Northwest Ohio Winery Reviews

Firelands Winery - I think Gary had high hopes for our visit to this winery in Sandusky, Ohio...but it was pretty much what I expected. Gary set the schedule for this particular trip (we take turns) and planned our visit to Firelands as our last stop on the first day of a two-day trip. We generally make sure our last stop is near our hotel...and also a place that we can stay for awhile and enjoy the atmosphere while drinking some wine. I don't think he took into consideration that we may not be able to purchase wine for on-site consumption. Most Ohio wineries encourage you to stay and hang out as long as you like. Firelands is basically a quick stop...taste...buy...leave.

They were unusually busy...but said that they always are when it rains. Tourists that can't go to the nearby amusement park or other outdoor attractions and they tend to come to the winery when it is raining. We waited around a few minutes until a spot opened up at the tasting counter. I noticed the sign on the wall listing the day's wines available for sampling. Basically, you pay your tasting fee and sample 6-7 pre-selected wines. Firelands produces many, many wines. Only two of the seven I sampled were wines that I would have personally picked...but I didn't have a choice.

Another couple had approached the tasting counter at the same time we did, and our hostess was attempting to keep all four of us moving along at the same speed. They were downing their wine pretty fast and when our hostess would pour their next sample, she would stand in front of us with the bottle until we put an empty glass in front of her. Evidently we were not moving fast enough for her...at one point she placed a dump bucket in front of us. To be honest - we were rushed through the wines so fast, that we didn't have time to savor, discuss or even think about what we were sampling. The only wine that even sticks out was the last wine, the Mellow Concord. Since it was last on the list, we were able to stand there and sample slowly. I do remember that the name was fitting...it was a very mellow Concord.

There were several other wines I wish I could have sampled...Merlot, Pinot Noir, White Cabernet Sauvignon, Country Estate Red, Vin Rose, Fifty-Fifty. I have a hard time buying bottles of wine without so much as a taste. Since I couldn't sample many of the wines I wanted to, I didn't purchase any to take home. It is very rare occasion when we don't buy anything...but we did pay a sampling fee. 

Firelands Winery seems like a great stop for tourists. There are so many tourist attractions in the area, it seems that tourists are what they cater to. Their tasting room would probably make a great stop for those who have never visited a winery and wouldn't have a clue as to which wines they wanted to sample. They try to cover every spectrum on their daily tasting list...so a newcomer to the world of wine would probably get an idea what type of wine they prefer. Personally, I didn't care for it. I couldn't sample the wines I wanted to sample, we were rushed through our tasting and there was no place to sit and stay awhile. 

Heartland Vineyards - In an area of Ohio known for Lake Erie sunsets, rolling vineyards and magnificent wine...this uncommon Westlake winery stands out from the crowd. You will not see any vineyards, you will not be escorted on a tour, and you will not experience any of the traditional delights that you will find at most wineries...yet, we had an educational and entertaining time here and sampled some superb wine.

Heartland Vineyards is housed in the lower level of a cluster of small shops. Even though we had an address, we had a hard time finding it. We drove past it twice and finally stopped to ask a woman for assistance. Her directions took us straight there and we ended up seeing a small sign outside the door. Gary and I entered the door and walked down the stairs. We found ourselves in a store that sells wine and beer making supplies. At this point I figured we wouldn't be there long. It looked more like a retail establishment and not a tasting room.

A friendly gentleman emerged from the back. He showed us to the restrooms and we soon found him waiting for us behind a tasting counter in a side room. It was an interesting room. It sort of reminded me of a basement bar with lots of beer and wine paraphernalia on the walls. He offered us a seat and proceeded to go over their selection of wine with us. Heartland has a wide variety of wine. I started out with a few dry reds and Gary began with a couple of dry whites.

During our casual tasting, our host was quite accommodating and informative. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent there learning the history of Heartland Vineyards and conversing about area wineries. We were made to feel very at ease and stayed for quite a long while sampling this winery's various offerings. At the end of our tasting, we were treated to an authentic Mead and a Melomel...both of which are a Heartland Vineyards specialty. There were many wines that we enjoyed and had a hard time deciding which ones to take home with us. We opted for a Fredonia and Pink Splendor, which is a unique Heartland blend.

A trip to Heartland Vineyards certainly won't be your traditional winery experience...but don't pass this one up. We completely enjoyed the time we spent there and were treated very well. Comfortable conversation and intriguing wine await you at this hidden Westlake winery. Don't pass this experience by. Favorites: Fredonia and Pink Splendor.  

Heineman's Winery -  It took a 30 minute boat ride, plus a golf cart rental to reach this winery on the island of Put-In-Bay, Ohio. Their parking lot was full of golf carts, which seems to be the vehicle of choice on the island. We walked toward the tasting room and found quite a crowd. It took us awhile to reach the tasting counter...which is not really a tasting counter at all...but a bar. We didn't see any wine tasting going on, only people ordering bottles and cups (yes, cups) of wine. There was only one person working behind the counter, so when we finally got waited on we hastily ordered a bottle of wine. We were not sure what we wanted, so we ordered Niagara (usually a safe bet for summer sipping).

We headed out back to the wine garden, only to find every seat full. We had already seen there were no seats to be had inside...so I suggested that Gary go out to the car and get our lawn chairs that we travel with. He gently reminded me that we had arrived on golf cart and the car was in Port Clinton. We walked out front and found a lone, broken bench right outside the front door. We realized this bench was going to be our seat for the afternoon, so we sat down and made ourselves comfortable.

It was actually a great seat for people-watching. We each poured some wine into the plastic cups they provided for us and took in the show. Put-In-Bay has become known as somewhat of a "party island" over the years. We could hear people inside the winery chanting, singing and yelling. We watched as tourists rode up on rented bicycles and wiped-out in the gravel. We watched as young shirtless men left the winery by way of golf-cart to go find some "babes". We sat and finished our bottle of Niagara, even though it was quite warm by the time we got to the end of it.

Heineman's Winery has a long history of winemaking on Put-In-Bay. The winery was founded in 1888 and survived prohibition by selling grape juice and giving tours of the winery's cave. I think there's probably some pretty good wine made here. But, Heineman's seems to be catering to the party crowd that comes to the island to get away from it all. I can't say that I blame them. You have to cater to your visitors. It would have been nice to sample more than one of their wines, but Heineman's does things differently. It's not the type of winery atmosphere that I enjoy...but the island guests seem to love it. 

Hermes Vineyards & Winery - Buckets of rain were coming down when we pulled into the parking lot of this Sandusky, Ohio winery. It had been raining all day and there was no sign of it ending, so we made a mad dash for the door. We entered the tasting room, which makes its home in a restored 200-year old barn. There was a unique blend of furniture, which gave the place a rustic 70's look...sort of like Little House on the Prairie meets the Brady Bunch. 

A nice young girl greeted us immediately and introduced us to the wine list. Tastings were $5.00 per person and included three white and three red wines. They produced many more reds than whites. I would have actually preferred one white and five reds. I would have enjoyed sampling more of their red wines and it was difficult to choose only three...but I decided not to argue the point. Of the whites...I did enjoy the Sun-Kissed, a light wine which is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Riesling. They offered a nice selection hearty red wines. I loved their Sangiovese... and Sand Hill was the first to grow it in Ohio. Gary and I both sampled the Settlers Red - a sweeter, mellow wine - and we both enjoyed it very much. Their 2005 Merlot sounded quite interesting (the grapes hung on the vine until they began to raisin) but it was not one of the reds I sampled. There were just too many wonderful sounding reds to choose from.

We were ahead of schedule and decided to stay for a glass of wine. The winery offered a small food menu to go with the wine...and we ordered some bread with olive oil. Our hostess poured our wine and said she would bring our food to us when it was ready. We picked a small table near a large window where we could sit and watch the rain come down. There were some chairs in the garden area and I found myself wishing the weather was better so we could have enjoyed our wine outdoors. As I was looking out the window, I saw our hostess outside in the rain bending over the herb garden. When she brought our bread to the table, I asked her if she had gone outside for us. She said you couldn't beat fresh basil in the olive oil. I felt really bad that she had gone out there because of us...but she was right. The fresh basil made a huge difference.

We had a very enjoyable visit to Sand Hill Winery & Vineyard. Their fine selection of robust red wines is unmatched in the area and the staff is pleasant, courteous and knowledgeable. They are open late into the evening and offer live entertainment on the weekends. It's a unique winery for the region. They seem to be aiming for a more upscale crowd...and their wines are slightly more expensive than a lot of other Ohio wineries...but a stop a this lovely winery shouldn't be passed up.

John Christ Winery - We had a very down-to-earth experience at this Avon Lake, Ohio winery. On the outside the winery is surrounded on both sides by vineyards...but not much. A golf course and new homes and townhouses were just outside the small vineyards. I'm not sure, but it looked like some of the original surrounding property may have been sold to developers...but I'm just guessing. The building itself was charming and inviting, so we walked inside to see what was waiting for us.

Upon entering, we saw a retail sales room directly to the right. It didn't look like it was set up for tasting, so we walked up the stairs in front of us. We found ourselves in a larger room with a bar and plenty of table seating. The room was completely empty, but it was early in the day. An older gentleman appeared and asked if he could help us. We told him we would like to sample some wine, and we took a seat at the bar. The gentleman set out a couple of glasses and a list of their wines for us to look over. 

We took a few minutes to browse the wine list and chose a few wines to sample. I began with the Cayuga (a medium sweet wine named after Cayuga Lake) and Gary started out with the Gewurztraminer. We worked out way through some of the red wines (an award winning Claret and a medium-dry Labrusca) and moved on to a few of the sweeter wines. We both found John Christ's fruit wines to be full of flavor. The peach wine tasted just like fresh peaches and their Natural Apple wine was very appealing. We also sampled a very nice blend of Concord and Niagara they called "Special Blend" and tried a late harvest Concord...which was a first for us.

We decided to stay for a glass of wine, so we each ordered a glass of Special Blend. We chatted awhile with our host, who said they get much busier in the evening. He said that a nice calm crowd gathers...especially in the summer. There's a small deck outside and in the back of the winery there are picnic tables and grills. Inside we saw a nice supply of board games and plenty of CD's for entertainment. John Christ Winery also serves food...but we were told that patrons are welcome to bring their own food or order pizza if they wish. 

When we had finished our glass of wine, we headed down to the retail sales room and purchased some wine to take home. Our visit to John Christ winery was very relaxing. They had a nice seating area outside and I wish it hadn't been so cold and blustery...but that will happen in early April on Lake Erie. A visit to this winery would be well worth it. I would suggest bringing a few steaks and enjoying a bottle of wine outdoors on a summer evening. Favorite: Special Blend.

Kelley's Island Wine Company - We arrived on Kelley's Island, Ohio on a slightly cool, but beautiful Sunday. Neither one of us had ever visited the island before, and we found it quite charming. We had three hours until the next Jet Express would come by to take us back to Put-In- Bay. We quickly found a map of the island and found the location of the winery. Gary didn't think it looked too far away, and we set off on foot to find it. Let me start by telling you - do not attempt to walk to the winery. We realized we had made a mistake about half way there, but it was too late to turn back and rent a golf cart. Even though I regularly take several long walks a week...I complained the whole way. I was wearing slinky sandals that were not meant for walking a great distance. Gary kept hoping one of the passing golf carts would offer us a ride, but no one stopped.

We finally arrived at the winery and went inside. The winery is also a restaurant with a full bar, and we took a seat at the bar. A very nice lady came over to help us. We told her we had come to sample wine. It was a Sunday, and they couldn't start serving wine until 1:00 p.m. We had approximately 10 minutes to wait, so she got us each a glass of water. At 1:00, she reappeared with a tasting tray consisting of all six of the wines they produce...two dry white, a dry red, a semi-sweet blush, a sweet white and a sweet red. The wines were all quite drinkable, but none stood out as outstanding. We had a little bit of time to kill before we needed to start walking back to catch our boat, so we each ordered a glass of wine. I decided on the Sunset Pink, a semi-sweet blush that I thought would fit in perfectly with the island atmosphere. Gary was going to order the Long Sweet Red (a robust sweet wine), but I talked him out of drinking such a heavy wine so early in the day. He instead opted for the Coyote White - a sweet Niagara.

I cringed when I saw our hostess pouring our wine into plastic cups. They were the type of cups they probably use to serve draft beer. The dreaded plastic cup has become my worst enemy. Ohio is the only state that seems to do this...and I truly wish the wineries would stop. Anyway...we took our cups of wine and headed to the large porch. The winery was hosting live music that day and we watched the musicians set-up. We hated that we would have to leave before the festivities started. Many island vacationers had also come for lunch. Many seemed to be ordering pizza. It looked and smelled delicious and I came very close to ordering some, but we didn't have the time.

Although I thought the wine was average (could have been the plastic cups) the service was spectacular. Our every need was tended to and I watched as the staff went that extra mile for every customer. They truly seem to love their visitors. I was also inspired by the atmosphere. The relaxing island scene made me want to stay longer and I found myself daydreaming of vacationing on the island with my son. The winery has plenty of outdoor seating and often features live entertainment. It really is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

Klingshirn Winery - We were greeted with a cheerful "good morning" when when walked into this small winery in Avon Lake, Ohio. I sort of cringed. The words "Good morning" are not words I generally like to hear when I'm getting ready to start sampling wine...but sometimes we do what we have to do. Klingshirn is a small winery near the Lake Erie shore just west of Cleveland. They are basically set up for only light sampling and retail sales in their quaint tasting room.

I told the woman behind the counter that we were visiting some wineries in the area and she immediately set out some glasses for us. I looked over their list of wines while Gary roamed the sales room. I decided to start with their Chambourcin, which is one of my personal favorites. I didn't particularly care for this Chambourcin...but I think it was the oak aging. After the Chambourcin I was wondering if I would like any of their wines...but would soon find that I would be thrilled with the rest of Klingshirn's offerings.

The next wine we sampled was the Country Blush. I found it very light and refreshing. It was like sipping nature and fresh air. We moved through a few others...Concord, Catawba, Niagara, Vin Rose (a blend of Niagara and Concord) and their Sweet Concord. Klingshirn's Concord is one of the best we have tried. All of their wines are very fresh and light...and the Concord was no exception. We also sampled the Haut Sauterne and Iced Delaware...both of which Gary put at the top of his list.

Klingshirn Winery doesn't offer a place to stay and enjoy their wines (plus, it was still morning) so we decided to purchase some wine to take home and head on our way. They sold a lot their wines in three different size bottles. We opted for the medium-sized bottles and bought several to take home. You won't find the atmosphere you might have come to expect when visiting today's wineries and vineyards...but you will find many wonderful wines. If you're in the area, a quick stop at Klingshirn is sure to please. Favorites: Vin Rose and Sweet Concord

Mon Ami Winery - If someone asks you where to find some of the best Ice Wine and Port in Ohio, send them to this Port Clinton, Ohio winery. This historic winery also features a full-service fine dining restaurant and a unique and personal wine tasting experience. We actually ended up visiting this winery three times during our long weekend in Port Clinton...and were able to experience every aspect of Mon Ami.

Day One - The Tasting: We stopped by Mon Ami early on a Saturday evening. We were staying at a nearby hotel and had 8:00 dinner reservations at Nate's, a local restaurant. After checking into our hotel, we had 3 hours until dinner and decided it would be the perfect time to stop by Mon Ami. The large stone building is quite majestic, yet not intimidating. On the left is a large area with outdoor seating. Next is The Chalet - Mon Ami's full service bar. Their upscale restaurant is beside that followed by the tasting room and gift shop at the far right. 

We entered the tasting room and made our way to the tasting counter. There were different plates along the counter with tortilla chips, cheeses, cheesecake squares and more. It was like being offered a feast during your tasting. At the end of the counter were two tall tables with a couple of chairs. I thought they must have realized the tasting counter wasn't long enough and added some extra seating. It was at one of these tables that we sat down and started looking over the wine selection. There were 32 wines on the list and all were available for sampling at $1.00 per sample (a few were slightly extra). I thought $1.00 per sample was a little high, but they do feed you well and the samples are pretty generous. There were so many wonderful sounding wines on the list it was hard to choose which wines to sample. 

A woman came over to help us. I felt sort of sorry for her. She had a broken arm and was doing everything one-handed. We each chose a wine and she went to get the bottles so she could pour our samples. We had decided to choose 5 wines a piece...then pay a little extra at the end for samples of Ice Wine. Gary chose mostly whites. I decided to skip the whites all together and start with a blush. After our second sample was poured, our hostess disappeared. I'm not sure what happened to her, but we never saw her again. We sat for almost 10 minutes trying to make eye contact with someone so we could move on to another wine. I was beginning to get pretty angry when a young girl emerged from the back (I believe she said her name was Karissa), and proceeded to save the day. She was very charming and devoted herself to us for the rest of our tasting. She admitted to us that she didn't know a lot about wine, but she was very eager to learn and she was having fun working at the winery. Our new hostess made us feel very welcome and made time for plenty of friendly conversation. She had me smiling again in no time.

I sampled the Blush Chablis, Pinot Noir, Cellarmaster Red, Semi-Sweet Merlot and Port....with the three latter being my favorites. The Cellarmaster Red is a medium-dry varietal blend. It was very mellow and I thought it would make an excellent dinner wine. The Semi-Sweet Merlot was very unique and flavorful. Even though it could fit in with dinner, I thought would would also make a great sipping wine in the evening. The Rare Ruby Port was absolutely outstanding. It was full-bodied, but not overpowering. Certainly one of the best Port offerings I've sampled from an Ohio winery. We both also sampled the Ice Wine to complete our tasting. I'm not sure what grapes they use to make their Ice Wine. The tasting sheet didn't specify and I should have asked...but it tasted like it might have been Riesling grapes to me. It had a fresh taste, was perfectly sweet, and not too syrupy.

Our hostess heard us talking about a friend that wanted us to bring back three bottles of Mon Ami's Delaware for her, and offered to start boxing up wines for us to purchase. We told her that we had dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant, but had planned on returning to Mon Ami the following night for dinner. We thanked her for making our tasting experience one to remember...but that we would come back the following evening to get our wine to take home. 

Day Two - Dinner: The next evening, we returned to have dinner at the Mon Ami restaurant. The hostess told us it we be approximately a 50 minute wait and handed us one of those light up, vibrating pagers. We decided to head over the The Chalet to have a glass of wine before dinner. The bar was packed. It seems to be the local hang-out on Saturday nights. We caught the attention of one of the bartenders. I ordered a glass of the Semi-Sweet Merlot and Gary ordered the Niagara. We found a spot to sit outside while we were waiting. After an hour when our pager hadn't gone off, we headed over to the hostess stand to see how much longer it would be. The hostess was pretty short with us telling us she had paged us several times already. I told her we were very hungry and had been watching the pager closely. She took the pager and pressed a button...and nothing happened. She then muttered under her breath  "it must have died along the way", and a young girl quickly showed us to a table. She should have checked to make sure our batteries were OK before she got so short with us...and she never offered an apology. 

Our server was polite and professional. We ordered a bottle of the Cellermaster Red, the Crab Cakes for an appetizer and we both decided on the Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola sauce for an entree. The Crab Cakes were absolutely delicious and our steaks were exquisite. They were extraordinary cuts of meat. I ended up not touching my baked potato. I was starting to get full and I wanted to finish my entire Filet. I figured I could get a baked potato anytime...but I couldn't let any part of such a wonderful steak go to waste. We don't often come across a winery with exceptional cuisine...but the restaurant at Mon Ami comes highly recommended by us.

Day 3 - The Purchase: By the time we had finished our dinner the night before...it was too late to visit the retail sales room. We decided to return the following morning and purchase wine to take home before heading out of town. We pulled into the desolate parking lot around 9:00 a.m. hoping they would be open. We were delighted to find out the gift shop opens at 7:00 a.m. every day and we were able to make our purchases. We also took some time to browse their gift items while we were there. They have a very nice selection and I ended up buying a few dip mixes and some wonderful garlic-stuffed olives to take home.

Conclusion: Mon Ami has everything it takes to make it a great winery experience. The wines are wonderful, the tasting experience they provide goes beyond the normal experience, and their restaurant offers exquisite cuisine. Mon Ami Winery would have been added to our list of favorites had our visit gone more smoothly. It's unfortunate that we were left high-and-dry in the tasting room for awhile and the hostess was short with us when our pager batteries died...still...every wine lover should make plans to visit Mon Ami. They offer the complete package when it comes to a wine tasting experience. Favorites: Delaware, Cellarmaster Red, Semi-Sweet Merlot, Ice Wine and Port.  

Quarry Hill Winery and Orchard - It was pouring down rain when we arrived at this winery in Berlin Heights, Ohio. We decided to leave the umbrellas and make a quick dash from the car to the tasting room. What we found was not actually a tasting room at all...but more like an open-air farm market. There were plenty of fruits and vegetables everywhere and a small wine tasting counter along the wall. We walked over to the counter where two other couples were sampling. The counter was small...and no one moved over to let us in...so we waited behind them for awhile. I was getting pretty cold as we were waiting, so Gary returned to the car to get our jackets.

After about ten minutes, one of the couples left and we were able to begin our tasting. We could taste up to six wines for a quarter a piece. Gary laid $3.00 on the counter and we began. Our host was unenthused. He was dressed for the part, in a very nice wine bottle shirt, but didn't seem very happy to be there. After each sample, he asked us if we were finished or if there was another wine we wanted to try. I thought the $3.00 on the counter was a good indicator that we were each going to try six wines, but he didn't really catch on. After our third sample, another woman showed up behind the counter to help and our host suddenly became very friendly. I'm not sure why he had a sudden change of heart.

Being a winery and orchard, I expected more fruit wines than grape wines, but that wasn't the case. Quarry Hill had a very nice selection of grape wines and they were all very palatable. Gary and I chose the same wine as our favorite...Buckeye Red. The Buckeye Red was a sweet concord with a unique flavor. I decided to buy some to take home with me.

After our wine purchase, we walked around the rest of the small market. I have nothing but praise for the quality of their fruits and vegetables and the service the market provides. The fruits and vegetables were so much better than any you will find in a grocery store. The staff was walking around pouring cups of apple cider for visitors and helping carry purchases to the cashier. I ended up buying a bag of apples for my son and some beef jerky. If it hadn't been our first stop on a long weekend, I would have also bought some of the wonderful vegetables they had on hand. Favorite: Buckeye Red.

Shamrock Vineyard - We were greeted at the car when we arrived at this winery in Waldo, Ohio. The owners were at an OSU football game, and a family friend was watching over the winery. He walked us inside and we sat down for a tasting. The winery itself is an old farmhouse on the property...and the sit-down tastings take place at the dining room table. It sort of feels like you're at grandma's house...but it is nice and relaxing.

Shamrock Vineyard has a good selection of wine and we found several that we were fond of. The gentleman that was hosting our tasting was very friendly and made us feel right at home. We were having such a nice time talking with him that we decided to stay and enjoy some wine. The only thing that put a damper on this visit was that the wine was served to us in a plastic cup. He offered us a tour, but it was getting late and we had to move on. You won't find a hint of "wine-snobbery" at Shamrock Vineyard. A visit to this winery will be a relaxing, rewarding experience. Favorite: Buckeye Red.

Winery at Versailles - WOW! Being the only winery in the area, we had to make a special weekend trip to Versailles, Ohio to visit the Winery at Versailles. Naturally, we were wondering if it was going to be worth our while to spend a whole weekend trip just to visit one winery. That's why we had put off taking the two-and-a-half hour journey for so long. After our visit, all of our fears had been put to rest. This wonderful winery is definitely worth the trip.

We walked into the rustic-looking tasting room and I was quite impressed with the indoor atmosphere they have created. The tasting counter is located right near the entrance along with a seating area and merchandise sales on the first level. Upstairs there are two more levels, both with seating, along with more gift items and wine baskets on the third level. The entire tasting room is open, airy and inviting. 

We approached the tasting counter and were greeted by a member of the tasting room staff. She explained their tasting procedure to us: Five mini-tastes at the counter for $1.00, five one-ounce samples for $5.00 or five two-ounce samples for $10.00...the latter two in glasses while seated at a table. We opted for the five 1-ounce samples and stepped back to choose which wines we would try. After choosing our wines, we were told to take a seat and our samples would be delivered to us.

We found a private little corner on the third level right next to the Christmas tree, which was very nice because we could also hear holiday music playing. Our samples were promptly delivered to us and we slowly began to savor each one. My five selections were the Darke Red (a blend of Chambourcin and Chancellor, named for Darke County), Buckeye Blush (a blend of grapes with a very inviting aroma), Peach Mist (a sparkling wine made from well-ripened peaches), Olde Fort Port (fermented and unfiltered...made from the Chambourcin grape exhibiting aromas of chocolate, caramel and a hint of tobacco)...and my favorite of the five - Cinq (a late harvest style Riesling). Actually, the more I sipped my sample of Cinq, the more I smiled. I really, really like this wine. It's smooth, flavorful, and the citrus flavors are just right. It's not a sweet as many other late-harvest Rieslings, and cutting back a little on the sweetness makes this wine absolutely perfect.

We decided to stay for a glass of wine. Gary chose the Niagara and I wanted a full glass of the Cinq. When we had finished those, we decided to have one more glass before leaving. Gary chose the Autumn Leaves and I ordered another glass of the Cinq (did I mention that I really, really like this wine?). We ended up staying for almost three hours. It was so peaceful sitting in their lovely tasting room. We were having an exceptional time and the hours had slipped by before we knew it.

It was easy to choose twelve bottles, so we purchased a case before leaving. We ended up having such a wonderful afternoon and realized it was definitely worth the trip. We highly recommend a visit to The Winery at Versailles, located just north of Dayton, Ohio. You can certainly spend the day sampling their large selection of wines and relaxing in their three-level tasting room. During warmer months, they provide outdoor seating with a vineyard view. After your visit, you'll be glad you took the time to experience what this winery has to offer. Favorite: Cinq.