A Wine Weekend in Grand River

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We still run into food and wine fans who dismiss Ohio wines as dreck. But ever since North Coast vintners (mostly) ditched the sweet, native Concord and Niagara grapes in favor of hardy European varietals – Rieslings, Chardonnays, and the like – the region has come into its own. Open-minded gourmets can rinse the last vestiges of snobbery this coming Saturday June 23, with the Great Whites Wine Tasting Adventure. Featuring five Grand River wineries – Debonné, Laurello, St. Joseph, Harpersfield, and Ferrante – the noon-to-5 p.m. event serves as notice of how far the industry has come. For a mere $5, visitors to each vineyard can sample three pours of crisp, summery whites, paired with an appetizer. At Ferrante, this means samples of the award winning 2005 Grand River Valley Signature Series Riesling, 2005 Grand River Valley Signature Series Chardonnay and the 2006 Golden Bunches Dry Riesling, paired with Italian flatbread lavished with creamy ricotta, caramelized onions, and glazed peaches. And for those of you who like to find the deeper meaning in everything, please note: The event provides a great way to explore the North Coast terroir – the special characteristics of the Lake Erie soil and micro-climate that mark our local wines. That, plus a good buzz, too. -- Elaine T. Cicora

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