After visiting two wineries in Ohio, and I have to admit that I was totally lacking in knowledge out viniculture there, after all I am from Michigan; a state that has a lot of wineries, but still lives in the shadows of other states, and of course there is some rivalry between Michigan and Ohio that always seems to permeate discussions of the two states.
While in the course of visiting the two wineries, I picked up a couple of “gimmees” that were published by the tasteohiowines.com; one being “Love at First Sip” and the other being “Ohio Wines Tasting Journal.”
The tasting journal was just a small booklet that allowed one to write in the winery visited, a list of the wines sampled and another couple of lines for tasting notes. It was very succinct and well produced. “Love at First Sip” was a glossy magazine with a lot of advertisements, recipes, notes and a few articles. In the center of the magazine was a map, that could be pulled out with a listing of all the wineries in the states, and other information e.g. if they had a restaurant or bistro on the premises. I was surprised to see that there were over 175 wineries listed and the map broke them down by areas, and perchance this may be future appellations for the state. There was the Appalachian Region, Canal Country Region, Capital City Region (where we were visiting), Lake Erie Shores & Island Region, Ohio River Valley Region and Vines & Wines Region.
With my lack of knowledge of Ohio wines, I read the publication entirely, as there is always new information to glean every day. The “Fab 5” grape varietals for Ohio are Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling and Vidal Blanc. The first four are European varietals, while the last is an Old World/New World hybrid. Some of the other wines that are grown in Ohio that have European heritage or at least a drop or two in their bloodline are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Syrah/Shiraz and Traminette. I was even able to try some of the more unique (to me at least) varietals during the two tasting room visits. By no means, does this make me a “maven” or an authority, hell, I am not an authority on any wines, but it is fun to try and taste, and even for an old raconteur, a chance to learn. It was fun, and I shall try to visit other wineries, the next time I am in another state, time and my Bride permitting.