Just north of commuters zipping along Chester Avenue is a quiet Midtown vineyard — a vineyard with a mission. While the vines transform three vacant lots into an aesthetically pleasing green space, the efforts to make wine from these grapes aim to transform a neighborhood on the edge of reclamation.
This is the Vineyard and Winery at Chateau Hough. The urban for-profit winery is owned by nonprofit Neighborhood Solutions, founded by activist Mansfield Frazier. The winery is his brainchild and it serves two purposes. First, to bring positive attention to the Hough community by establishing a destination both chic and upscale, and secondly, to foster economic development in the neighborhood.
“We employ people from the neighborhood, and our vision is to raise the value of houses in the area, making it more amenable for people to build new homes in Hough,” Frazier says.
Visitors can reserve tastings to sample the winery’s seven vintages from Flame, a dry red, to Sassy, a sweet white. While the intimate, clubby tasting room has a limit of 10 people, the outside sitting area among the vines is just as pleasant. You’re in luck if Frazier’s wife, Brenda, serves as your host with her detailed descriptions of each wine. 1650 E. 66th St., Cleveland, 216-438-0964, chateauhough.com
Try This: The promise of chocolate truly delivers in Swoon ($20). The sweet red wine blends slight acidic notes from the tang of the red itself and has a creamy finish.