The Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival is one of Ohio’s greatest winter traditions. Each year, local wineries come together to celebrate ice wine in all its glory! Read on to learn more about this one-of-a-kind event and how to make the most of your trip. Afterward, if you are thirsty for more, view our free Geneva-on-the-Lake Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of recommendations on local wineries, breweries, and restaurants you don’t want to miss.
Your Guide to the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival
What is Ice Wine?
Ice wine is a special type of wine. Unlike traditional wines which are made from grapes harvested in the autumn, ice wine comes from frosted, winter grapes. Once the grapes lie on their vine just long enough to freeze over, it’s time to pluck them up! As grapes freeze, the water within them dissolves, but the sugars and solids do not. The result is a sweet and delectable dessert wine.
About the Festival
When it comes to producing quality ice wine, timing and temperature is everything, and Ohio’s Grand River Valley has the ideal conditions for creating this sweet treat. Each year, this wine region celebrates ice wine season in a special way with the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival.
During the event, participating wineries offer samples of their ice wines along with a complimentary appetizer. In past years, wineries have also featured fun activities like ice carving, dog sledding, and marshmallow roasts.
2019 marks the 15th annual celebration and looks to promise a fantastic wine tasting lineup. This year, you can look forward to wine tasting, appetizers, and events at the following wineries:
- Debonne Vineyards
- Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
- Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant
- Laurello Vineyards
- St. Joseph Vineyards
The cost is $6 per winery, but you can save $1 off by bringing in a canned food item to support Ashtabula County’s local food banks. The Ice Wine Festival takes place on the first three Saturdays of March. 2019 dates are March 2, March 9, and March 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Find more information on winery menus and featured events by visiting the Winegrowers of Grand River Valley website.
Where to Eat After the Festival
A day of wine tasting will likely work up an appetite. Remember to pair your delectable ice wine with an equally impressive meal. At Crosswinds Grille, you’ll find a number of dishes to compliment your wine tasting experience. Our menu changes with each season to take advantage of the freshest local produce and ingredients. However, you can always look forward to savory charcuterie and cheese boards, pickled vegetables, wood-fired pizzas, and premium steaks.
During Ice Wine Festival weekends, our restaurant fills up quickly. We recommend making your reservation in advance.
Wind Down and Wine Down at The Lakehouse Inn
After a day of sipping and savoring the best of Ohio’s Grand River Valley, head home to The Lakehouse Inn. When you book any of our cozy accommodations, like The Lake Erie Suite, you can always look forward to the best amenities, packages, and top-notch service. Farm-to-table breakfast, afternoon wine tasting, and luxurious spa treatments are a few perks that our guests can enjoy!
If you are ready to plan your trip to the 2019 Ice Wine Festival, check our availability and book your stay. We can’t wait to host you at The Lakehouse Inn!