Today we visited Chateau Hough in Cleveland, where, despite the late date in April, it still seemed awfully wintery, with a cold wind and drizzling rain. Mansfield Frazier – the big-picture thinker and lead of this business – met us at the vineyard and talked about the background to this endeavor, about which you can read more here. The short story is that Mr. Frazier wants to improve his neighborhood, and to do that, he opted for change from within.
You can read all about Mr. Frazier and his plan on his website, but suffice it to say that we are excited to see what he is working so hard to put together.
Why visit Chateau Hough, you ask? Well, in an effort to learn about the industry in Ohio, one strategy is to meet as many people as possible in the industry, and Mr. Frazier certainly qualifies. A more important question, however is how can KSUA/VESTA and Chateau Hough work together? When we look at the courses and at this vineyard site, we immediately see that this site can be a practicum site for students to gain experience and knowledge in urban viticulture.
Because Chateau Hough is still in the early years of production (this is the 4th season for the vines – Traminette and Frontenac, which are excellent, versatile hybrids), students could work here for practicum experience in the vineyard. There will be a winery eventually, where students could intern as well for credit. Another credit opportunity would involve heading the social media and marketing aspect of the business. If you are interested in any of these, please do not hesitate to contact me.
It’s cold and rainy today, and temperatures are forecasted to be in the high 30’s (Fahrenheit) tomorrow, but spring will eventually get here, and buds will break, as they do every year. The Frontenac buds were swelling at Chateau Hough this morning – likely because temperatures in the city tend to be warmer, and the site is within a mile of Lake Erie. Growers are likely finished pruning or are close to finished by now, so let’s hope for a great growing season.