Featured Wine Events

Saturday, November 7th, 2009:

Weekender Wine Tasting – Woodstone Creek Winery – 1:00-5:00 PM

Friday, November 13th, 2009:

Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival – Jungle Jim’s – 7:00-10:00 PM

Saturday, November 14th, 2009:

Taste of the World Wine & Beer Festival – Newport Aquarium – 7:30-11:00 PM

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  • October 27th, 2009

    When Wine Gets Into Your Blood

    This is a guest post written by our good friend, Aaron Fetters, wine connoisseur and someone extremely active in the Cincinnati wine community.  Aaron will be a regular contributor and we’re super happy to have him!

    How does one go from growing up in a strictly non-drinking family to putting together dreams of opening a winery?

    Vineyard Sunrise

    Thus is a question I ask myself from time to time as I stare at my latest vintage settling in glass carboys. There’s just something about wine. An acquired taste some say. More like an idealized lifestyle for me. And so I find myself, early 30s, young family, very attractive/stable job, and dreams everyday of turning life on its head in order to make and sell wine. Why would I even consider it some ask. I usually sum things up with this simple statement…

    No one is unhappy when you’re drinking wine.

    I can recall with vivid detail the progression of my spiral into obsession with wine, and happy times they were all. I started enjoying wine the way many Americans do, by learning to drink White Zinfandel. The sweet easy-drinking stuff seems to be a favorite for those new to the world of fermented grape juice. There was the night of my new wife and my vacation in Charleston, SC. Dinner at Hyman’s Seafood – some amazing Cajun shrimp and a bottle of White Zin. We hadn’t a care in the world and that bottle seemed to magnify the enjoyment of every bite of food and every laugh together.

    Then there was the awakening – the moment you realize red wines are actually drinkable. No, not just drinkable but something different from anything that has passed your lips, settled on your tongue and smoothly rolled down to your stomach. A friend of ours invited us to a wine tasting at an acquaintance’s apartment. Nothing fancy, but once we had a chance to try a variety of French style reds all at one setting, we were hooked on wine as a drink. Wine as a lifestyle was about to come next. That happened, in fact, on our 5 year anniversary – a two week trip to Italy. We spent three nights at a B&B situated right in the middle of Tuscan vineyards.

    tuscanyEvery morning I woke up and was struck by the serene beauty and peacefulness of the Tuscan countryside. And to be immersed in the Tuscan (for that matter the entire Italian) lifestyle was to realize the central role wine played in their culture. As a child I spent Sunday mornings listening to pastors preach fire and brimstone against the evils of drinking. In Italy I spent a Sunday morning in a small town café watching a large family come together with laughs and hugs over bottles of the house wine. Wine as a part of life was becoming real to me – winemaking as a lifestyle was next.

    It was, of all places, northern Michigan where I began to idealize a life of making and serving wine.  My wife and I had planned a trip with another couple – 3 days of biking and visiting wineries in the Traverse City/Leelanau Peninsula area.  The landscape of this area in the late summer is stunning.  Lush greenery framed by the picturesque blue of Lake Michigan.  We hit up about 20 wineries in all, but one stood out for me and crystallized my vision of “what I want to be when I grow up”.  There’s a small vineyard called Willow Vineyard sitting on a hill overlooking the lake.  When you pull in to the place, you see green grapevines, a quaint little house serving as the shop, and deep blue Lake Michigan in the background.  At Willow we were served by the one man who runs it all – viticulturist, enologist, grass mower, salesman, you name it – he did it all.  And this man was happy, actually I think a better word is content.  He had found his place in the world – right there in that vineyard, growing grapes, making wine and then selling it to the happy customers that happened to stop by.  By the time we left Willow Vineyard I had decided one day I wanted to own and run a vineyard and winery.

    Over the past several years I’ve read several books on wine and winemaking.  In the spring of ’08 I planted my first 40 vines as a kind of “test and learn” project and added another 20 this past spring.  This month I just completed crushing and pressing of my second vintage from grapes brought in from California.  In short, I’m chasing the dream, chasing the lifestyle.  I actually enjoy my normal full-time job and have a hard time envisioning ever leaving it, but it makes life all the sweeter knowing I have a passion that is now a bit closer than just a far off dream.  Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll be fortunate enough to offer any of you reading this a sampling of one of my bottles.  There’s something about wine, it gets into your blood, livens the mood, enhances the times with loved ones and even opens doors to new friendships.  My hope is to one day share my experience with all who will join me.

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