Not Your Uncle’s Home Brew—a surprising day of wine tasting, continued

all the details about the wines. She proudly introduced us to her daughter, Tracy, the wine maker.

We sampled the whites, the chardonnay which is dry, slightly oaked and delicious. Since it was a warm summer afternoon, the Gruner Veltiner was especially delightful as a light summer, sipping wine. 

Hundley produces a fun white wine called “Pink Camo” — a semi-sweet blush. A dollar for each bottle sold goes to ZONTA, an organization to help victims of domestic abuse. 

The winery is an L-shaped home that has been converted to a winery. In the back yard are a lovely garden and pond and inside there’s a welcoming stone fireplace for the colder months. On Saturdays and Sunday from 2 to 5 pm. they have live music.

A short drive down highway 307 we arrive at St. Joseph Vineyard. 

Owned by the Pietrzyk family, St. Joseph Vineyard has been open since 2010 but has been making wine with vines that are 30 years old. This winery is proud of their Pinot Noir, the first produced in Ohio.

In the Finger Lake International competition St. Joseph Vineyard won a Gold for their Shiraz and Dry Riesling, and in the San Francisco International competition won a Silver for the Pinot Noir.

All their grapes are grown on their estate and Art Pietrzyk is proud to tell me all about the history. He explained the name “St. Joseph” came from a time when he got a wine-making kit as a gift and thought it would be a fun thing to do with his family. His father was ill at the time and his mother told them all to say prayers to St. Joseph.

When his father recovered he wanted to surprise Art by picking all the grapes growing around the house. “He mistakenly put all the grapes together, not knowing to separate the different varietals,” Art says. Art made wine anyway and named it “St. Joseph’s 12+1” for all the grapes that were combined and saint who answered their prayers to help his father.

With storm clouds looming, we made our way to the Laurentia Vineyard and Winery. 

This winery is the newest in the area and one that is reminiscent of the palatial California or Virginia wineries I have visited. Owned by Gary and Leonard Blackie, Laurentia Vineyard & Winery opened July 1, 2015.

At the wine bar we visited with Chelsea. She explained they have 27 acres of vines planted in 2011 and 10 more planted in 2013.

We tasted the Beton Riesling and Beton Chardonnay, both of which are aged in concrete and are delightfully fruity and refreshing summer wines. The 2014 American and 2014 Lake Erie Chardonnays are aged in oak and come across with fruit forward flavor but with a buttery ending. We tasted the 2013 Cabernet Franc which we found to be lively and bright. 

The wine cellar at Laurentia Vineyard and Winery can be rented for parties of up to 50 people. The deck is beautiful and inviting for the summer afternoon/evening. On Saturdays from 5 to 8 they have live music and in the colder months there is a beautiful indoor seating area and huge stone fireplace just asking you to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon there.

The rain was moving in quickly so we scurried home having had a delightful afternoon exploring the wonderful wineries of Northeastern Ohio.

 —Virginia Jones

Virginia Jones is a retired chiropractor and self-proclaimed gypsy. Every chance she gets she’s off exploring someplace new, even those places close to her Alexandria, Virginia home. Currently she’s an independent corporate trainer, a vocation that allows her to travel all over the US, having adventures and exploring new places she never imagined visiting.

Virginia’s web site is and as she says, “my suitcase is always packed and awaiting my next adventure.”

If you liked this feature by Virginia Jones, read her feature, Traveling to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Historic Plantation Home