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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Closest Wineries To Toledo, Ohio: Choices Abound Within 60 Miles


mark bray
Take your pick of more than 10 wineries within an hour's drive.
 In case you’ve ever wondered, it’s 2,350 miles from Toledo, Ohio, to Napa Valley. But that doesn’t mean that vino lovers in the Glass City are devoid of local wine destinations. We’ve scanned the maps and fired up our mapping programs to determine the closest wine destinations to Toledo (OK, I actually measured from my home in Perrysburg). The results are rather surprising:
  • There are four wineries/winery tasting rooms within 45 miles.
  • Within an hour’s drive (65 miles) there are 11 wineries or tasting rooms.
  • You can visit wineries in three states (Ohio, Michigan and Indiana) without traveling more than 82 miles.
Here are the 14 closest wineries to Toledo:
  1. 11.83 miles -- Johlin Century Winery, 3935 Corduroy Road, Oregon. I’ve never heard of this place and never, in 15 years of living in the Toledo area, read a story about it or heard of anyone who has been there. What’s the deal? Nevertheless, it is listed on the Taste Ohio Wines website. If you’ve heard of it, please leave a comment. Knowing nothing about it (and seeing a rather nondescript website) I can’t recommend it. But it is there.
  2. 34.81 miles – J. Trees Cellars tasting room, 115 N. Main St., Blissfield, Michigan. This is a tiny tasting room (with a great but limited selection of wine) across from the Stables in Blissfield. Truly outstanding Dry Riesling and ice cider. Check out our report for more information.
  3. 36.47 miles -- St. Julian Winery Tasting Room, 700 Freedom Ct., Dundee, Michigan. You can taste a wide selection of St. Julian wines that are usually unavailable in retail stores. Tends toward simple and sweet wines, but there are some worthy reserve wines.
  4. 44.83 miles – Mon Ami Historic Winery and Restaurant, 9845 East Wine Cellar Rd., Port Clinton. Some interesting wines, great scenery and excellent restaurant. A nice side trip when visiting this scenic Lake Erie area.
  5. 50.42 miles – Heineman Winery, Put-In-Bay, Ohio. This is all about the amazing Lake Erie experience. The winery is on an island. You’ll have to decide if it is worth the trip to sample the 25 different wines with the mostly sweet Lake Erie grapes. Scenic summer destination.
  6. 50.52 miles – Pentamere Winery, 131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh, Michigan. This is a hip, urban winery on the main street in downtown Tecumseh. This is a historic town with lots of great shops and restaurants. The tasting room is expansive with an interesting gift shop, long bar and plenty of wine. The wines, produced on-site, are made with grapes from the Great Lakes watershed. Check out our report for more information.
  7. 50.98 miles – Hillside Winery, 221 Main St., Gilboa, Ohio. Haven’t visited this winery yet, but it looks like it has a wide assortment of wine. I’ll be dropping in on them soon! Tasting room has a view of a historic bridge over the Blanchard River.
  8. 50.99 miles – Hermes Vineyard/Sand Hill Winery, 6413 South Hayes, Sandusky, Ohio. This winery has some noteworthy wines and a cool tasting room in a historic barn. Check out our report for more info.
  9. 53.40 -- Spotted Dog Winery, 108 E. Michigan Ave., Saline Michigan. This is a winery with a wide selection of wines. It is a favorite with some of our readers, so check out their comments. Any easy drive up U.S. 23.
  10. 54.99 miles – Firelands Winery, 917 Bardshar Rd., Sandusky. Firelands is the largest wine producer in Ohio and has some nice wines, including its Gew├╝rztraminer. Slick tasting room. They have been making wine since 1880, so it’s time you made the trip. Check out our report for more info.
  11. 63.39 miles – Chateau Tebeau Winery, 525 SR 635, Helena, Ohio. This is an appealing newcomer on the Ohio wine scene. Traminette, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc and Frontenac – there is a lot to like. On the list to get a visit from the TWAV tasting team.
  12. 59.03 miles – Kelley’s Island Wine Company, Kelley’s Island, Ohio. This is another island winery on the somewhat tamer Kelley’s island. Enjoy the island vibe, a relaxing meal and a game of volleyball!
  13. 71.77 miles – Stoney Ridge Winery, 07144 County Rd. 14, Bryan, Ohio. Scenic location plus outstanding special events. Sweeter wines dominate. Wine list includes a number of fruit wines.
  14. 81.88 miles – Satek Winery, 6208 N. Van Guilder, Fremont, Indiana. Very close to Pokegon State Park. Lively tasting room with some outstanding wines. Be sure to check out their Chambourcin. Check out our report for more info.
In case you wondered:
  • It is 154.92 miles to Ferrante Winery and Ristorante in Geneva, Ohio.
  • It is 320.65 miles to Forty Five North Vineyard and Winery in Lake Leelanau, Michigan.
  • It is 387.10 miles to Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellar in Hammondsport, New York.
  • It is 2,348.16 miles to the Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley, California.
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Photo by Mark Bray
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16 comments:

Josh Woodward said...

I went to Johlin Century years ago and... wasn't impressed. They were very nice and happy to see a visitor (I think it was the winemaker), but they were a little too welcoming; the wines kept coming. There were six French-American hybrid grape wines, all of which were very foxy and poorly vinified (bitter finish). Then came six fruit and berry wines. They... were not good.

Josh Kessler said...

Don't forget the often overlooked Spotted Dog Winery in Saline, MI. It is about 50 miles from Toledo and you can make the trip up route 23 in less than an hour!

- DN - said...

Josh -- Thanks for the report. I figured if we had a Cakebread Cellars a couple miles from Toledo we'd all probably know about it by now!

- DN - said...

Josh K. -- I guess the Spotted Dog has been overlooked again. We'll check it out...

- DN - said...

Josh K. -- The Spotted Dog would be #9 on the list, a distance of 53.40 from Perrysburg. Looks like a perfect destination for dog lovers...

Missy said...

Spotted Dog is absolutely lovely, I'm very fond of their Kiwi-Pear. Apparently everyone else is, too, because when we visited a few weeks ago, we had to go down the road to the Busch's to get that one - Busch's had just purchased their last few cases the day before!

I've been to Johlin a bit more recently (in 2009), and found the wines acceptable, but not outstanding. I did thoroughly enjoy the Elderberry wine. Shortly after my visit, the structure caught fire. I don't know if Dave has re-opened, we haven't been out that way since 2009. (This is largely because we are regulars in the MI wineries - our whole family volunteers at Pentamere.)

- DN - said...

Missy - Thanks for this info on Spotted Dog and Johlin. I'll add the info on Spotted Dog to the list over my lunch hour...

jill said...

If you're going to drive all the way to Sandusky for Hermes & Firelands...it's not too much further to Quarry Hill Winery in Berlin Heights and Paper Moon Vineyards in Vermilion!

- DN - said...

Jill -- Right you are. We've been to Quarry Hill a couple times and are fans of their Vidal Blanc. We'll be sure to check out Paper Moon in the near future. Thanks.

donniella winchell said...

This was a really fun post to read. Fits in perfectly with the whole 'stacation' weekend escape trend that is so hot now. Thanks for including so many Ohio wineries in your comments.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a warm new year.

Anonymous said...

Also not much further and in the neighborhood of Paper Moon and Quarry Hill is Vermilion Valley Vineyards in Henrietta, OH. Great wines and beautiful tasting room.
Thanks Chase

- DN - said...

Chase - Sounds like a Quarry Hill, Paper Moon and Vermillion Valley could be a nice little road trip. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

went to Johlin Century Winery on 11/12/2001...walked into a tiny, narrow entryway where the few wines available were displayed..this also served as the tasting room and checkout area....there were 4 of us and we could barely move..when asked if there was a seating area the guy said no, he had been down on his luck and hadn't been able to renovate...not impressed! each couple bought 1 bottle of wine to be polite but I wouldn't recommend it!

- DN - said...

There are many better choices not too much farther away. We've yet to hear a good report on this winery.

Anonymous said...

There is a winery near Grand Rapids Ohio that is very good. They are new but coming up fast. The name of the winery is Majestic Oak Winery . They have food and tastings and a very nice tasting room and many places outdoors to sit and enjoy. Many times there is live music. We really enjoyed ourselves and will go back.

Doug said...

I was reading your blog and wanted to let you know there is a new winery near Grand Rapids Ohio. We are Majestic Oak Winery. Look us up on facebook or majesticoakwinery.com. Thanks