At the second-largest vineyard in Ohio, co-owner and winemaker Joe Juniper is passionate about creating wines using sustainable practices. His goal is to produce and sell a healthy crop rather than maintain a manicured country club-style winery.
“It’s kind of a hippie tree-hugger approach,” he says. “It reflects in the bottle, the bottom line and, ultimately, in customer satisfaction.”
The wines Vermilion Valley Vineyards creates on its 102 acres are 100% estate-grown, with everything from the vine to the bottle being produced on-site. Additionally, no grapes or juices are brought in from outside sources.
With a tasting room and outdoor space that fits up to 175 people, the laid-back atmosphere encourages guests to enjoy the vineyard’s rustic, natural setting.
“We typically produce classic, old-world European-style wines that favor the dry side,” says Juniper. “It attracts a certain clientele that’s a little slower-paced and a little bit more sophisticated.”
Relaxing while sipping wine on a working farm is part of the charm at Vermilion Valley.
“The goal has never been to blow this place up to be the hottest thing on the market,” says Juniper. “Instead, we want to remain the gem in the countryside.” 11005 Gore Orphanage Road, Wakeman, 440-965-5202, vermilion-valleyvineyards.com
Try This: The 2018 cabernet franc ($26), a dry yet savory wine with earthy flavors, will pair well with whatever you’re serving for dinner.