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Ohio Wine Region

With a Long Proud Wine History

Ohio, which is a mid-western state in the United States, is found to be associated with wines for a longer period time.

We can say that this state has a long, proud wine history that can be dated back to the year 1804.

Today, this state is becoming more and more popular for its wine industry and is found to be in the list of the Top 10 wine-producing states of the U.S.

Wine grape varieties

This is true in spite of the fact that the total wine production in the state is nowhere near to the wine production in the state of California.

An Overview of Ohio’s Viticulture

The state of Ohio is located just south of the Great Lakes with Pennsylvania to its eastern side and Indiana to its west.

Right from the traditional times, grapes were found to be the important cultivated crops of Ohio.

As such, the state is supporting the growth of both the vinifera and the hybrid grape varieties. Ohio State, which is covering a total area of about 116,000 square kilometres, is having most of its viticultural land along the edges of the Great Lakes.

This is mainly because the temperatures in these areas are found to be moderated by the lake waters. We could observe that the soil and drainage conditions in the state are more suitable for the cultivation of a wide variety of grapes.

Moreover, the latitudes of the important viticultural areas of Ohio are found to be similar to the world-famous wine-producing European countries.

Furthermore, the limestone soils along with the moderate temperatures are able to produce grapes of outstanding quality and intense flavours.

Wine Appellations in Ohio

At present, the state is home to five American Viticultural Areas, which are:

Lake Erie
This AVA is found to be having more than 17,000 hectares of vineyards and is located on the south shore of the Lake Erie.

The grapes were first cultivated in this AVA during the 19th century itself. After the prohibition of wine production during the 20th century, the planting of vines began here with an attempt to improve the quality of wines.

The major grape varieties of this AVA are:

Vitis vinifera varieties

  • Concord
  • Niagara
  • Riesling
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Pinot Gris
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Isle St. George
This AVA is located on North Bass Island in Lake Erie. It can be observed that about half of the total area of the island has been planted with grapes.

This AVA again is found to have a long history of winemaking.

The major grape varieties of this AVA are:

  • Riesling
  • Chardonnay
  • Delaware
  • Catawba

Grand River Valley
This AVA is found to be located in the Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties and is famous for the range of cool climate-styled wines.

This is a moderately-sized AVA and is often confused with the largest appellation called Ohio River Valley AVA.

The major grape varieties of this AVA are:

  • Riesling
  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Chambourcin
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Traminette

Ohio River Valley
This is one of the largest appellations in the whole of North American Continent and is found to be the birthplace of American viticulture.

This is also found to be the second-largest appellation in the U.S. with 67,300 square kilometres of land. This AVA is found to be centred on the River Ohio and its surrounding regions.

The major grape varieties of this AVA are:

  • Marechal Foch
  • Baco Noir
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Vidal
  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Riesling
  • Catawba

Loramie Creek
This AVA is located in the southwestern part of Ohio and is covering almost 1455 hectares of Shelby County. Loramie Creek is the smallest AVA and has no operating wineries at present.
Baco Noir variety is said to have come from this AVA.

Alcohol and Distilleries



Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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