The Travel Professor
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Ohio wine festival

It is called the Great Lakes Plains (GLP). Prime real estate this is a fertile strip of land that starts at the shoreline and extends inland along the Great Lakes from Wisconsin to Ohio. In northeastern Ohio it stretches about ten miles south from the banks of the Lake Erie then this fertile lowland widens as it rolls west until it is more than fifty miles wide in the Maumee Valley. Similar soil and climate conditions also exist in bordering Pennsylvania and northwestern New York State.

These rolling lowlands in northeast Ohio, northern Pennsylvania and New York offer perfect conditions for the cultivation of a wide range of the Vitis plant Miles of neatly tended rows of grape vines can be seen as your travel the highways and byways of this regional wine country.
Wine is produced throughout much of Ohio but the experts consider that the northeast Ohio vintages are the state’s best. The expert’s point of view attributes the GLP as a major factor. Ohio has frequently been ranked in the top 5 of best domestic wine both by taste and quality. California and New York State lead the field while the Pacific Northwest, Virginia and North Carolina are also producing some outstanding vintages.

Let’s get back to the “Buckeye” state and Vintage Ohio. This is an annual two-day festival that showcases Ohio wine, food, and music. The event held August 6th & 7th at Lake County’s Metroparks' Farmpark just east of Cleveland, features wine samples, Ohio food vendors, craft exhibits and demonstrations, and food samples from area restaurants.

More than 30 Ohio wineries, including Chalet Debonne and Old Mill Winery, are participating in the 2010 event. Wineries will offer samples as well as wine to purchase by the glass, bottle, and case. Last century I had the pleasure of visiting these two venues and it was wonderful.

A dozen plus restaurants from all around the Cleveland metro area are on the schedule for 2010. They will be offering small samples of their fare for sale. In addition, a number of Ohio food manufacturers will have exhibits at the event.

In addition to the wine and food,
Vintage Ohio will feature live entertainment on two stages, wine and craft demonstrations, and dozens of craft exhibitors.

Vintage Ohio is open both days from 1pm to 10pm. Admission is $25 in advance and $27 at the gate for a wine sampler ticket that includes a logo souvenir glass, wine samples, and wine for purchase by the glass. A two-day wine-sampler ticket is also available for $40 and designated driver/non-drinker tickets are $10 (without the wine glass). Children 3-18 are $3 each and children 2 and under are free.

It’s an easy drive interstate highway for the most part. I’d head on I 64 East to I 77 North then I 271 East onto I 90 East. The Farmpark is not too far off of Interstate 90. For lodging and more regional information contact the Lake County Visitors Bureau at 800.368.LAKE or There’s plenty to see and do.

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