Courtyard Winery 2015 Chambourcin

Courtyard Winery 2015 Chambourcin

     As we approached Northeast, Pa. during our recent visit to the Lake Erie Wine Region we were greeted by the obligatory downpour. Luckily, it was brief and by the time we pulled into the parking lot of Courtyard Winery the skies had already begun to clear. I had never been to Courtyard and was eager to taste their wines. The tasting room was very well designed with two bars, one for sweet and the other for dry. The classically styled wine library is decorated with wine barrels and the walls are covered by racks of archived wines. 

After tasting several of their dry Reds I decided on a wine that would be a perfect complement to picnic fare, Courtyard 2015 Chambourcin. This wine is barrel aged to help reduce the naturally high acidity of this grape. Courtyard 2015 Chambourcin is an easy drinking wine with red fruit flavors, light tannins and a smooth finish. Chambourcin pairs well with grilled meats or pasta with red sauce. The bright acidity and lighter body makes this Pa. Lake Erie wine similar to Pinot Noir in structure.

     Lake Erie Wine Country stretches almost 50 miles along the southern shore of Lake Erie between Harborcreek, Pennsylvania and Silver Creek, New York. On your drive you will pass through the largest grape-growing territory outside of California and the 23 wineries that call it home.        http://lakeeriewinecountry.org

Wine Library at Courtyard Winery

Wine Library at Courtyard Winery

Lake Erie Wine Country Wine & Cheese Weekend

     Lake Erie Wine Country will be presenting its Wine & Cheese Weekend event the weekend of April 21-23, 2017. There will be twenty two wineries participating in this event. Tickets are only sold online and must be picked up at one of the six

Photo Courtesy: Lake Erie Wine Country

designated pick-up wineries along with your gift bag. Tickets will be available until Tuesday April, 18 at 10:00 a.m. A ticket allows you to visit all the wineries for food samples, each paired with a complementary wine. Also included is a $5 gift voucher, wine glass, booklet containing all the recipes of the food you’ll be tasting and additional tastings. The cheese for this event will be provided by sponsor Yancey’s Fancy. Event hours are Friday April, 21st 12-6pm, Saturday April, 22nd 10am-6pm and Sunday April, 23rd 10am-5pm. One regular $38 ticket is good for all three days. The Designated Driver ticket is $20 and includes everything for the purchaser as a regular ticket except the wine tastings plus the $5 voucher is included at no charge. Friday and Sunday “Only” tickets are $28 and have the same privileges as a regular ticket but can’t be used on Saturday. For more information and to buy tickets go to the event website: http://lakeeriewinecountry.org/events/4

Island Wine Festival

The Island Wine Festival was held October 5th & 6th, 2013 on the grounds of the Put-In-Bay Winery in Put-In-Bay, Ohio.  Put-In-Bay is on South Bass Island in Lake Erie and is only a short ferry ride from Port Clinton.  The festival was set up under several large tents where vendors and local wineries displayed more than 400 wines that were available for tasting and purchase.  I was disappointed that more Ohio wineries were not represented because I wanted to taste a variety of their wines and see how the industry was progressing .  I did taste a dry Traminette offered by Chateau Tebeau Winery from Helena Ohio, one of the few Ohio wineries in attendance.  Chateau Tebeau grows a variety of grapes and owner Bob Tebeau told me this years harvest was excellent, with the Brix as high as 26.  Chateau Tebeau didn’t suffer the frost that hit many of the vineyards in Western Pennsylvania this spring.  It was the end of the season at Put-In-Bay but we all had a good time enjoying the party atmosphere that this destination is famous for, the only thing

Put-In-Bay Winery

Put-In-Bay Winery

The Miller Ferry arrives at Put-In-Bay from Port Clinton

The Miller Ferry arrives at Put-In-Bay from Port Clinton

missing were the in season crowds.  When visiting Put-In-Bay I suggest stopping by the Put-In-Bay Winery and Heineman Winery to get a little taste of island wine.  You can walk between the wineries or make the trip in a rented golf cart, the preferred mode of transportation of tourist on the island, but always remember you can be charged with D.U.I. even when driving a golf cart!