Napa’s not the only place to get great glou-glou, so celebrate National Wine Day on May 25 with some vino from our valley. These five Northeast Ohio sip spots will have you in the grip of the grape in no time.
Stop and smell the rosé at this Canton favorite. Right on Gervasi Lake, this 55-acre boutique winery is the perfect place to watch winter fade away. Check out the Piazza’s outdoor patio for a rowdy game of cornhole and live music Tuesdays through Sundays. Ramp up your resort trip and book a night (or two) at the Casa, the new hotel that debuted earlier this month. For a sip of sin, visit our favorite Still House for a chapel-inspired chug. 1700 55 Street Northeast, Canton, 330-497-1000, gervasivineyard.com
Since quitting his job as an industrial engineer, grape farmer Arnie Esterer has been on cloud wine. You know you’ve found his secret garden when you turn off South Ridge Road onto a gravel path marked by a concrete pillar that reads, “Markko Vineyard 1968.” For more than 50 years, Esterer has been pining over this 14-acre vineyard to create the perfect pour, and it shows. Nestled neatly on the shores of Lake Erie among Sherwood Forest, this fantastical winery is full of fruit-forward fairytales you’ll love. 4500 S. Ridge Road, Conneaut, 440-593-3197, markko.com
Make your grape escape to this historic vineyard that’s been in the family for almost 90 years. It all started in 1935, when Albert Klingshirn was nearly drowning in extra grape crops and decided to put 20 50-gallon wooden barrels and a wine press in his cellar. Now four times its original size, this 20-acre winery has become the grape-stomping ground of Albert’s great grandson, Lee. With a degree in viticulture and enology, it’s obvious the Ohio State University grad truly gives a sip. For a stellar spring sangria, try adding your favorite fruit to the award-winning, semi-sweet Niagara white. 33050 Webber Road, Avon Lake, 440-933-6666, klingshirnwine.com
Drink from the tap at this rustic-chic winery in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Booze in the breeze of the new open-air, timber-framed pavilion and grab a drink at the outdoor walkup bar. Featuring a butterfly garden and Koi pond, this 15-acre vineyard is one of 10 farms in the Countryside Initiative, a program dedicated to preserving the park’s natural character through agricultural. In that spirit, the vineyard serves most of its wine "on tap," saving on waste and production costs. Plus, you get more booze for your buck. Before heading out, pop into the tasting room to see some local artwork available for purchase. 1204 W. Steels Corners, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-929-8057, sarahsvineyardwinery.com
Sharon James Cellars Winery
Two years after planting their first vineyard, Jim and Sharon Sciaulino moved into the 5-acre winery of their dreams. A stuffy sommelier won’t block your sun while you sip in the view from the outdoor patio. Instead, relax with some Riesling as you bask in the shade under many red umbrellas. Feel that backyard booze mood with hanging planter baskets and a view of the grapevines just beyond the classic iron-rod fence. Complete with an equally comfy tasting room, wine bar and production facility, this Newbury winery has tons of country charm. 11303 Kinsman Road, Newbury, 440-739-4065