Monday, August 11, 2014

Take a Sip: Chalet Debonne Vineyards

Chalet Debonne Vineyards
7840 Doty Road Madison, OH 44057

Established: 1971

Wine list: Bottles for take-out range between $8.49 and $29.99.

Winery hours: Opens at noon with closing times that vary. Valid until November: the winery closes at 6 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; closes at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday; closes at 10 p.m. Wednesday; and closes 11 p.m., Friday.

Food: Has an appetizer and sandwich menu in its tasting room and has a restaurants on site called “The Grill at Debonne” that is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tours: Tours at Debonne Vineyards and its sister company, Cellar Rats Brewery, are available by request 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


Phone: 440-466-3485

Friday, August 8, 2014

Take a Sip: Maple Ridge Vineyard

Maple Ridge Vineyard
6326 Dewey Road, Madison, OH 44057

Established: April 2001

Wine list: Bottle of wine prices in the tasting room range between $21 and $60.

Hours: Updated regularly on the website.

Food: During summer Maple Ridge hosts several Bistro Days, typically filled with bratwursts and wine

Tours: Include a fee and are set up by appointment


READMaple Ridge Vineyard runs free of machines, weed sprays and industrial yields

Take a Sip: M Cellars

M Cellars
6193 South River Road, Harpersfield Township

Established: 2002

Wine list, whites (bottle price): 2012 Pinot Gris ($18); 2012 Grand River Valley Riesling ($20); 2012 Late Harvest Traminette ($26).

Wine list, reds (bottle price): 2012 Grand River Valley Pinot Noir ($26); 2012 Meritage ($28); 2011 Pinot Noir Oregon ($18); 2011 Cabernet-Merlot ($18); 2012 Amelia Le ($16).

Hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.

Food: Light appetizers offered daily. Monthly events featuring local chef preparing a signature dish that pairs well with an M Cellars wine.

Tours: Reservations required for all group tastings of eight or more people.


Phone: 440-361-4104

Take a Sip: D&D Smith Winery LLC

D & D Smith Winery LLC
401 W. Main St., Norwalk, OH 44857

Established: 2009

Wine list, white (bottle price): Chardonnay ($14), Frontenac Gris ($14), Riesling ($14), Niagara ($12), Gewurztraminer ($14), Hillbilly Sweet Tea, ($10)

Wine list, red (bottle price): Cabernet Sauvignon ($14), Cabernet Franc ($14), Merlot ($14), Petite Sirah ($14), Naturally Naked ($14), Maple City ($10), Simply Sweet ($8), The Locals ($12)

Wine list, fruit (bottle price): Cupid Raspberry ($14), Pumpkin ($14), Apple-Cinn ($14), Blueberry ($8), Cranberry ($14), Strawberry ($14)

Winery hours (year round): Thursday 6 to 9 p.m.; Friday 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday noon to midnight; Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Food: Appetizers and snacks are available; a spaghetti buffet is 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays

Tours: The winery is open for private parties on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays


Phone: 567-424-6750

Take a Sip: Virant Family Winery

Virant Family Winery
541 Atkins Road, Geneva, OH 44044

Current building established 1998; family has been making wine for over 50 years

Wine list (bottles range $10.25 to $22.50): Midnight Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Mya’s Majesty, Riesling, Red Velvet, White Silk, Chiffon, Pink Delight, Chantily Blush, Legacy Iced, Blazzin’ Blackberry, Rippling Raspberry and Sonny’s Strawberry Patch.

Winery Hours (summer): Wednesday and Thursday 2 to 5 p.m.; Friday 2 to 10 p.m.; Saturday 1 to 10 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
After Christmas and during January and February, closed on Wednesdays Thursdays and Sundays. Hours on Fridays during that time are 5 to 10 p.m.

Food: Prime rib, steak and rib dinners, fried bar foods, salad, cheese plates and bread rolls


Phone: 440-466-6279

READ: A family wine tradition and hearty meals too at Virant

Take a Sip: Laleure Vineyards

Laleure Vineyards
17335 Nash Road (Route 88), Parkman, OH 44080

Established: 2002

Types of wines made: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling

Tours: N/A

Foods served: None sold on premises, but patrons are encouraged to bring and share their own food.

Hours: Fridays 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Phone: 440-548-5120

READ: Laleure Vineyards a hidden treasure in Parkman Township

Take a Sip: Kosicek Vineyards

Kosicek Vineyards
636 Route 534, Harpersfield Township

Established: 2012 (but opened to the public in 2013)

Types of wines made: Concord, Chancellor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Niagara, Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Traminette, Chardonnay

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday noon to 6 p.m., Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

Foods served: Artisan meat board, specialty cheese plate, bread dipping plate, flat bread slate with choice of tomato or mild banana peppers

Tours: Yes, call for details.


Phone: 440-361-4573

READ: Third-generation farmer opens Kosicek Vineyards, a Tuscan-style winery

Take a Sip: Paper Moon Vineyards

Paper Moon Vineyards
2008 State Road, Vermilion, OH 44089

Established: 2008

Wine list, white (bottle price): Chardonnay ($16), Viognier ($11), Silver Lining Dry Riesling ($20), Lighthouse Cayuga White ($14), Riesling ($14), Niagara ($12), Honeymoon Mead ($16).

Wine list, rose (bottle price): Twilight ($12).

Wine List, red (bottle price): 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($17), Sailors Red ($18), Message in a Bottle ($17), 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel ($20), Fredonia ($13), Harvest Blend ($14), Romance Red Raspberry ($20).
Winery hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday, Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.

Food: Sit-down restaurant on site, featuring cheese, bread, salad, paninis, pizza, desserts

Winery tours: Available upon request

Live music: Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 9 p.m.


Phone: 440-967-2500

READ: Paper Moon Vineyards offers unique wine, family atmosphere

Take a Sip: Deer's Leap Winery

Deer’s Leap Winery
1520 Harpersfield Road, Geneva (Harpersfield Township), OH 44041

Established: 2011

Wines: red, white, fruit, speciality, ice and sparkling

Food: Full-service kitchen serves lunch and dinner

Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 12 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m.


Phone: 440-466-1248

READ: Deer's Leap Winery springs forward with experience, growth

Take a Sip: Ferrante Winery and Ristorante

Ferrante Winery and Ristorante
5585 Route 307 (North River Road west)
Geneva (Harpersfield Township), Ohio 44041

Established: 1937

Wines: white, blush, red, speciality, ice and sparkling

Food: Full-service kitchen serves lunch and dinner Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Wine sales are also available Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Phone: 440-466-VINO (8466)

READ: Family tradition propels Ferrante Winery and Ristorante

Take a Sip: Laurello Vineyards

Laurello Vineyards
4573 Route 307, Harpersfield Township

Established: 2002

Wine list, whites (bottle price): Chardonnay ($25); Illuminata ($15); Josephine ($16); Pinot Grigio ($15); Riesling ($15); Naso Bianco ($10); Connie’s Blush ($10).
Wine list, reds (bottle price): Cosmo ($18); Rodavi ($18); Pinot Noir ($30); Naso Rosso ($10).

Hours (main season): Sunday and Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Food: Restaurant on site serving appetizers, desserts, panini sandwiches, salads and Tuscan-style pizzas.

Tours: Group tour packages available. Winery and private party rooms available for special occasions and


Phone: 440-415-0661

Take a Sip: Firelands Winery

Firelands Winery
917 Bardshar Road, Sandusky, OH 44870

Established: 1880

Wine list: Barrel Select Chardonnay ($11.99), Chardonnay ($9.99), Gewurztraminer ($10.99), Riesling ($10.99), Pinot Grigio ($10.99), Walleye White ($9.99), Ice Wine ($29.99), Cabernet Sauvignon ($11.99), Cabernet Franc ($10.99), Merlot ($12.99), Pinot Noir ($13.99), Country Estate Red ($7.49), Le Vele Raspberry Riesling ($10.99), Dolcetto ($14.99), Dolcetto Rose ($12.99), Threesome Dessert Wine ($14.99)

Food: None on site

Tours: Available during visit

Hours: November to May, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
June to October, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Phone: 419-625-5474

READ: Get the total experience at Firelands Winery

Take a Sip: St. Joseph Vineyards

St. Joseph Vineyards
7800 Warner Road, Madison, OH 44057

Established: 1986

White wine list: pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, vidal blanc, ice wine
Red wine list: pinot noir, reserve pinot noir, St. Joseph noir, merlot, shiraz, cabernet/cab franc
Main tasting room hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, spring through fall; 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, year round.

Food: Cheese only, but patrons are encouraged to bring their own food

Tours: Available by appointment


Phone: 440-298-3709 or 440-417-0099

READ: Pinot Noir drives St. Joseph Vineyards

Take a Sip: Old Mill Winery

Old Mill Winery
403 S. Broadway, Geneva, OH 44041

Established: 1975

Wines: 12 wines including Chardonnay, Cayuga, Riesling, Geneva Blanc, Grindstone White, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Geneva Rouge, Grindstone Red, Geneva Blush and Grindstone Pink
Bottles range from $12.99 to $17.99

Food: appetizers, salads, wraps, flatbread pizza, pasta, sandwiches and beef, chicken and seafood entrees

Tours: none

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 3 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

Phone: 440-466-5560


Take a Sip: Old Firehouse Winery

Old Firehouse Winery
5499 Lake Road E. Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 44041

Established: 1988

Wines: 20 varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Merlot, Firehouse Red, Sweet Concord, Grape Jamboree, Lake Effect, Reflections of Lake Erie, Pink and White Catawba. Chardonnay, Lake Erie Riesling, Lighthouse Niagara, Raspberry Reflections, Spiced Apple, Frosty Peach, No. 5 Big Eli-Port, Vidal Ice Wine and Apple Ice Wine.
Bottles range from $13.49 to $34.99.

Food: appetizers, burgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, salads, sandwiches and seafood

Tours: must make arrangements before visit

Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day: 7 days a week: noon to midnight
Labor Day to October 1: Sunday through Thursday noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday noon to midnight
October through late April Sunday through Thursday noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday noon to midnight
Late April to Memorial Day Weekend: Sunday through Thursday noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday noon to midnight

Phone: 440-466-9300


Take a Sip: Vermilion Valley Vineyards

Vermilion Valley Vineyards
11005 Gore Orphanage Road
Wakeman, Ohio 44889

Established: 2007, opened in 2009

Wine list, white (bottle price): Chardonnay ($16); Pinot Gris ($16); Muscat Ottonel ($16); Gewurztraminer ($15); Traminette ($15)
Wine list, red (bottle price): Cabernet Franc ($18); Pinot Noir ($18); Lemberger ($15); Chambourcin ($15); Dornfelder ($15)
Wine list, sweet fruit (bottle price): Blackberry ($16); Blueberry ($16); Peach ($12); Persimmon ($16);
Shiro Plum ($13)

Winery Hours (May through November): Wednesday and Thursday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Food: Light menu or guest caterer, varies

Tours: Available by reservation


Phone: 440-965-5202

Take a Sip: The Winery at Spring Hill

The Winery at Spring Hill
6062 South Ridge Road West, Harpersfield Township, OH 44041

Established: 2009

Wine list, fruit and dessert (bottle price): Apple ($13.99), Blackberry ($17.99), Blueberry ($17.99), Cherry ($13.99), Cranberry ($16.99), Peach ($13.99), Raspberry ($17.99), White Ice Wine (($29.99), Red Ice Wine ($34.99).
Premium Label, Covered Bridge (bottle price): Chardonnay ($17.99), Reserve Chardonnay ($19.99), Vidal Blanc ($14.99), Riesling ($16.99), Cabernet Sauvignon (($18.99), Merlot ($18.99), Chambourcin ($16.99), Covered Bridge White ($12.99), Covered Bridge Blush ($12.99), Covered Bridge Heritage ($12.99), Covered Bridge Red ($12.99), Pink Catawba ($12.99), Niagara ($12.99).

Winery hours (summer): Monday and Tuesday, noon to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Food: Appetizers, soups, salads, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, desserts, dinner specials (5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Price range $3.99 to $19.99.

Entertainment: Live music 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday


Phone: 440-466-0626

READ: Winery at Spring Hill started out as farmers market

Take a Sip: The Lakehouse Inn & Winery

The Lakehouse Inn & Winery
5653 Lake Road East, Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 44041

Established: 2001

Wine list, white (bottle price): Apple Cider ($19), Just Peachy ($19), Riesling ($22), Pinot Grigio ($22), Chardonnay Senza la Quercia ($24); Chardonnay ($28), Chardonnay Select Reserve ($30)
Wine list, red (bottle price): Boxer’s Blush ($19), Red Sky ($24), Pinot Noir ($24), Merlot ($24), Lake Erie Tempest ($19.)

Winery hours (summer): Monday, Tuesday, Noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Noon to 8 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, Noon to 9 p.m.

Food: Crosswinds Restaurant, on site

Tours: Available by reservation only


Phone: 440-466-8668

READ Lakehouse Inn & Winery finds the right combination

Take a Sip: Bene Vino Urban Winery

Bene Vino Urban Winery
4199 Main St., Perry Village, OH 44081

Established: 2010

Types of wines: White wines: pinot grigio, riesling and villaggio bianco; red wines: cabernet sauvignon, Malbec (oaked and un-oaked), villaggio rosso and amore

Food: Grill closed until further notice; patrons are welcome to bring snacks/food (be prepared to clean up after yourself)

Hours: Summer Hours: 3 to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday; 3  to 11 p.m., Friday; noon to 11 p.m., Saturday


Phone number: 440-259-5077

READ: Wine making runs in family of Perry winery owner

Take a Sip: Matus Winery

Matus Winery
15674 Gore Orphanage Road, Wakeman, OH 44889

Established: June 2006

Wine list, white: Niagara, Moonlight White, Riesling, Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc.

Wine list, red: Martin’s Concord, Sunset, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Purple Haze, Kashmir, Frontenac, Syrah.

Wine list, fruit: Pear, Outback, Blackberry, Plum, Midnight.

Wine list, blush: Pink Catawba, Twilight Blush.

Price range: $10 to $30.

Winery hours: Thursday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday and Monday, closed; Tuesday and Wednesday, by appointment.

Food: Catered, varies, check calendar.

Tours: Available by appointment.

Website:, also on

Phone: 440-774-WINE or 440-774-9463

Take a Sip: Grand River Cellars

Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant
5750 S. Madison Rd (Route 528), Madison, OH 44057

Established: 1976

Wine list, white (bottle price): Pinot Grigio ($13.99), Chardonnay ($13.99). Austin’s White ($12.99), Riesling ($13.99), White Fox ($9.99), Vidal Blanc Ice Wine ($29.99) 
Wine list, red (bottle price): Austin’s Red ($14.99), Grand Red ($12.99), Merlot ($15.99), Red Zinfandel ($16.99), Cabernet Franc ($15.99), Wine Hound Red ($8.99) 

Hours (Summer): Monday, Tuesday, noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 8 p.m. 

Food: Appetizers, sandwiches, grilled flatbreads, entrees, dessert   

Tours: Available by reservation only 

Phone: 440-298-9838

Take a Sip: John Christ Winery

John Christ Winery
32421 Walker Road, Avon Lake, OH 44012

Established: 1946

Wine list: white (bottle price): Chardonnay ($16.25), Pinot Grigio ($19.25), Vignoles ($16.25), Gewurtzraminer, $16.25), Traminette ($16.25), Johannisberg Riesling ($17.25), Cuyuga ($16.25), Niagara ($12.25), Peach ($13.25), Vidal Blanc Ice Wine ($32.25); red (bottle price): Frontenac, $16.25, Claret ($16.25), Labrusca ($12.25), Special Blend ($12.25), Blackberry ($13.25), Ruby Port ($14.25); blush (bottle price): Vin Gris Rose (413.25), Pink Catawba ($12.25), Raspberry ($13.25).

Hours, retail: Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Bar: Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, Noon to midnight; Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.

Food: Appetizers, $5 to $10


Phone: 440-933-9672

READ: Concord-Niagara keeps ‘em coming to John Christ’s

Take a Sip: Harpersfield Vineyard

Harpersfield Vineyard
6387 State Route 307 West
Geneva, OH 44041

Established: 1979

Wine list, white (bottle price): Chardonnay “St. Vincent” ($35), Chardonnay “Fût de Chêne” ($22.50), Chardonnay “Cuveé sans Chêne” ($18), Pinot Gris ($18), Gewürztraminer ($21.50), Riesling ($20), Grüner Veltliner ($20), Cuvee d’ Alsace ($19)
Wine list, red (bottle price): Pinot Noir “Reserve” ($32), Pinor Noir “Clos mes Amis” (26.50), Musette Red ($18), Rosé ($18)

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, closed; Wednesday, Thursday, noon-8 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-7 p.m.

Food: Hearty wraps, flat bread pizza, summer menu

Tastings: Noon-5 p.m.


Phone: 440-466-4739     

READ: Harpersfield Vineyard only uses its own fruit when making its wines 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Take a Sip: Klingshirn Winery

Photo by Eric Bonzar

Klingshirn Winery Inc.
33050 Webber Road Avon Lake, Ohio 44012

Established: 1935

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays and holidays

Wine list:
Premium Wines:
Cabernet Franc ($17)
Chambourcin ($10.87)
Country Blush ($8.80)
Pinot Grigio ($12.75)
Vidal Blanc ($10.87)
White Riesling ($12)
Catawba ($7.53)
Concord ($7.25)
Golden Chablis ($8.80)
Haut Sauterne ($7.53)
Niagara ($7.53)
Pink Catawba ($7.53)
Sweet Concord ($7.25)
Vin Rose ($7.25)
Dessert Wines:
Cherry ($8.80)
Iced Delaware Wine ($20.71)

Food: None

Tours: Informal tours available as long as enough staff is on premises to facilitate. Larger groups are asked to call in advance.


Phone: 440-933-6666

READ: Third-generation winemaker adapts to new challenges at Klingshirn Winery

Take a Sip: Sharon James Cellars

Sharon James Cellars
11303 Kinsman Road, Newbury Township, OH 44065

Established: 2012

Wine list, dry wine flight: Tranquility: Vidal grape, Lake Erie region, flavors of citrus, pear and melon; Compassion: Dry un-oaked Chardonnay, crisp, light, summer fruit aroma and flavor; Diligence: Cabernet Franc grape, blend of Lake Erie and American, spicy, fruit character, light to medium body; Vitality: Cabernet Sauvignon, California grape, black cherry, medium body, light oak
Wine list, sweeter wine flight: Acceptance: Riesling grape, Lake Erie region, flavors of citrus and apricot, medium body; Eloquence: Vidal grape, Lake Erie region, Flavors of citrus and pear; Defiance: Catawba grape, Lake Erie region, distinctive Catawba grape taste, light body; Discretion: Concord grape, Lake Erie region, blended with a hint of merlot, distinctive jammy flavor

Winery Hours: 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday

Food: Appetizers; selected dinner items change weekly


Phone: 440-739-4065 

READ: Wine on tap at Sharon James Cellars in Newbury Township