When people think of wine country, the sweeping vistas of Italy and France most often come to mind, as well as the more accessible Napa Valley in California. However, these are not the only places famous for their wines. The Grand River Valley in northern Ohio is not only fantastic wine country, but it is also one of the few places in the world where conditions are ideal for creating ice wine, a special treat for any true connoisseur. Ice wine is made by allowing the grapes to stay on the vine as the weather gets colder, freezing them naturally and allowing the sugars in the fruit to become more concentrated. The resulting product is significantly sweeter than regular wines and is considered to be a true dessert treat.
The Grand River Cellars Winery is the first stop for many when they visit the area, and rightfully so. The winery has flourished under the steady hands of owners Tony and Beth Debevc and Cindy Lindberg. The Ice Wine Festival, which runs the weekends of March 3rd, 10th, and 17th, is the brainchild of Lindberg, who visits the original festival in Canada every year. She was so inspired by what the wineries in the north were doing that she decided to bring a little of that wintertime wonder back home with her to Ohio.