[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]The team at Digital 55 know that I enjoy a nice glass of wine.  You may have even heard some stories about me making wine, no medals yet, but I do have a few crazy stories where things blew up! (Haha)  When the team asked me to write a little wine blog, I realized that it had to be about the abundance of great, local wineries in our area.  So, in this blog series, I am going to share four (4) mini-wine tours that include places I enjoy and highly recommend.  Here is the order:

Week 1 … Western Lake Erie Wine Tour

Week 2 … Northwest Ohio Wine Tour

Week 3 … Sorta South Wine Tour

Week 4 … Southeast Michigan Wine Tour

Week 2 bonus … I will explain how wine played into naming Digital-55!

Western Lake Erie Wine Tour

I love heading to Lake Erie in the summer even if it’s for just a few hours.  Once you hit Port Clinton and east, you have a lot of amazing wineries to choose from.  I am only listing a few of my favorites.  Please note … I am talking about the wineries and not the wines.  That is not because they don’t have great wines, they do.  It’s because I think you should try all the wines for yourself and discover what you like.  I would never suggest my pallet is the judge for others.

Rocky Point Winery, Marblehead, OH (4-Stars)

Fun and entertaining atmosphere with or without the live entertainment they often have playing on weekends.  They offer local wines and a nice selection of other wines and spirits.  You are across the street from the lake, which helps to set the tone.  It is just west of the Marblehead lighthouse.  This is a must visit.
Address:  111 W. Main St., Marblehead, OH 43440

Gideon Owen Winery (Star rating – TBD)

Mona Mia Winery and Restaurant has reopened with a new name … Gideon Owen Winery.  It still offers the classic beautiful stone building with outdoor seating and entertainment.  When I visited, there was almost a 30-minute wait for an outdoor table, so adjust your schedule accordingly.  Great atmosphere … perfect for Catawba.
Address: 3845 E. Wine Cellar Road, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452

Firelands Winery (4.0 Stars)

Firelands Winery has been a standard in the area for years.  Their wines are in retail stores all over the area and known by many brands in addition to Firelands. This is where I used to buy my grape juice when I started making my own wine.  It offers outdoor seating, which is fun in great weather.  The indoor tasting room is filled with dark wood, great smells, and the folks behind the bar are always friendly.  Firelands not only offers the wine they create locally, but also many other other selections from around the world that are selected by their winemaker.  The indoor seating is great and the outdoor seating with umbrellas is wonderful as well.  You will enjoy yourself at Firelands!  When I drive there, I love crossing the bay bridge on the way … there is just something about being near water.
Address: 917 Bardshar Road, Sandusky, OH  44870

Paper Moon Winery, Vermillion, OH (4 Stars)

The owners of Paper Moon have family in Findlay, OH and that was how I was first introduced to this great winery.  On my first visit, they were hosting the Cleveland Symphony … sounds snooty right? That wasn’t the case, because in addition to the great food and wines they offer, they also have a really fun BBQ food truck! It was a great balance of everything we were looking for:

  • Great wines & food
  • Great people to engage with
  • Great weather and atmosphere

I haven’t been there this summer yet but plan to soon.
Address: 2008 State Road, Vermillion, OH  44089

Quarry Hill Winery, Berlin Heights, OH, (3.8 stars)

Even though this winery isn’t very close to the lake, once you arrive, you realize that you are on a hill (hence the name) in the middle of vineyards, orchards, and various crops as far as you can see. When there is a light breeze you feel relaxed and serene.  You can sit inside or outside, and often they have entertainment.  The wines are good so the only reason I dropped the star rating a little is because it is the furthest away in this post (from Maumee).  You can easily hit Paper Moon and Quarry Hill in an afternoon/evening.
Address: 8403 Mason Road # 2, Berlin Heights, OH  44814

Wild Card … Hall’s Wine R We and Country Market (Fun Star Rating)

This is the wild card … it’s not a winery but a fun & crazy little place with a HUGE selection of wines, big selection of beer, great food, and you can buy milk & bread to take home as well.  They have indoor and outdoor seating.  Consider stopping here and then heading to the wineries up at the lake.  It’s right on Route 20 on the West side of Clyde, OH so head east from Fremont toward Clyde … if you are in that area, you gotta give it a try.
Address: 1420 W. McPherson Hwy, Clyde, OH 43410