Wine Country Northwest Ohio!


Hello Wine Enthusiasts!

Today you are not so much fashionistas as you are wine aficionados. You will be joining me on my viniculture adventure!

Of course there will ALWAYS be elements of fashion–but today we are focusing on tasting great wine!

Today we are visiting the VINO (Vintners in Northwest Ohio) wine trail. It used to be that as of only a few years ago one of the only wineries in the northwest area of Ohio was Stoney Ridge, in Bryan, Ohio which first opened somewhere around 2001 and through the years they have established themselves as a quality winery producing great wines–especially their whites.

In preparation for this weekend home, my mom had me read the following article from July in the Defiance Crescent News that set me up for a great day out on the local wine trail–apparently we now have quite a number of local wineries in the area.



Check out all of the new winery additions on the new “passport” map.
Our goal today was to hit “dots” number 6, 3, and 4 in that order! Let’s start to connect the dots!

Rural Scenes in America

Northwest Ohio has always been an agricultural area with all the ambiance of small town rural scenes and signage. If you travel throughout the area, you see barns, silos, irrigation, crops, livestock, vintage signage–it is truly the heartland of America and agriculture. It is well known for major production of corn and soybeans. The growth of viniculture has been one of the newest additions to this business. And it is a very cooperative and supportive environment between the wineries making it a destination area for travelers to enjoy a full day of wine tasting. Stoney Ridge has been an integral part of getting many of these people on the map as it only helps to make the area more of a destination place to spend the day. And at around $2.00 for a tasting of about 5 or more wines–you couldn’t ask for a better way to spend very little money and enjoy great wine and beautiful bucolic scenery!

Vintage Diner Signage in Bryan, Ohio
Grain silos dotting the landscape


Working farms also capture the essence of rural Ohio


Remnant buildings from another era


My favorite place as a kid in Defiance, Ohio–gotta have a root beer float!

Destination #1–Stoney Ridge (Dot 6 on your map)

Our first stop for the day is at Stoney Ridge Winery. A trip to northwest Ohio wineries would NOT be complete without seeing these guys. They have literally put the area on the map. A beautiful location with a small lake, produce gardens, and separate facilities to host small parties for special occasions. My favorite of their wines is their Traminette which unfortunately or fortunately for them is such a well loved wine that they ran out of it at today’s tasting, but I did manage to find another great winner on their list….

I highly recommend trying their Vineyard Dew white wine. It has amazing grapefruit notes on it. Today was a spectacular day and they were having live music and hosting a tour through the vineyards around 5PM to taste wines and check out all the luscious grapes getting ready for harvest.

Arriving at our first vineyard for the day!! Stoney Ridge!!


Come on in with me for a tasting! It’s going to be fun!


The hands down winner on the list is the Vineyard Dew with those grapefruit notes–2 bottles coming home with me!


Can you believe I randomly ran into my old Ayersville High School classmate, Reta, today here at Stoney Ridge! What are the odds???
Let’s do a tasting together.


Cheers to all!


Vegetable gardens on the grounds


How ripe for the picking do these grapes look!


Don’t mess with them! 

Destination #2–Knotty Vines (Dot 3 on your map)

Our next stop is Knotty Vines, a relatively new winery in Wauseon, Ohio that has been in existence for about 1 1/2 years. A super friendly staff. Today they had live music kicking in around 4PM.

Welcome to Knotty Vines!! Come on in for another tasting!


The winner of the wines here is definitely the Heritage Grove Vignole with a hint of grapefruit as well.


Some vines loaded with grapes 


One of today’s fellow tasters (little brother)



Cheers again!


Our super fun and friendly pouring attendant for the tasting!

One of the funniest things on the tasting menu were the wine slushies. Now I know that a true wine aficionado would “poo-poo” this kind of wine tasting, but don’t forget we are in the heartland of America and it is almost kind of appropriate. I do realize that I have a bit of a reputation in regards to my wine choices–some might say snobby–I would say I’m decidedly particular. BUT that being said, I am  going to have to give a big big thumbs up on the wine slurpies!!!!

Those damn paparazzi!
That is not me!! I wouldn’t be caught DEAD with such a low brow thing as a wine slushie!!


Can you tell what the overall favorite was at this tasting! Choices include either the Peach Bellini or a Blueberry Pomegranate (both are mixed with either a Knotty Vines white or red wine). The best suggestion came from the lady pouring us our tastings. She recommended mixing the 2 and you can see that someone in our group has taken her up on that offer!


A great day at Knotty Vines!
Good-bye Knotty Vines–We will definitely be back!

Destination #3–Leisure Times (Dot 4 on your map)

Our last tasting of the day is the baby of all wineries in the area. Coming in at a short window of only being open for 2 months, they are the new kids on the block. Located in Napoleon– a bit hard to find–but worth the trip. Great white wines. We picked up the “Warm & Fuzzy” which is their Traminette wine. Good stuff.

Hello Leisure Time!!
Set me up with a tasting!


The Warm & Fuzzy was our favorite! A bottle coming home with me!


Let’s taste them all


Slushies here too???
And what you can’t see is that they also offer sangria made with their wines–another fun novelty


A bottle of Warm & Fuzzy Traminette out in the beautiful vineyard setting with some appetizers


Happy siblings 


Cute gardens


These grape vines are just babies, but hopefully when I come back to visit Leisure Times, they will be fully grown

Destination #4–Home Sweet Home

At last, we finish our last tasting, drive home and unload all of our tasty purchases. It’s time to open a bottle and wind down the day in my parent’s beautiful backyard garden in Defiance, Ohio.

I also have to mention that it is the first year ever of the Defiance Hot Air Balloon Festival. We got to see a great procession of balloons roll into town yesterday evening in preparation for the festival. It just added a bit of that Napa feeling to the day!



Watching the hot air balloons passing directly overhead while we are in Mom & Dad’s backyard enjoying the sunset
Niagara grapes in the back yard of Mom & Dad’s house


I am starting to have a very good idea….Mom and Dad have the beginnings of grapes growing in their yard. I think they should make a go of adding another winery “dot” onto the Northwest Ohio wine trail!!! Great idea–right!!!



Cheers to you all!


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