There’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a glass of wine after a long day, especially when the wine was harvested, mixed and fermented right here in Ohio. Ohio’s Wine Country gets all the credit for our state’s best vineyards — and we agree that those wines are great — but for those who aren’t in the mood for a long trip, there are several wineries close to Akron and Canton that are just as good, if not better.
If you’re a fan of chardonnays or cabernets, you will certainly enjoy spending a few hours at a local winery learning about your favorite varietal. We rounded up some of our favorites in the area, so next time you’re in the mood to share a bottle, make sure to support your local community (and have a fun day while you’re at it!).
The Winery at Wolf Creek was founded in 1980 by Andrew Wineberg on his parents’ property with nothing but 10 acres and a dream. The winery has since grown and fallen under new ownership, but continues to be family owned and operated. The current owner Andy Troutman and his family live on the vineyard year round, and Troutman ensures that the wines produced are top-notch and served with a smile. Locals know that the welcoming atmosphere at this local spot is second to none, and typically flock to the vineyard for fun events like the dog-friendly Yappy Hour and live music Mondays and Wednesdays.
Red Horse Winery
5326 Fairland Road, Barberton
Since Red Horse Winery sits on the second highest area in Summit County, it also provides access to some of the most incredible sunsets in the state. While you’re enjoying the fabulous view, make sure you have a glass of wine in hand. Owner Joseph Semannsky Junior is an eight generation Hungarian winemaker, and has spent many summers on his family’s vineyards overseas learning the art of making incredible wines — and his expertise is certainly apparent once you’ve tasted the final product.
1700 55th St. NE, Canton
Gervasi Vineyard has swept the table as far as awards go, earning countless gold, double gold and silver medals for its fabulous wines. While you’re sipping on your wine of choice, you can enjoy the Tuscan-inspired dining room, live music on the Piazza and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Looking to delve a little deeper? Enroll in a culinary class, where you’ll learn to make a gourmet meal to pair with one of the Gervasi wines, or enjoy an exclusive pairings tour in the winery, complete with a selection of small bites and wine tastings. Make a weekend of it by staying in a luxurious villa suite on-site!
Nauti Vine Winery
3950 South Main Street, Akron
Nauti Vine Winery is nestled on the shore of Portage Lakes, and offers the ultimate wine tasting experience in a relaxing atmosphere overlooking the water. The winery resulted from the passion of local wine enthusiasts, Joe Wathey and Erica Antoniotti, whose vision was to create a Tuscan style winery with fantastic views and a welcoming community atmosphere. The two have accomplished their goal, and welcome locals and visitors alike daily to try Ohio wines and tasty bites. Beer enthusiasts will also find solace here — Mucky Duck Brewery shares a roof with the winery.
Husband-and-wife team Mike and Margaret opened the doors of Sarah’s Winery in 2007, realizing a years-long dream and honoring their late daughter, Sarah. The vineyard and tasting room is an incredible homage to their loved one — boasting shaded picnic tables among picturesque gardens, a rustic chic vibe in the tasting room, a cozy loft, a deck and (of course) excellent wines made from the grapes grown on-site. The newest addition to the property, an elegant pavilion, opened this April, and offers stunning views of the grape vines season to season. Rumor has it that this is a fantastic venue for watching the Cleveland Browns during the fall!
6193 Edison St. NE, Hartsville
Maize Valley truly has everything you could need for a fun weekend getaway, including a winery, craft brewery, farmers’ market and even a family fun zone. Shop the market full of homegrown produce, savory meats, fresh breads and delectable cheeses, and create a picnic to enjoy alongside your chosen bottle of wine. The wines are made from grape varietals grown right there in the vineyard, and range from Hanky Panky (a sweet rosé), to Sinfully White (a dry white), Redneck Red (just what it sounds like) and many more. The winery also carries a few fruit wines in flavors like apple pie and blackberry in case you’re looking to try something new!
If you find yourself in Doylestown, don’t miss this family-owned boutique winery. Husband-and-wife duo Ed Sunkin and Christine Sabo bought the property in 2003, pursuing a dream to build and operate a family-friendly farm to host celebrations and special events. The couple pursued a wine education, working through the Ohio State University Agriculture Research and Development Center, and coupled that with winemaking knowledge they gained from traveling across the world. Their expertise has earned them a number of accolades, including “Editor’s Choice” awards in 2006 and 2007 from Wine Maker Magazine. Taste the winning wines for yourself by visiting the tasting room, and make sure to strike up a conversation with one of the owners.
155 Treat Road, Aurora
David Thorn, a local landscaping architect, set his eyes on the ThornCreek site back in 2005. Since then he has transformed a forgotten property into one of the most popular destinations in the area, known for its unparalleled scenery, friendly service, seasonal menu, and eleven fantastic dishes that have stacked up an impressive number of awards over the years, including two silvers, a gold and a double gold (don’t miss the chardonnay!). A tasting here is sure to be an experience to remember!
Which is your favorite winery in the area? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!