Ultimate Guide to Ohio Wine Country

Ohio Wine Trails

Wine trails span the state of Ohio, with six major trails ready to delight locals and tourists.

Lake Erie Vines and Wines, Northeast Ohio

The Lake Erie Vines and Wines Trail, on the south shores of Lake Erie and with the most wineries per square mile, produces award-winning pinot gris, riesling, pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet franc, chambourcin and Vidal blanc, as well as local wines.

There's more to experience, including spectacular views, amusement parks, oodles of indoor waterparks, and unique birding, especially at "Wine Islands," where tourists can see nesting bald eagles and magnificent migratory birds.

Appalachian Country, Southeast Ohio

Two hundred years ago, this region was hills, forests and rivers. As settlers built roads, canals and railroads, soil was piled into hills, which, with the shale base, proved to be excellent for growing grapes.

The area also nurtured craftsmen who created mosaic tiles, pottery, glassworks, basketry, furniture and folk arts. Then as now, crafts, and the area wines, are hand-crafted in regional traditions.

Canal Country, East Central Ohio

Man-made and geological history makes a tour here unique. See remnants of Native American cultures and ancient glaciers' impact on the land. Pioneer settlements and early railroads will place you back in time, as will the southern terminus corridor leading to Amish country. Expect a lot of charm, especially from the area's boutique wineries.

Nicholas Longworth, Southwest Ohio

Named for the father of American winemaking, this area is the most historic Ohio wine trail. Modern techniques led to European varieties, and the region also produces ice wines -- grapes kept on the vine until the first deep frost, pressed while frozen and used for high-sugar, low-acidic wines, often popular for dessert wines.

Capital City, Central Ohio

The Capital City Wine Trail is one of the most convenient, with a consortium of wineries all within 30 or so miles (48 kilometers) of Columbus. Some wineries here welcome you to come for a picnic, and others offer tastings by a fireplace. Some vintners even welcome you into their homes.

Lake Erie Shores and Islands Wine Trail, Northwest Ohio

This trail has more than a dozen wineries, including two on the Lake Erie Islands. It's considered to have some of the best scenery, and it also provides lots of fun with the largest indoor waterpark in the United States, the largest amusement park in the world (imagine 17 roller coasters and 58 rides!) and several other indoor waterparks, as well.