Located just five miles from the beautiful shores of Lake Erie in northeast Ohio, you’ll find the gently rolling hills of the Grand River Valley. The countryside is dotted with over 30 wineries and row after row of lush vineyards.

Thousands of years ago, the area was covered by glaciers whose retreat formed what we know today as the Great Lakes. The rich and fertile soil left behind, paired with the area’s unique micro-climate, creates conditions ideal for growing grapes. Slopes and valleys move air and drain water, allowing the flavors in the fruit to develop without being diluted. Warm sunny days and cool nights extending into the fall stretch the growing season long enough to give winemakers the perfect fruit. 

Grape Jamboree Festival

This vibrant and expanding vineyard region is responsible for over 50% of the grapes grown in the state of Ohio. Though grape stomping still takes place at the annual Grape Jamboree Festival, the fruit is highly respected in the Grand River Valley. It is no longer a place where the native Concord and Niagara grapes rule. Ohio is cultivating some of the best Pinot, Cabernet, Riesling, and Vidal in the country. It is a place where the Arts and Sciences collide as wine farmers and vintners collaborate over barrels in the cool cellars.  The local University offers degrees in Enology (the art of making wine) and Viticulture (the science of growing grapes) to prepare skilled students for the exploding grape industry. 

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Guests are delighted to discover award-winning estate wines and numerous boutique wineries. Difficulty often lies in deciding where to share a glass: along the waterfront, in a century-old church, or on a sprawling patio under the stars. They find unique culinary experiences to accompany every good bottle and live music on each calendar. 

Locals recommend a mid-week visit to avoid crowds and an overnight stay to avoid indulgence. Start a plan by visiting the website of the local visitors bureau: VisitAshtabulaCounty.com. Cheers!