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Growing Grapes In Ohio
A Variety of Varietals
Many types of grapes successfully thrive in the soil across the state. And like these plants, the number of Ohio wineries and types of wine produced continue to grow.
One of the most popular of white wines, its taste can be described as anything from nutty and smoky to buttery and creamy especially when fermented and/or aged in wood. Chardonnay can also have a fruity flavor like green apple, lemon, melon, peach, pineapple or grapefruit.
Wine from this grape is delicate but complex and characterized by a spicy, fruity flavor and a flowery scent. Rieslings can range from dry to very sweet.
Pinot Gris/Grigio [PEE-no GREE/GREE-gee-oh]
The grape has a natural grayish hue, but it can produce wines ranging in color from white to slightly pink. Pinot Gris can range from light, crisp and dry to rich, fat and honeyed.
Seyval Blanc [say-VAHL blahnk]
When produced in Ohio and other parts of the northern United States, wine from this grape has a high acidity and the flavor is crisp and lean, often with a hint of grapefruit.
Vidal Blanc [vee-DAHL blahnk]
These grapes have a high sugar level and good acid levels and produce crisp, fruity flavor. The wine ranges from dry to sweet. The grape is also a popular choice for making ice wine, a sweet dessert wine made by letting the grape freeze on the vine, then picking and pressing them before they thaw.
Wine made from this grape has a spicy character with a flowery aroma and ranges from nearly dry to very sweet.
Other White Varietals
Ohio offers many other choices in white varietals, with Traminette and Vignoles being among the most popular. Traminette, a hardy grape that stands up to cold weather, has a spicy character just like its relative, the Gewürztraminer. Vignoles is a crisp wine ranging from nearly dry to sweet.
Cabernet Sauvignon [CAB-er-NAY SO-vin-YON]
These grapes are known for the flavor, structure, complexity and longevity they impart. The wines are high in tannin and medium- to full-bodied, with flavors ranging from black cherry and black currant to mint and cedar.
Cabernet Franc [CAB-er-NAY FRONK]
The parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, wine from this grape is usually a bit lighter than most Cabernets and has a spicy, fruit character.
Pinot Noir [PEE-no NWAR]
Young versions of this wine can be fruity, but develop a range of tastes including earth, fig and smoke, with age. Can range from a light-bodied wine to a fuller red.
A good-quality, ruby-colored wine that has a full taste and aroma. Tasters may notice any combination of berry, nutmeg or mocha flavors and aromas.
Other Red Varietals
Ohio has a host of other delectable options for red wine lovers. Catawba and Concord have been mainstays in Ohio's wine portfolio since the industry's beginning 200 years ago. Wines made from these native grapes offer a sweet, rich fruit flavor. De Chaunac is a versatile red with fruity flavors and warm aromas. Syrah/Shiraz is characterized by hints of blackberry and currant flavors when properly aged.