedule specifically so she can come home to enjoy this array of the region’s finest wineries. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some complimentary passes to the 2010 event, which makes it even better!
We had quite the busy Saturday already: we ran a 5K, Hans snuck in a round of golf while I ran to Marc’s, and we caught up with my great-aunts at my grandpa’s house in the afternoon. By the early evening, we were ready for Vintage Ohio, which takes place out at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland. It’s a bit of a journey from our part of town, so we were incredibly happy to arrive and see all the signage for the event:
We picked up our tools of the trade and got to work:
It was quite busy when we arrived around 5:45PM. We started by getting in line for a few wine tastings:
After our long day, I got hungry pretty early. One stand in particilar caught my eye:
I decided to try the bison stuffed banana peppers with onions and some spicy mustard on the side:
YUM. Then we got back to the wines. We ended up visiting 13 wineries total, including:
Breitenbach Wine Cellars from Dover:
Candlelight Winery from Garrettsville:
Grand River Cellars from Madison:
Old Firehouse Winery from Geneva-on-the-Lake:
…and The Winery at Spring Hill from Geneva:
Vintage Ohio also features a variety of artists and food vendors. You could pick up anything from hand made pottery & jewelery, to candles that look like wine:
…and you can’t forget your favorite sorts of fair food, including gyros and kettle corn:
One vendor in particular grabbed our attention: one of Cleveland’s finest summer traditions, Euclid Beach Custard:
Ice cream on a warm summer evening? Count me in! We decided to split a small cone:
Another YUM. I even ran into the CEO/President of my company at the custard stand!
At the end of the evening, we swung by the Wine Store and purchased a few bottles from two wineries:
Marietta Wine Cellars from Marietta:
…and It’s Your Winery from Akron:
We may or may not have gotten in line three times at this location. Hans was loving on all of their options:
See that last one: ice wine infused with chocolate?! How do you go wrong?
We spent about three hours at the festival that evening. Between sampling all the wines, eating the food, watching some cooking demonstrations, checking out the vendors and enjoying the summer weather, we were seriously tuckered out by the time 9PM rolled around. I do have to admit: I was happy that we were comped our admission this year. Why does it seem as all the samples get smaller and smaller every year? Or maybe it’s just that I’m drinking more wine these days?!
Overall, we had another nice experience at Vintage Ohio. One thing I LOVE about Cleveland in August: there is NEVER a lack of summer festivals to attend. In the next week alone, I’m looking forward to the Cuyahoga County Fair and the Feast of the Assumption down in Little Italy. Along with some fun networking events and the upcoming John Mayer concert (EEK!), I’m going to be one busy Northeast Ohioan!
What summer festivals are you looking forward to?