Ohio’s Amish Wine Country is located in the northeastern part of the Buckeye state. The Breitenbach Wine Cellars, the Swiss Heritage Winery, and the Broad Run Cheese House are nestled along Ohio’s rolling hills. There are approximately 280 wineries scattered throughout the Ohio Valley!
For you who don’t know me or are first time readers, my name is Anthony. I am a travel blogger, photographer, and a practicing videographer for the travel site. My wife and I take several trips a year and share our wondrous experiences.
We, along with another couple from Canal Fulton had the opportunity to visit a few wineries in Ohio’s Amish community. Not only do these grape producing hills and valleys offer a variety of crafted wines, but various cheeses as well. You know your in wine country when you see a tree dressed in flags, flowers and bottles of wine.
I will be your host during the tour of two local wineries. I found that instead of writing two separate blogs, I will save some time by combining both tours into one. I will also let you know that we will be visiting a cheese house as well. It is attached to one of the wineries. So, without any further ado, sit back and enjoy our little adventure!
Our day began with absolutely gorgeous weather. The sky was a beautiful blue and the temps were in the mid 80’s. Our first stop was the Breitenbach Wine Cellar in Dover. The entry sign, “Der Marketplatz” matched it’s pronunciation to a “T”! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
After walking through the door, beside a dressed out tree, the room was a sparsely furnished. However, there was a stone fireplace with a picture of the winery’s founding couple. Dalton, a.k.a. Duke and his lovely wife Cynthia Bixler. They started the wine cellars in 1980. The name “Breitenbach” is the German translation describing the stream that flows through the property.
When walking into the main room, the ambiance and colonial decor immediately put us in a wine tasting mood. Here is where you can find a few novelties associated with the winery. You will be greeted by a host who will answer any questions you might have.
We chose a table and looked over the menu. The wine list provides bits and pieces of information but depending on your knowledge, you might need recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before making your choices. The host is more than happy to help. That’s why they are there.
After our specialist brought out our tasters and a cup of various cheeses, we could either sit inside or outdoors. The choice was easy. The outdoor pavilion provided picnic benches with large umbrellas for shade. Here is where we enjoyed our wine, cheeses and the beautiful weather.
Before departing to our next tasting room, we decided to pick up a few bottles of wine to take with us. We went back into the greeting room which led right into the retail portion of the winery. There were several wines we found favorable and ended up purchasing them.
After we selected and paid for our take-home wine, it was time to move on. We were excited to sample more home grown wines. On the way back to the car we passed a few stainless steel silos and the Winemakers Barn. These towering containers are used to either store wine or be part of the fermenting process.
This particular Winery is situated in Sugarcreek, Ohio – a neighboring community of Dover. It’s a little different than your traditional family owned winery. It is actually a distribution source for several wine producers. They have an assortment of wines made from fruit, grapes and a variety of berries.
On the same property is the Broad Run Cheese House. The award winning cheese producer is celebrating 70 glorious years in business. They manufacture over 120,000 lbs of cheese annually. Now that you know a little bit more about the Swiss Heritage Winery, let’s get started with the tour.
The boutique gift shop’s interior is exactly what you would expect in accordance to it’s Swedish heritage. Beside homemade cheeses, there are a variety of items that range from unique glassware, handmade knick-knacks, crafts and souvenirs.
While the rest were shopping, I came upon a friend sitting all by herself. I thought I would joined her but come to find out, I think she has had to much cheese and wine. Anyhow, we said our goodbyes and I went on my way. Do you think she’ll miss me?
From the retail store, we literally found footsteps that led us to the top of the hill. I guess they think if people have been doing the wine tours, they might need help finding the tasting and cheese room.
I gathered up our group and we started up the hill. The road doesn’t look that steep from the bottom. However, when the outside temperature is hovering around 90 plus degrees and the humidity is higher than normal, you will break a sweat.
For all you doubters, we did make it with energy to spare! Just to let you know, you can drive your car up the hill. But what fun would that be.
The Swiss Heritage Cheese is produced right on site, as the Swiss Heritage Wine is exclusively bottled here as well. A compilation of the regions most masterful wine makers can be found here at the Broad Run Corner.
Upon reaching the front doors, we went inside to cool off and refresh ourselves. We went directly to the bar and ordered our tasters and a cheese platter. Along with our crackers and cheese and trail bologna, we tried a variety of wines.
After finishing our snacks and wine samples, we wandered out to the patio. Given the time of day with being hot and humid, we would have loved to relax on the patio. I wish we could have stayed another night. I would have enjoy sitting on the patio during the evening hours with a nice Merlot.
Oh well, another time and day. Being avid travelers and always looking for our next adventure, we must move on. I hope you enjoyed our brief Amish Wine Country tour. It was a totally unplanned stop but you know what they say, “Some of the best adventures are the ones that aren’t planned”. We are look forward to our next adventure. So, stay tuned and we will see ya soon!
Photography: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Video: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Article Creator & Formatting: Anthony Scopel
Video Production: Anthony Scopel & Matt Kemper
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical Mastering & Web Support: Matt Kemper
Publishing Provide By: You, Me and The Dock
“A very warm and special thank you to our friends Peggy & Craig. Love you guys!”