So, I wanted to post a little note to all you Ohio winemakers out there. You’re working hard, and we know it. In fact, it’s been very obvious to many for a few years now that you’re doing a fantastic job. So why are Ohio wines still getting a bad rap? Donniella Winchell at the OWPA led a meeting yesterday at Candlelight Winery and made a very astute point: Because Ohio wines used to be primarily of the terrible Catawba (I mean terrible wine, not the grape!) ilk, the public perception was that Ohio winemakers just couldn’t make good one. Oh, the public can have along memory when it comes to not-so-delicious wines. The Ohio State University long ago recognized that enology and viticulture extension programs are vital to improving the quality – and thus, the economic health – of the Ohio wine industry. Growers are growing phenomenal grapes. Winemakers are making award-winning wines,and these awards don’t always come from the Ohio competition, either! Many Ohio wines have brought home awards from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. What’s more, people I run into at many national meetings have said to me, “I’ve had some really lovely Ohio wines this week!” Or, “Ohio’s wine industry has really stepped it up and made some huge improvements; what great wines!”
The annual, national Wine America meeting was held in our backyard last week – in Geneva, Ohio, and it makes me happy to say that many of these industry bigwigs were impressed with Ohio wines and the Ohio wine and grape industry in general. Wine America strives to keep American wineries moving forward in their businesses and keep the grape and wine industry across the United States growing and thriving.
The next national conference that was held last week in Sandusky, Ohio, was the American Wine Society, which is a group that “promotes the appreciation of wine through education.” What an elite group of industry members, indeed! More great comments on Ohio wines from wine enthusiasts from all over the world this time!
After speaking with many people at each of these meetings, I would dare say that the perception of Ohio wines from OUTSIDE of Ohio is definitely turning around, slowly but surely. Those of us who are in the know need to keep encouraging our friends and family to try Ohio wines and teach the world that many Ohio wines most certainly are excellent and deserve the kudos they receive!