I was thinking about a posting that I had read from another Blogger in cyber space about how there were wineries in all fifty states, and how many different states we could say that we had tried. As we were in Columbus, Ohio and all the relatives were going to a museum that we had already visited, I went online to find if there were any wineries near by, and see if I could get my Bride interested in trying something different for the afternoon. She was eager to see what was out there, so I picked a winery and off we went.
Wyandotte Winery is the first and oldest winery in Central Ohio, and is now in the hands of the third owners. The first two winemakers were more eclectic from what I gather, and the new owners are more varietal oriented in their venture. As we drove around until we finally found the winery, I was almost ready to turn around, as we were in the midst of a residential neighborhood, with no vineyards visible. We went in, and I am sure that I was not the first to ask, if this was a real winery, as even the structure was more of a domicile in appearance. I was assured that it was indeed a winery and the wine making was done in the cellar of the building. The winery buys grapes from Ohio and beyond and makes their wine as they desire. I later found that they have actually begun a small vineyard, and are in the process of buying more land and/or an existing vineyard. The young man that we started with for the tasting, after I related that I have a Blog, as small of a following as I have, decided to have another employee take over the duties of entertaining us, as well as pouring us tastings. We met Valerie Coolidge, the “Chief Whiner” and spouse of the owner and wine maker of Wyandotte Winery, we ended up having a grand old time and probably kept her captive for a couple of hours with discussions of wines. They had an assortment of different labels, all with artwork featuring buildings that had interest to Columbus and Central Ohio as landmarks. They were not trying to gouge the public, as they charged a dollar for every pour of wine, with a maximum of ten pours. Valerie was regaling us with stories about the wine, the labels and life in general; she was a fine raconteur in her own right.
I will mention the wines that we tried, as we kind of bounced around on the tasting sheet, but we were having fun. We tried “Heirloom” which was an Ohio Chardonnay, with no oak and fruit from Lancaster, it was crisp. “Our Heritage” was a blend of Carmenere and Malbec, and naturally the fruit came from Chile. “Tower City” was Cabernet Sauvignon and the fruit came from Lodi, California. “Ice House” was an Ohio Gewurztraminer, but it was less spicy then the ones that I enjoy from Michigan. “Glass Garden” was an Ohio Vidal Blanc a sweeter wine with grapes that are very popular up in the Niagara Falls district of Ontario. “Vin de Cacao” was a Chocolate infused wine that came out slightly sweet using the wine of “Our Heritage.” “Grandstand” was an Ohio Catawba, the sweet grapes that is grown throughout the Midwest and the along the Atlantic Coast. “Sweet William” was a blend of two different Ohio grapes, and for those working on the Century Club, two more esoteric varietals, the Ohio Foch and Niagara, both of which are “cold hardy” grapes. We also tried after being touted by Valerie the “Vintage Harbor Reserve” a fortified dessert wine made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in a Port style. We were going to skip the fruit wines, but Valerie brought us over two glasses of “Raspberry Summer” and had us taste the wine, and then she produced two Hershey Dark Chocolate kisses and had us try the wine again after eating the candy, and I must say it made all the difference in the world; though as my Bride said to me in an aside, that she could not eat that much chocolate to enjoy a bottle of the wine.
The winery also stages events, different dinners and even has private parties. Valerie made our visit so enjoyable, and you can see that she enjoys her position very well. We left after purchasing a Port decanter and wine glasses and six bottles of wine. My Bride selected three bottles of “Vin de Cacao,” two bottles of “Glass Garden” and a bottle of “Vintage Harbor Reserve.” It was a great way to spend some time and to try some new wines.