There’s a wine country in Ohio? Wait, what?!
YES, there’s most definitely a wine country in Ohio! And I can share that IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL. Read on for all of the details on where we went, where we stayed, etc.!
A couple of weekends ago, some of my best girlfriends + I traveled to northern Ohio to Ashtabula County, which is known specifically for its Grand River Valley vineyard region. Currently home to 31 wineries, it is most definitely a trip you will want to put on your Ohio Bucket List!
We arrived to Geneva-on-the-Lake mid-day Saturday and stayed until early afternoon on Sunday. Ideally, you could stay for at least a couple of days, though, making it the PERFECT weekend getaway in Ohio.
Following an easy 2.5-3 hour drive from Columbus, we arrived at The Lakehouse Inn’s Crosswinds Grille, which is nestled on a ledge overlooking gorgeous Lake Erie, to enjoy a casual lunch al fresco. Amidst the sparkling blue water, warm sunshine, and crisp white sailboats in the distance, we commented many times about how we couldn’t believe we were still in Ohio!
The grounds of the Inn were outstanding: sprinkled with colorful flowers, cozy conversation pits, and stunning views at every turn.
Following lunch, we strolled alongside Lake Road or also known as “the strip”, exploring the history of Geneva-on-the-Lake, which was Ohio’s first summer resort, dating back to 1869. Although most of the shops here were closed for the summer, there was still plenty to enjoy.
We stopped and marveled at the 1956 Erieview Park Ferris Wheel and grabbed a fresh donut at Madsen Donuts (which has been there since 1938). I’m excited to come visit this area again in the summer.
Afterwards, we checked in to the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, which has the best location! Situated on Lake Erie’s southern shore, the Lodge is next to Geneva State Park, offers winery shuttles, and boasts lakeside cottages.
We refreshed ourselves in our suite and then excitedly hopped aboard our wine shuttle. A note about these wine shuttles: We booked them the week before we arrived to our hotel as they are very popular!
The driver takes you to three or four wineries, depending on the tour you sign up for, and you stay for at least an hour at each. The shuttle is WONDERFUL. I can highly recommend our driver, Ron!
A lot of the roads can be trickier, and obviously, having a driver while tasting wine is everything! The shuttle picks you up at the Lodge at Geneva and drops you off there at the end of the evening. It made the trip for us. Bonus: The shuttle runs year-round!
First up on our winery tour? Kosicek Vineyards! I adored this winery, you guys. It had a picturesque patio, overlooking their vineyards, complete with a rustic tractor. The girls + I enjoyed live music and multiple tastings here. We eventually decided on a bottle of their delicious rosé.
Next, we ventured to my FAVORITE winery we visited, South River Vineyard. None of my photos do it justice. You just have to go!
The property at this converted church is absolutely stunning! We were there during golden hour and I wanted to bottle up every second because it was so beautiful.
When we arrived, I was instantly greeted with the casual, cool, and historic vibe that South River presents.
Strolling through the back door of the church, though, wow! I was absolutely taken aback by the beauty of this vineyard, amazed by their large patio that overlooks the vineyard.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be there during a sunset! It was truly amazing!!! A must-stop in Ohio’s wine country!
Our next stop, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante! They, too, had live music on their patio which was awesome, and we were so very excited for their food to go along with our tastings. We shared the meatballs and chicken salads, which were all equally as delicious. Also note, we had snacks and charcuterie boards at the other wineries, but Ferrante offered the more substantial menu items we were then craving.
Last stop on the winery tour was Spring Hill. This stop was later in the evening which was great because they had a live band set up outside! Everyone was dancing and it was a fun, relaxed vibe! We sampled their hard cider for a change of pace and it was a great decision because we all loved it! After sipping on our drinks, enjoying the cover music, and grabbing a late night cookie, we hopped on our shuttle and were back to the cozy Lodge to call it a night!
The following morning, we borrowed a few of the complimentary bikes the Lodge has and we took them for a ride on the trail beside Lake Erie. It was a refreshing way to start the morning.
Afterwards, we checked out, and headed southwest to Laurentia Vineyard & Winery, an impeccable winery known for its brunch.
The grounds were magical, but we opted to sit inside because it was equally as impressive, with its large picture windows and rustic decor. Following brunch, we traveled back to Columbus, again, only a 2.5 hour drive from Laurentia.
Our girls’ trip was a welcomed weekend getaway and I know I’ll be back to explore more of the Ashtabula County area and wineries soon!