Ohio has approximately 250 wineries scattered throughout the state. Today, I’m visiting two on the Lake Erie Shores & Island Wine Trail, Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard and D & D Smith Winery. I have visited quite a few wineries in Ohio, but this was my first visit to both of these.
QUARRY HILL WINERY & ORCHARD
Nestled out in the countryside is Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard in Berlin Heights, Ohio. Surrounded by plentiful vineyards and rows of apple trees. Quarry Hill Orchards was named for the sandstone quarries that were once active on the acreage. The Quarry Hill Winery was established in 2005 after years of being a working farm. The vineyard consists of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Petit Syrah and Vidal Blanc.
The wine tasting building is very impressive with a vaulted ceiling and huge glass windows. A large stone fireplace and plenty of seating with great views of the vineyard. A wrap around porch for outside seating and dining. Next to the main building is a large covered pavilion for larger gatherings and other outside seating.
We began our wine tasting with 5 different wines. Pinot Grigio-light & fruity, Cayuga- intense grape, Estate Rose, Stonehouse Red- blended wine, and Vidal Blanc. All were very good with most on the sweeter side, I think I liked the Estate Rose the best, very smooth but not too sweet. They do not offer a wine flight so individual tastings are $1.00 each. The winery also has a selection of fruit wines such as Strawberry Rhubarb, Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, and Raspberry.
They offer a light menu, a Gourmet Cheese board, Hummus with vegetables & crackers, Chicken Salad Croissant, Bread with Dip, Cold Platters, and choice of Panini’s on the weekends. We chose a Reuben sandwich with kettle chips and two glasses of their Vidal Blanc. We enjoyed our lunch on the outside porch so we could gaze out over the vineyard.
The winery definitely serves up a scenic setting surrounded by the vineyard with a casual dining atmosphere. The wines we tasted are very good, particularly the Estate Rose & Vidal Blanc.
Location @ 8403 Mason Rd, Berlin Heights, Ohio 44814 Ph: (419) 588-3179…hours will vary seasonally.
D & D SMITH WINERY LLC
D & D Smith Winery is in Norwalk, Ohio. This little town is known for the Summit Motorsports Park that hosts some of the best drag racing in the country, but today, I’m here for the wine. This boutique winery is a family run business and was established in 2008. They already have several award-winning wines under their belt like their Riesling Double Gold.
The winery is a repurposed older house with a very warm feel to it with much of the original house left intact. Plenty of seating with a large upstairs area for larger groups.
We started with a wine flight of 7 wine samples (flights are 6 for $6.00 but I added one more for a little extra) and a side of Tuscan herb infused bread with dipping sauce. The He Said She Said-fruity and sweet, Gewurztraminer-flavorful with hints of mango, Chardonnay – very smooth non-oak, Niagara-white very very grape, The Locals– a blend of local family backyard grapes, Vino Java– flavorful coffee taste, Riesling-Crisp white wine. Trying a Java infused wine was a first for me. I’m still undecided on that one but, I love trying new flavors!
The winery also offers a great selection of fruit wines like Pumpkin and Peach. How about a wine slushie with Sangria? All unique and very creative tastes. Order a wine flight, you’ll want to try several. They also offer appetizers and snacks.
Never underestimate the small wineries! The wines are full of flavor. I brought several bottles of Chardonnay and Riesling home with me. D & D Winery has done quite a lot in a short amount of time with their winery, a wonderful & flavorful accomplishment!
TIPS: The winery has weekly and monthly events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their website.
Location @ 401 W Main St, Norwalk, Ohio 44857 Ph: (419) 577-0242
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