Firelands Winery is a joint facility of Lonz Inc, the same company that owns Firelands, Mon Ami, Lonz, Dover Wines and a few others. When the British burned the homes of the citizens of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, lands were allotted for them in the Firelands area. When they came to settle down in the area, they came with their heritage of fine winery and for this reason, heritage has always been vital at Firelands.
Originally the wine cellar was built by the Edward Mantey family around 1880 which is now embedded into the Sandusky facility. In the late 1979’s this facility was bought by the owner of the paramount distillers. He had a great vision of revitalizing the brewing industry in Ohio. The inclusion of Claudio Salvador as his wine maker brought a steady and positive improvement in to the industry as well. Today Firelands Winery has acquired the name of being the largest winery in Ohio bagging many local and international awards for its quality and great production of fabulous wines.
The Process :
Isle of St. George is quite a small area of not more than 2 miles in length. The great environmental setting and the fall’s air temperature with the 200 day of frost free growing season, the location is noteworthy and extraordinary for cultivation. So much great is its unique climate and topography that it is recognized by the US Government to establish the area for further betterment of productions. The fall is the season where grapes reach its maturity, harvesting around 100,000 pounds per day. The grapes are then loaded immediately and sent for processing.
The first process in the productions is to transfer the fruits into the crusher to start the course of action that converts it into “must”- a mixture of the skin and pulp with the juices. True enough the flavor starts at the vineyard, but it’s in the winemaker’s talent of ageing and blending that contributes to the correct and unique final result.
The division of red and white wine is next, where if it white that is desired it is sent through the “dejuicer” immediately, where in case of red wines, the fermentation is left to take place with the skin included.
Next is the extraction of juice through the process of fermentation. Yeast of a special strain is added to cause the fermentation. The time period for this process varies from about one week to a month. The fermentation tanks are usually made of stainless steel, which is very important for the wine, or else it would loose the varietal character of the fruit. There are some exceptions to this rule, where the older version of processing is preferred in cases of Sherries and Chardonnay to give its characteristic taste. The ageing of the wine is done in special conditions and with the constant watch of the winemaker, often doing repeated tests to gain its perfection. It’s only after the final approval of the winemaker that the liquor is sent to the sterile fillers and bottles.
A comprehensive tour of the winery gives you the first hand opportunity to see exactly how the wine is produced. It also includes the balcony tour where you get to see the cellars and bottling rooms; after which you could stop to taste the exquisite wines, which later you could hand pick from the wine boutique and the gift shop.
Group Tours :
Firelands Winery offers many deluxe tours that are normally for a group of 20 or more. This requires early scheduling. The tour includes tasting of four different wines, and other goodies with souvenirs with free onsite parking with no charge for drivers or escorts. The price for the whole tour is an unbelievable $5 and lasts around 1 to 2 hours. Reservation are not required if it is a group less than 15.
Gift Shop at Firelands Winery The gift shop is a definite ‘must visit’ place when you visit Firelands Winery. You can find many gifts for all occasions. One of the most common and popular would be the wine and gift basket. Most of the gifts let you personalize it while couriering is taken care of. It will be the prefect thing to do to remember all those amazing experiences you gathered during your vacation.
For all further details you could always browse into Firelands Winery’s official website at http://www.firelandswinery.com/