33050 Webber Road. • Avon Lake, Ohio 44012 • (440) 933-6666
A Family Tradition of Excellence Since 1935
The Grapes ~ A Tour of the Vineyard
Great wines come from quality grapes
and great wine makers keep their vineyards close to home. We take
great pride in growing some of the world famous varieties of grapes
right here in Avon Lake.
Our vineyards are about a mile and a
half from the shores of Lake Erie, thus we are blessed with the
temporate micro-climate associated with Lake Erie. To learn more
about how Lake Erie affects our vineyards, visit the Lake Erie Quality
The oldest vineyards on our farm dates
back to the turn of the century. We began to plant new wine grape
varieties in 1982, and have been learning and expanding since
then, one variety at a time.
You are invited to stop in and take a walking tour of our vineyards
during the summer and fall. The diversity will amaze you.
Vineyard Tour ~ Vidal Blanc
The Vidal Blanc grape is a yellow-white
French-American hybrid. We planted them in 1981 as the first
of our hybrid varieties.The berries form large, tight, compact
clusters,and often weigh as much as a pound. The vines are
winter hardy, yet somewhat susceptible to downy and powdery
Vidals are ready for harvest in mid October.
Vidal Blanc produces a wine
with a pleasant, fruity aroma, more so than many of the
French hybrids. Vidal Blanc wine is bottled under the
varietal label and blended in the Country Blush and Golden
Vineyard Tour ~ Chardonnay
The Chardonnay grape is the famous
white burgundy grape of France. It is a member of the Vitis
Vinifera family, and has an upright growth habit. It responds
well to exceptional care and produces small crops for limited
bottlings. These grapes were planted in 1992, the second
youngest vines in the vineyard.
These grapes are harvested in late September.
Chardonnay is a dry white wine
and aged in oak to increase its complexity. The Chardonnay
wine is bottled under a varietal label.
Vineyard Tour ~ White Riesling
White Riesling is a member of
the Vitis Vinifera family. This grape is also called the Johannesburg
Riesling because of its relationship to the white German wine
grape of the Schloss Johannesburg Estate.
These vines produce tight small clusters, and the berries
become nearly transparent when fully ripe. They ripen in
early October, and are fermented at a cool temperature in
stainless steel to preserve the light and delicate fruity
nature of the grape. This wine is bottled under the varietal
Vineyard Tour ~ Concord
The Concord grape, a Vitis Labrusca
variety with large, dark blue berries, is the most common
and hardiest of the grapes grown in Ohio. The Concord grapes
were the first to be planted on the farm and the oldest vineyard
dates back to 1920 or earlier.
Concord grapes are harvested from mid September to early October.
Concord is the premier eastern grape variety and is used to
make the only widely accepted non-fermented grape juice. We
bottle it as fresh juice right after the grapes are pressed.
The wine is bottled under the Dry and Sweet Concord varietal
labels, and is used in the Vin Rose and Haut Sauterne blends.
Vineyard Tour ~ Delaware
The Delaware grape is a Vitis
Labrusca variety that originated in Delaware, Ohio. The berries
are small, with a pinkish brown color and come in small, tight,
compact clusters. Delaware is the best of the native grapes
for wine making and is a favorite for use in sparkling wines.
They produce a white wine and, unlike other native labrusca
varieties, have a very delicate fruity aroma.
Delaware grapes are harvested two weeks prior to the Concords.
They are used in our Golden Chablis and Haut Sauterne. Recently,
we have also reserved a portion of the vineyard for a later
harvest of our ice wine production. Due to the limited supply,
it is not bottled under a varietal label except as ice wine
beginning with the 99 vintage.
Vineyard Tour ~ Chambourcin
The Chambourcin grape is a French-American
Hybrid variety with medium loose clusters of medium size dark
blue berries. The growth habit of the vine is unique, in that
the leaves are light colored and new growth tends to grow
laterally more so than any other variety. It is the most popular
red hybrid grown in Ohio because of its cold hardiness and
disease resistance and wine quality potential.
Chambourcin ripen in late September and fermentation is on
the skins to extract the full color and flavor from the berry.
Typically, this grape makes a dry to semi-dry dark red wine
that is slightly oak aged. It is bottled under the varietal
label and provides the color in Country Blush.
Vineyard Tour ~ Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a member
of the Vitis Vinifera family. This grape is the premier red
wine grape of the world. These vines produce tight small clusters
and the berries become nearly black when they are fully ripe.
This grape ripens around the end of September and is fermented
on the skins for the first five days to extract the darkest
color and heaviest tannins possible. The resulting wine is
slow to mature and takes from 12 to 18 months before bottling
is considered. During this time it receives some oak aging.
Cabernet Sauvignon is bottled under its varietal label.
Vineyard Tour ~ Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris is another member of
the Vitis Vinifera family. Planted in 1998, it is one of the
younger vineyards on the farm and is just coming into full
The clusters tend to be extremely
tight, and at full maturity the berries are a reddish-gray
Pinot Gris is known by a number of different names, depending
on the region of the world where it is grown and each region
produces a distinctly different style of wine.
We are enjoying establishing a
style for our region of the world.
During June of 2004 we planted new vineyards of Cabernet Franc and
Pinot Gris. It will take 3 years for these vineyards to mature enough
to harvest a small crop, and 5 years for full production.