Klingshirn Winery

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 Wine Alliance.

 

 

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 mildew.
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 Chablis.

 

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 label.

 

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 production.

The clusters tend to be extremely tight, and at full maturity the berries are a reddish-gray color.
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.