The Group Travel Leader

OHIO 2017

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22 2 0 1 7 o h i o h a s i t ! g r o u p t r a v e l g u i d e In addition to the area's many attractions, guided horseback rides through the Mohican Valley are available. Massages, pedicures and manicures can be arranged in advance. PLUM RUN WINERY GROVE CITY Southwest of downtown Columbus, Plum Run Winery opened in 2012 and continues to add to its off erings. Original owners Dave and Diane Crosby grow primarily traminette, vidal, chambourcin and cab- ernet franc grapes, plus several other varietals, at their nearby farm. Plum Run produces 16 diff erent labels including reds and whites, and rose, fruit and port wines. If the winery needs additional grapes, they source approximately 95 percent from Ohio growers. e win- ery recently expanded its back patio to seat 72 guests, and the con- nected the front patio to accommodate approximately 50 people. e winery's tasting room seats nearly 40, and the menu, serving cheese plates, fl atbreads and paninis recently expanded in 2016. "We off er group tastings two ways," said owner Dave Crosby. "We can organize a tasting where everyone samples the same wines, or if groups want more fl exibility, we issue tickets. at way, people can come up to the bar and choose whatever they want." e new brewery produced its fi rst beer in August 2016. Crosby said the brewery's tasting room off ers 18 taps, with the goal of half of those beers being produced on-site and the rest sourced from within Ohio. Tours of the winery and brewery can be scheduled. "Wines and Canvas," which are sip and paint classes, take place the second Tues- day of each month for up to 28 people. FIRELANDS WINERY SANDUSKY Award-winning Firelands Winery is the state's largest producing and distributing winery. Its name originates from the Firelands re- gion of north-central Ohio, which was allotted to Connecticut citi- zens whose homes were burned by the British during the Revolution- ary War. As they resettled, they brought with them their winemaking heritage. Today, the winery produces 15 Firelands estate wines; 12 Mantey sweet wines, named after the original owners; fi ve sparkling wines; and two nonalcoholic wines. Grapes are grown on-site and also are obtained from the I-90 corridor of New York and Pennsylvania, since demand far exceeds the winery's acreage. Firelands' winemaker for 30 years, Claudio Salvador, hails from Italy. His 2014 Firelands gewurztraminer won best white wine in the state at the Director's Choice awards. e best-selling Fifty-Fifty la- bel is a sweet wine created with 50 percent Concord and 50 percent Niagara grapes. Ice wines are quite popular and can sell out. e win- ery also stocks home winemaking supplies. Hourlong, group tastings take place in an upstairs room that ac- commodates up to 60 people. Flights feature four one-ounce samples plus a bonus round, usually an Italian import. Salvador imports Ital- ian wines — one label is from his wife's family, who are winemakers in Italy. Flights range from sweet to semisweet and dry. Each person takes home a glass with the winery's name stamped on it. W I N E R I E S Courtesy Plum Run Winery Courtesy Plum Run Winery Courtesy Lake Erie Shores and Islands Plum Run's vineyard Tasting room at Plum Run Firelands Winery gift shop

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