April 28, 2017

Should Wineries Be Craft Brewers Too?

Diversifying product lines is a smart business move. But ask any of the increasing number of winery owners who have recently started to make beer and/or spirits as well as wine why they did it, and diversification is not usually their answer.“We like craft beer and we drink it,” says Brad Schmiling, a co-owner of Wisconsin’s von Stiehl Winery.The winery, which produces 30 wines ranging … [Read more...]

I80 Wine Tour Through Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska

This article is the second installment of a two-part article about wine tourism along Interstate 80 in the Midwest.  In the first article, we visited Ohio and Indiana.  Now join us on a winery trip along I80 through Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.IllinoisTraveling west from Indiana,  I80 runs for 175 miles across Northern Illinois, crossing the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Illinois. … [Read more...]

Take An Interstate 80 Midwest Wine Tour

A common thread stitching together the Midwest states is Interstate 80 (I-80) which connects the Midwest to both coasts.  I-80 pushes like a needle through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska, zipping past Great Lakes, crossing rivers, plunging into valleys and crossing plains.Wine lovers who travel I-80, sampling local wines as they go, can see for themselves how each state’s … [Read more...]

More Ohio Wineries Adding Distilleries

In 2011, Ohio passed a law, House Bill 243, which did several things to improve the lives of the state’s imbibers. The bill allowed distilleries, for the first time, to: Exist in counties with a population below 800,000;  sell alcohol on-site, limited to two bottles per person per day; and provide tastings of their product, limited to four quarter-ounce pours. The law also eliminated the … [Read more...]

Fertile Market For New Ohio Cider Makers

With nearly 20 cider houses producing hard cider in Michigan, it seems Ohio , with just three cider-producers, offers a bushel-full of opportunity (and little competition) to anyone wishing to open a cider operation in the state.Cider has become increasingly popular with American beverage consumers these days – and that has created a 30% growth in the number of American cider-makers over just … [Read more...]

Markko Gouda Cheese Shows Great Pumace

Wanting to give his blue cheeses a more complex, nuanced flavor than most other blue cheeses, the owner of Oregon’s Rogue Creamery turned to a nearby vineyard, Carpenter Hill Winery, and asked for leaves from the Syrah vines to wrap around wheels of his blue cheese.  As soon as the cheese was aged and ready, it began to show up at competitions, winning prizes and awards of all types, thanks to its … [Read more...]

Keg Wine Comes to the Midwest

Could bottled wine become passe? Wineries aren't ready to move out of glass containers yet, but a future with fewer wine bottles seems more plausible than ever. Boxed wine, after all, is roaring back into style and now there's a new trend -- keg wine -- which is making headway on both coasts and has now come to the Midwest.The Gotham Project, a collaborative effort between New York winemakers … [Read more...]

Imed Dami’s Ohio Winegrape Trials Update

On February 21st, Dr. Imed Dami,  Associate Professor of Horticulture and Crop Science at OSU, updated participants of the Ohio Wine and Grape Conference on research findings of OSU's "Winegrape Variety Evaluation Trials."   Dami heads the 8-10 year study which  evaluates the viticultural characteristics and wine quality potential of more than 30 grape cultivars and clones new to Ohio.The goal … [Read more...]

Ohio Grape and Wine Conference: Making Good Wine from a Difficult Harvest

Ohio’s 2011 growing season and harvest was one of the wettest on record.“It was the worst harvest I’ve seen in 30 years. We had 75 inches of rain,” says Nick Ferrante, owner and winemaker at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante, speaking at the 2012 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference, sponsored jointly by the Ohio Grape Industries Commission, the Ohio State University Extension office and the Ohio Wine … [Read more...]

Brothers Drake and Middle West Spirits Express Ohio Terroir

Sitting side by side in the Weinland Park area of Columbus, Ohio’s trendy Short North, Brothers Drake Meadery and Middle West Spirits share a lot more than location. They share a goal that's familiar to many winery owners – creating products that are unique to the area where the spirits or wine are made. Terroir may be a term familiar to the wine world, but micro-distilleries are beginning to … [Read more...]