Wandering around Ohio Wine Country in Geneva, Ohio

It’s an overcast, dreary, dewy morning… but look how much I care!

My husband and I had just arrived at Geneva State Park in Wine Country Ohio, and we were baby free for TWO WHOLE DAYS! (Not very long, but I’ll take it!) As much as I adore my six month old, I was really happy to get away with my husband. People tell you to “never stop dating each other”, so we decided to follow this advice and do something we enjoyed before responsibility really hit us this past January: Wine Tasting. You don’t even have to leave the state of Ohio to do this.

We felt a little strange leaving our baby for the first time, but managed to get on the road and into Ohio Wine Country pretty early. We passed some time taking pictures at the State Park. (This was fun because I’m still learning how to take nice pictures with a nice camera!) By noon, the wineries were open and it was time to taste!

(The nice thing about Geneva is many of the wineries are lined up along two main streets. Although you can’t really walk to all of them, It’s really hard to get lost!)

This was the perfect place to try some Ohio grown white wines. We were like kids at a candy shop sampling at the wine bar! They had sweet and off-dry locally grown grapes, like Riesling, Traminette, and Niagara. (We are growing Niagara, so that was exciting to taste!) They also had some dry options, like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. They have some cute descriptions on their wine list. 

We sat by this lovely little pond and talked about life.
Check out these delicious flatbreads we ate for lunch!

We liked that the menu wasn’t your typical winery menu of only cheese and crackers (although there is ALWAYS a time and place for that). 

Eight tastes and four glasses of wine later (between us), we decided to head back and rest up for the next winery!

Debonne is one of Ohio’s largest wineries, and their wines have won many awards. There is something for everyone here. (They even have beer!)

I’ve heard the whites are fantastic, but we were feeling reds this evening, and settled on a sampling tray of six. (Side note: The wine tastes better out of the souvenir glass they give you…not the medicine cups…)

The Pinot Noir/Syrah blend was a nice fruity wine, and we ended up buying a bottle for my parents. The Merlot was really smooth and delicious, but the Cabernet Franc won us over, and we got a bottle to share while playing cards and watching a storm come in.

This winery felt a little bit…well, old, but I think that is part of the experience. It’s definitely an established place. There is seating everywhere and a great area for live music. There are mainly sandwich options for dinner. (Ordering dinner felt a little like ordering lunch from a crowded poolside burger bar, but it was tasty.) 

We were feeling pretty “out of practice”, but we did manage to get ourselves out of bed the next morning for more wine tasting. We picked up some cheese and crackers first thing after breakfast. (We went an entire day of wine tasting without CHEESE and had to fix that!) 

South River Vineyard was our first stop on day two! 

I’ve been here before and it left a good impression on me. I really couldn’t wait to go back! It’s absolutely stunning.

The winery is located in an old church. If you sit indoors, you get to enjoy your wine sitting on the pews! The back of the church opens up to this grand balcony, which makes you feel like you are definitely not in Ohio. There’s also a pavilion with a fireplace further back, which is quite cozy!

We tasted both whites and reds here. All of them were decent, but we were in agreement that Cabernet Franc was again, the best of all.
It might be gloomy, but this guy is happy to be here!

My parents sent us with a basket of goodies, and we ate them with our cheese and crackers. They don’t have a food menu here, but they welcome picnics (a little more work on our part, but the atmosphere is worth it)!

It was a bit windy upon arrival!

About an hour after we started tasting, the clouds parted, and the sun came out.

Sitting on that balcony is magnificent. We spent a lot of the morning trying to figure out how to play Cribbage (not an easy game to figure out while drinking), then we headed to our final destination.

Welcome to Laurentia Winery and Goodbye all of our money!!! …but worth it

This place was newer and definitely appealing to my husband’s fine attention to design and detail. It felt like being in a lodge… but modernized… yet vintage looking. It was gorgeous everywhere you turned! There was a wine bar upstairs AND downstairs in the wine cellar.

The service also made me happy. The lady at the wine bar did a great job of leading me to a wine I enjoyed, which I appreaciated. That wine was an Unoaked Chardonnay.

We sat by this pond.
Here’s me doing what I do best… bringing the wine to people!

We drank Gewurztraminer and somehow still found countless things to talk about…

We shared some of this delicious food.
We ended the evening on this patio overlooking the winery and vineyards.

Someone left a half bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon on their table (I’ll never understand this). We did them a HUGE favor and didn’t let it go to waste! 

…Then we bought a bottle of the same thing and stayed up until 2am talking about life stuff. It was the best.

I was thankful for my two days of sleeping in because it was back to “momming” 24/7 on Sunday!

Go visit Ohio Wine Country. Bring your family or friends …or both. You will be better for it!


I'm Kendeigh, A Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine with a passion for everything wine + beverage. Are you on a journey to learn more about the wine world? The Grape Grind is a platform full of wine inspiration, wine study materials, resources, and personal tastings geared towards your wine journey. Check out the ABOUT tab to learn more!