Have you ever heard of Put in Bay? It’s on America’s North Coast, west of Cleveland. I’ve never been there, but I’m told it’s a beautiful area of America, filled with great scenery and drinking opportunities. Unfortunately, it probably ranks among America’s most hedonistic areas on the weekends. A friend of mine (no church-going man, he) was stunned at the Bacchanalia he witnessed there on a few weekends, including mass drunkenness and public copulation. It’s also the home of the entertaining, though very off-color, Pat Dailey.
Anyway, it’d probably make a great place for some fall drinking, especially wine (something about fall colors and wine . . . . they go together). You could start with the Heineman’s Winery:
For 125 years, Heineman’s Winery, Ohio’s oldest familyowned winery, has provided fine island wine to Put-in-Bay residents and loyalists throughout the state. German immigrant Gustav Heineman founded the iconic winery in 1888 at the Catawba Avenue location where it stands today. At that time, most of South Bass Island was farmland, hosting 17 different vineyards, said Edward, who currently operates the winery with his father, Louie Heineman, and Dustin.
“Nobody wanted lakefront property because you couldn’t farm on it,” Edward joked. “It sold for next to nothing.”
The Heineman Winery property’s expansive caves — including the still-toured Crystal Cave, the world’s largest geode — served as the location’s main attraction during its early years, the group said. This was especially handy during the 1920s prohibition of alcohol, which virtually wiped out most of the island’s competitor wineries.
Today, the thriving business offers more than 20 wines and two grape juices, all locally produced from grapes grown in the Lake Erie Islands region.
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