If you are lucky enough to have an entire week to spend enjoying Ohio’s wine, you can visit Conneaut and Geneva-on-the-Lake and then round out your trip with a tour of Ashtabula and Harpersfield Township. If you don’t have the time, Ashtabula is one more weekend wine getaway that you can enjoy, just a few short hours from Pittsburgh.
Ashtabula is located midway between Conneaut and Geneva and has many great wineries and restaurants to enjoy. Here are a few places not to be missed on your visit.
Where to Stay:
The Gilded Swan Bed and Breakfast
The Gilded swan is located near the heart of Ashtabula. It is a large victorian house with nicely decorated and spacious rooms. It is a peaceful and comfortable retreat. Each morning is started with a delicious gourmet breakfast. The stuffed french toast and homemade scones are a must. Rates are very affordable from $75.00-$105 per night.
Where to eat on Friday night:
Friday night is wood fired pizza night at Laurello. At Laurello, however, pizza is a decadent culinary experience. Start your meal with a selection of fresh cheeses and antipasto or salad. Then, enjoy perfectly baked pizza with gourmet toppings or the specialty feature of the week. Finish with a refreshing lemoncello truffle sorbet. Not only does Laurello offer delicious food, but they are a winery as well. Laurello offers an variety of vinifera wines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pino Grigio and Riesling as well as some very well made blends. Their Cosmo, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot has rich cherry, cocoa and coffee flavors that is the perfect accompaniment to pizza and lemoncello. Pizza entrees at Laurello are $10-$14 for a large and wines range from $10-$20 per bottle.
Where to eat on Saturday night:
Ferrente Winery and Ristorante
Ferrente is one of the largest wineries in the area. Not only are there great wines to be sampled at Ferrente, but it is also home to a wonderful Italian Restaurant. Classic dishes such as pasta, veal and steaks are expertly prepared in a beautiful atmosphere with a vineyard view. Ferrente has a large selection of well made wines, with something for every palate. The Cabernet Franc Ice Wine is an especially nice way to end a wonderful dinner. Entrees at Ferrente range from $11-$20 and wines range from $8-$30.
Wineries to visit:
This quaint cottage-like winery has a beautiful stone fireplace and rustic decor. Harpersfield has high quality white wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewuztraminer and Riesling and reds such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. The Clos mes Amis Pinot Noir, with its cranberry and coffee notes is a specialty unique to Harpersfield. Wines range from $18-$35 per bottle.
South River Vineyard
This winery is a restored Methodist church that was moved from Shalersville, OH to its current spot amid a beautiful vineyard in Harpersfield. The beauty of the church remains in tact with an addition of large rear doors that lead to a covered dining area and a sweeping view of the vineyards. South River makes some wonderful wine blends with celestial names like Exodus, Trinity, Karma and Temptation in beautifully labeled bottles. The Karma with it’s cedar, tobacco and vanilla notes is a heavenly experience. South River’s wines range from $10-$35 per bottle.
Grand River has wonderful gardens for enjoying the summer and a large tasting room with a stone fireplace for days when the weather is less than nice. There are 14 wines to choose from that are mostly classic vinifera varieties with a Niagara and Concord thrown in for some color. Their Austin’s Red and Austin’s white blends help to raise money for the Northest Ohio Autism Group. The red is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with rich plum and tobacco flavors. The white is a blend of Chardonnay, Pino Grigio and Vidal Blanc with apple flavors and a smooth mouthfeel. Wines range from $10-$30 per bottle.
Debonne is a fun and rambling winery with great indoor and outdoor spaces. It is the largest estate winery in Ohio. If the 25 wines from reserve Chardonnay to Vidal Blanc Icewine don’t tickle your fancy, Debonne also has its own microbrews available for tasting. Debonne is also a great place to stop for lunch or snack with a casual menu of cheese trays and snack foods. Wines range from $9-$30.