When visiting Amish Country you may also wish to see what else northeast Ohio has to offer. Late fall and winter is the perfect time to take a trip to Ashtabula County.
Nestled between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania, with 26 miles of shoreline along Lake Erie, Ashtabula County is the heart of the Grand River Valley Wine Region. This area produces over 50% of the state’s grapes and is home to national and international award-winning wines.
This time of year, the vast majority of grapes have been picked and placed in barrels for fermentation. The fruits remaining on the vine are enjoying crisp, cold nights so the sugars can multiply for ice wine. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. Pressed while still frozen, ice wine requires a consistent cold climate which is unique to this growing region.
It’s also the perfect time to spend time with local winemakers. Sip on a glass of something sweet or dry as you learn about their history, their passion, and how they craft some of the award-winning wines. Guests are often served or given a tour of cellars by the owners, family, or friends. Don’t know the wine lingo? No worries! Let them know what type of wines you enjoy and they will be happy to make a recommendation and give you a few tips along the way.
Lodgers are lighting fireplaces to prepare cozy stays for guests to enjoy. Whether you stay at the Lodge at Geneva which overlooks Lake Erie, or if you prefer something more secluded, such as a cottage in Vineyard Woods or a B&B at Buccia Vineyards, your ideal cold-weather escape awaits.
Delicious meals can be found in all corners of the county. Visit the historic Ashtabula Harbor for a juicy steak from Rennick Meat Market, or a slice of wood-fired pizza from Nights & Weekends. The Harbor Halcyon shakes up custom cocktails and Fitzgeralds Wine Bar offers local wines as well as other unique bottles from around the globe. If beer is more up your alley, Cloven Hoof Brewing offers several custom brews on tap. Not far away is Red Eagle Distillery awaiting with a selection of winter warmers.
While you’re in Ashtabula County, don’t miss the longest covered bridge in the United States: Smolen Gulf bridge, spanning 613 feet above the scenic Ashtabula River.
For outdoor recreation enthusiasts, the Western Reserve Greenway Trail is a 27-mile paved rail-to-trail great for biking, walking, running, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Don’t forget to look for the snowy owls which are returning to their perches on Lake Erie.
Between the beauty of the changing seasons, 19 picturesque covered bridges, acres upon acres of vineyards, and over 30 wineries, we invite you to join friends and family for a relaxing trip to be remembered.
Go to VisitAshtabulaCounty.com to start planning your perfect getaway today.