Nestled among 100 acres of lush vineyards that have blossomed for more than 25 years, Mastronardi Estate Winery cultivates 18 different kinds of grapes that resident winemaker Lyse Leblanc transforms into a prize-winning slate of wine varietals. Lakes Erie and St. Clair sandwich the region, naturally maintaining a suitable vine-harvesting climate that yields the building blocks of sweet dessert wines, crisp whites, bold merlot-cabernet amalgams, and sparkling varietals. Visitors tap into a rainbow of elegant elixirs during tours, tastings, and seminars, decamping to the winery's European-inspired tasting boutique, where a knowledgeable staffer points out oft-overlooked subtleties, such as the pinot grigio’s hints of honeydew and longing. Mastronardi Estate Winery donates a portion of proceeds from the floral-inspired Brianjë riesling to the Batten Disease Support and Research Association in memory of the daughter of owners Eadie and Tony Mastronardi.
As a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bruce Gradkowski often has his hands full training and running drills. Whenever he gets a chance, though, he heads back to Toledo?where he first made his name as starting QB for the Toledo Rockets?to visit the restaurant he opened at the edge of campus. Echoing Gradkowski's love of his adopted hometown, the menu overflows with dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, such as the salmon filet, praised by the Toldeo Blade for its "light coating of salty parmesan cheese crust ? cooked perfectly and served with a compound butter that added to the richness of the dish."
When Colio Estate Winery opened in 1980, they were the first winery in the area to seek a license since prohibition was lifted. This is surprising, since these vineyards lie on the same latitude as famed wine regions in northern California and Tuscany, Italy, which indicates that the regions could have similar growing climates. The area also boasts lush, fertile soil and a growing season longer than most of Canada, making it a favorable place to ripen grapes.
Today, Colio Estate Winery produces more than 400,000 cases of wine per year, including big red wines and refreshing whites. Knowing collaboration is key in the winemaking process, winemaker Lawrence Buhler and vineyard manager Kevin Donohue work in tandem to produce high quality wines in varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests at the winery can learn about their process on tours, wander the vineyard, or recline in the outdoor pavilion to enjoy glasses of wine in the open air.
Typically, when wine lovers try to find a new wine bar, they look for a cozy hole-in-the wall filled with gauzy curtains and illuminated by candles. When they're looking for the Battery Park Wine Bar, though, they just have to glance up at the towering smokestack studded with enormous red letters. Owner Mike Graley wanted to create a wine bar that would appeal to a beer drinker, according to an article in Cleveland Magazine, that also complemented the venue's "hip vibe and smart wine list of familiar favorites." Bartenders and servers regale guests with descriptions of their more than 100 wines available by the bottle and rotating selection of more than 25 wines by the glass. The kitchen crafts small plates designed to complement the fermented flavors with braised octopus and spinach salads, flatbreads spread with pumpkin-seed pesto, and thoughtfully composed charcuterie boards.
The rehabilitated space creates a modern industrial aesthetic by merging the old and the new. Exposed brick, high ceilings, and a massive garage door allude to the building's past, and geometric light fixtures hang between the gleaming ductwork above high-top tables. Guests can enjoy a drink at the polished wooden bar, stop in to pick up an impressive bottle before a house party, or reenact lessons from Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land at the pool table.
Thanks to twice-monthly trainings, the bartenders at D'Vine Wine Bar can give background on the taste and terroir of the more than 60 wines they pour, according to Cleveland Magazine. Visitors sip those varietals—or, alternatively, beer or craft cocktails—while seated beneath antique chandeliers, pairing their selections with shareable plates of artisanal cheese and charcuterie. Located in downtown Cleveland's historic Warehouse District, the spot offers a cozy ambiance that's complimented by a crackling fireplace.
Since 1948, Borrelli Cellars has guided connoisseurs through the process of vinting and bottling their own pours at its winery, using grape juice gathered from the world's top growing regions. Instructor, winemaker, and owner Frank Borrelli educates visitors on grape varieties, yeasts, and sanitary practices while divulging tips on how to consistently craft top-notch batches of vino or win foosball tournaments. While scouring the premises, students can pore over a collection of books, wine presses, and kits to put skills learned in the workshop to the test.