Each of the six Ohio wine regions offers its own unique experience, as well as vastly varying numbers of wineries, with some having as few as five and others with nearly 20.
These days, the Ohio wineries have a lot to celebrate, as the number of wineries in the state keeps growing, and Ohio wines increasingly take home top prizes at wine competitions around the country. The Ohio wine industry is also becoming quite creative when it comes to offering interesting tours.
If you choose a private tour, your guide will pick you up at your hotel (or home) and will usually escort you on a half-day excursion to several wineries, if not more. This sort of private tour often includes lunch; ask for just the right food and wine pairing for your wine country meal, and be sure your tour guide is a walking fact book, ready to describe the history and unique characteristics of your destinations.
Tour companies may offer themed tours, designed to appeal to your specific interests. One example might be a cabernet tour, during which you'll learn about and taste the cabernets of the region. One company offers a moonlight tour, showcasing the beauty of wine country as it looks under the evening glow. You might also enjoy a wine country garden tour. Or, if you're in Ohio wine country for a special getaway, you may want to treat yourself to a bride- or groom-to-be tour designed just for prenuptial fun.
During peak seasons, some regions offer taxi and shuttle wine tours open to the public, with pickups at specified locations. You might enjoy a shuttle tour, as it will allow you to meet other travelers and share the experience. And if you're feeling especially daring, you may want to take a hot air balloon tour.
Whichever way you tour, you'll want to consider timing your visit to coincide with Ohio events such as the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, a two-day extravaganza in late summer with live music, wine and cheese exhibits, and works by local artists. Or hit the Cincinnati Wine Festival in March, the Cincinnati Food & Wine Festival or the Cleveland Wine Festival in June, or the Viva Las Vino in Columbus or Fleurs et Vin in Dayton in the spring.
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