No one will blame you for thinking you’re on a European vacation at South River Vineyard. The sweeping views of 140 acres (80 of which are open to visitors) of grapevines and bucolic countryside are undeniably gorgeous. But the winery, housed in an 1892 church complete with pews and a regal, columned veranda behind it is the true draw.
“People tell me they love the view and it’s like someplace in Europe or California,” says owner Gene Sigel. “People go by, they see the building and the patio and stop, even if they’ve never heard of it.”
The wine itself is just as good as the views. Grapes are grown on the farm and the wine is produced in the winery’s underground wine cellar. The result is Grand River Valley vino that ranges from familiar favorites such as a dry riesling and pinot noir, to blends such as its best-selling red, Trinity.
Visitors can wander across the grounds to the vineyard’s sister locations, Red Eagle Distillery and the new Blackdoor Tavern for cocktails, and are welcome to bring their own food (there’s no kitchen) for a picnic.
“People love to come with blankets and their own seating and sit outside,” Sigel says. 6062 S. River Road, Geneva, 440-466-6676, southrivervineyard.com
Try This: Plum, raisins, tobacco and a hint of dried herbs combine in perfect harmony in the popular dry red Karma ($19).