Vermillion Valley Vineyards is located in Ohio, in northern Lorraine County, in the town of Wakeman, OH. It’s the eastern side of the state, placing them in the Lake Erie AVA, approximately 10 miles south of the shores of the great lake.
There was a time at the end of the 19th century when Ohio ranked third in wine production in the U.S., exceeded only by California and New York. Back then, most of our state’s vineyards were located either along Lake Erie’s southern shore or near Cincinnati.
Those wines were made from dozens of labrusca-type varieties, including Duchess, Ives, and Missouri Riesling. Prohibition brought Ohio’s wine industry to its knees, and it is only been revived in the last decade. Today, Ohio hosts close to 250 wineries, and its vineyards planted with both vinifera and newer hybrids.
Co-owners Joe and Kristie Juniper are a dynamic team. They run the vineyard, do the winemaking, and tend the bar. Joe is also on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Wine Board. And of course there’s Gordy, the ubiquitous and wonderful winery mascot.
The vineyard was planted in 2007 and the winery opened its doors in 2009. They grown Gewuztraminer, Traminette, Riesling, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot noir, Chambourcin, Dornfelder, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.