Neatly planted vineyards, all hand-dug, greet visitors to Sarah’s Vineyard. In the distance, a butterfly garden with a bright purple bench overlooks a pond. Butterflies and hummingbirds frolic over lupines — the 3-foot violet flowers create a romantic backdrop for a couple who share a picnic lunch.
The 30-acre vineyard, owned by Mike and Margaret Lytz, is meant to be a place to celebrate life and love — the name of the winery is in honor of Margaret’s 19-year-old daughter, who passed away in 1998.
“It helps motivate us to put a lot of care into it,” says Mike Lytz.
The feeling is mutual for family and friends who volunteered in 2003 to plant the 1,500 vines, which grow eight varietals of grapes such as vidal, seyval, cayuga, traminette and rubiana. The group worked 10 to 12 hours a day for four days straight.
To thank those who helped create the serene space, Mike has named several of his eight wines for people in their lives. “While helping us plant the vineyard our friend Joe kept saying, ‘I’m tired. I’m thirsty. Are we done yet?’ ” Mike recalls. “I told him, ‘As soon as we get this winery open, I am going to name a wine called Miserabile after you.’ ”
And he did. The dry table red, a blend of merlot, sangiovese and rubiana grapes, even has their grumpy friend’s profile on the bottle.
The spot also delves into the music scene with a popular Summer Solstice Festival each June and is known just as much for its wood-fired pizzas as for its refreshing wines.
“I love that this is something we created ourselves from scratch,” he says. “But what I love the most is that we’ve created a place that people enjoy.” 1204 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-929-8057, sarahsvineyardwinery.com