We are just a little winery in the scope of the big dogs but the winery does help to make us more of a “Muscular” Agri-Tourism destnation. Ohio wine and more is just the story of a family farm, farm market and now winery “keeping it real” down on the farm.

On Wednesday my brother-in-law Todd assembled the crew and we put some wine in a bottle. Some of the wine they are bottling today is the first actual full run of our estate grown fruit from the summer of 08′. As I have mentioned we take a very broad look at our agricultural business. From growing peppers, melons, sweet corn and more to operating corn mazes and now producing and direct selling wine also. We farm about 700 acres still, down from about 3,000 8 years ago. It is plenty to keep us busy as you can see by the diversity of my posts.

When it comes to the wine part we first have the customer in mind. We produce what we perceive they desire. We measure that desire by what they like to buy. We are an Ohio winery that grows its own fruit, buys some Ohio local fruit and or sources the right fruit for the right wine where ever we find the best raw materials. There is no point in making a class of products that do not meet our guests expectations only to say that we grow it ourselves or sourced the inputs local. That is why we do not grow hardly any red grapes to be made into traditional Big Bold Dry Red wines. You are just at a competitive disadvantage when entering the marketplace. With limited resources we have to be careful where we chose to compete. So that is how we make variety selections when choosing what to grow or what to try and source local.

We buy local Elk meat from a local grower, local eggs from a man up the street, and we are soon to get in local goat cheese from a lady up in Ravenna. In addition to that we grow way too many veggies most years too, and many of our other packaged products are Ohio Proud partners. We hope to pair these products with our wine selections we produce and vertically integrate that into on site food sales in our cafe’. In order for us to remain competitive and have the largest positive economic footprint we can on our community we try a juggle a wide range of products and services for our guests.

I guess all I am saying is please buy local where it makes sense and your producer is trying to produce the best product possible to fit the need you have. Don’t buy local just because it is just “Local”. It’s about the competition, it makes us all better. Buy local from the vendor that uses it to balance their approach to the marketplace in such a way that they help to “bridge the gaps” that have the greatest impact on their community. Buy local from the marketer that has a vision and goals large enough to produce enough economic activity that they can sponsor the local kids’ sports team, can buy at the 4-H sale at the county fair, or have the ability to endow a college scholarship at the hometown high school.

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