Wines of North East Ohio: Part 2

Well what do you know… I finally got around to writing this recap from April! Yes, it’s true… Kent State offers an amazing class (for credit) all about wine! Actually, they have a couple. If you haven’t, check out Part 1 to hear more about my first day of class!

Part 2

For our second meeting of my wine class, we spent much less time in the classroom and more time out “in the field” (aka at wineries!) Woo! Our first stop after the introductory lecture was to Silver Run Vineyard & Winery in Doylestown, Ohio. We were given a tour of their facility, and we learned about racking, which is a process of reducing sediment in the wine. Silver Run is going on 3 years of operation. During our visit, we were given 4 wines to taste:


I’ve never had an apple wine, so this was really cool to try! Our second wine was a Riesling:


Up next was a blush blend:


Last, but not least, we tried a red wine:


We didn’t have time for any extra tastings, which disappointed us because there were quite a few on their menu that we wanted to try, including a peach wine! Guess that means we’ll have to go back 😉 Our next stop was lunch at The Barn (which is apparently pretty famous for Amish country cooking). The restaurant is literally inside of a barn – which is so cool.

The Barn Restaurant - Smithville, Ohio

I loved drinking out of mason jars! Their salad bar was AMAZING, and included soup & bread with a honey butter spread… yum!

IMG_7003 IMG_7005

After lunch, we hung out by the lake and fed the ducks, then headed back onto our bus. Our next stop was Troutman Vineyards in Wooster, Ohio. We also received a tour of their facility, and we were also given a tour of the vineyard! Back in April, it was pruning season for the vineyard.

Photos of the Troutman Vineyard.
Photos of the Troutman Vineyard.

The wines that we tasted were: an estate grown traminette, Red Menagerie, Farmer’s Red, and a Vidal Blanc ice wine. I remember the Farmer’s Red being very grape-juice-like.



I also tried the Blackberry as an extra tasting, and liked it so much that I ended up buying a bottle!



Our last stop of the day was the Ohio State Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center (OARDC), which was probably one of the most interesting parts of the entire class.


The OARDC’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences in Wooster, Ohio is a research station that wineries can send their wines to for testing and research.

The Department of Horticulture and Crop Science offers a unique focus area of viticulture research and works closely with the thriving Ohio grape and wine industry.  Research interests of the viticulture program includes: environmental stress physiology especially cold stress, wine grape variety evaluations, and vineyard management practices to improve the production and quality of wine grapes.  Student teaching is offered through internships and hands-on training in research and commercial vineyards.  The viticulture program also provides extension and outreach educational activities to grape producers and the public at large including an annual conference, short courses, and workshops.


We got to learn a ton from Todd Steiner (the enology program manager), as well as taste some “experimental” wines. We were taught how to do a proper sensory evaluation, by rating the appearance, aroma and bouquet, taste, aftertaste, and overall impression of the wines. We were given materials like an aroma wheel with different kinds of tastes (both good and bad) as well as a wine wheel, with food pairings for different types of wine.

This is a similar example of the wine aroma wheel, although not exactly the same one. {Source}

aroma-wheelIt’s a little hard to see, but this is the one we actually used:

We did 2 flights of tastings: the first one had 3 wines and the second one had 2 wines.

Wine #1 was a 2011 Chardonnay from Wooster, and we noticed hints of apricot, melon, citrus, pear, grapefruit, and oak. Wine #2 was a 2012 Traminette from Kingsville. We noticed that it was sweeter, with aromas of oak, honey, rose, and vanilla/spice. Our third wine was a 2012 Frontenac Rose from Kingsville. We tasted butter, cherry, and strawberry.

Our next flight had a 2012 Gamay Noir from Kingsville and a 2012 Syrah from Wooster. The Gamay had aromas of vanilla and black currant, while we tasted flavors of cigar (smoky), clove, licorice, and butter in the Syrah.

Visiting the OARDC was such an interesting experience that I’m so glad we were able to have! I don’t know where else you could get to do something like this, so I’m very grateful to Kent for having such an amazing class! Stay tuned, because Part 3 will be coming soon!