Geneva, Ohio, was named after Geneva, New York, and nowadays, it’s home to a number of high-quality wineries, making it one of America’s most popular destinations for wine tourism.
The area is especially known for its pinot noirs and its ice wines, but there are many other treasures also waiting to be discovered.
Many of the wineries are worth visiting, and most offer wine tastings as well as food and great hospitality. So for anyone planning a trip, here’s our guide to the 11 best Wineries in Geneva, Ohio.
Best Wineries in Geneva, Ohio
1. M Cellars
M Cellars began as a family hobby but has now developed into a sophisticated operation that produces some of the area’s best wines, including an excellent pinot noir and a high-quality pinot noir reserve.
You’ll also find several other options that are worth sampling, including some delicious whites, a few sweeter options and even a sparkling rosé made using the traditional champagne method.
The food menu is more limited, but they do offer several sharing platters to enjoy as you sample the wines.
M Cellars boasts a picturesque setting, providing the perfect backdrop for wine tasting. They’re open every day from 12pm to 6pm – and open till 8pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
They also sometimes offer vineyard tours on selected Saturdays, allowing you to learn more about the winemaking process. Booking ahead for these is essential to avoid disappointment.
Address: 6193 S River Rd W, Geneva, OH 44041
2. Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
Run by a family that’s been in the wine business since 1937, the Ferrante Winery & Ristorante has a wide range of intriguing wines to sample as well as a kitchen that serves up classic Italian food for lunch and dinner.
When visiting the winery, you can enjoy the friendly atmosphere on the outdoor terrace that affords wonderful views over the vineyards. There’s also a dedicated tasting room that provides comfortable surroundings for sampling the best the winery has to offer.
Wines to look out for include the Mom’s Apple Pie Riesling and the fruity and jammy Round Barrel Red. They also run a wine club that includes a shipment of three bottles of wine twice a year plus other members’ benefits and discounts.
In addition, the winery organizes events – for example, they run the Ice Wine Trail throughout March – and they also have live music nights, which means any visit is always about much more than just tasting great wine.
Address: 5585 OH-307, Geneva, OH 44041
Email: Contact via website
3. The Lakehouse Inn Winery
The Lakehouse Inn is more than just a winery – it’s a comfortable and homely hotel situated right on the edge of Lake Erie too, making it an ideal place to base yourself if you plan to do a tour of some of the other wineries in the area.
If you do decide to stay here, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the winery’s produce perfectly paired with some of the delicious dishes that are served up in the Crosswinds Grille restaurant.
And while there, why not also take advantage of the on-site spa for a treatment and a bit of self-indulgent pampering?
As regards the wines themselves, this winery prides itself on its lovingly produced small-batch wines that include the flowery and oaky Lakehouse Riesling, the Lakehouse Chardonnay or the crisp Lakehouse Pinot Grigio that displays distinct notes of green apples.
Address: 5653 Lake Rd E, Geneva, OH 44041
At 175 acres, Debonné is now the largest estate winery in the state of Ohio, and they offer both wine tastings and winery tours for anyone who’s interested.
The winery produces a good range of wines that can be sampled – they offer a choice of different tasting trays that give you the opportunity to try and compare various wines from their vineyards.
These include dry reds, dry whites, a Riesling, spice wines and several other options. Also, don’t miss the winery’s ice wine, for which it is best known.
While you’re there, you can also choose from a selection of snacks, sandwiches, light meals or pizzas, all of which can be enjoyed in the pleasant surroundings of the winery grounds.
Interestingly, there is also a craft brewery on-site, so if you’re also partial to a beer or two, that could be another reason for visiting.
Address: 7840 Doty Rd, Madison, OH 44057
5. South River
Among the most distinctive places to sample wine in the region, the tasting room at South River is located inside a century-old converted church, which has led to the winery being nicknamed the “church winery”.
This setting helps create and quiet, relaxing and almost reverent environment in which to sample South River’s varied but invariably excellent wines, and you can choose to take a stroll through the vineyards, glass in hand, or admire the scenery from the rooftop pavilion.
Wines to look out for include a dry pinot grigio, an oaky chardonnay with notes of vanilla and a delicious pinot noir, the trademark wine of the Geneva area. Other interesting wines include a malbec, the only one produced in Geneva, and a couple of tasty ice wines.
Beyond a simple cheese board with bread, this winery doesn’t serve food – but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics, allowing you to while away a few pleasant hours in these tranquil surroundings appreciating the wine that’s made here.
Address: 6062 S River Rd W, Geneva, OH 44041
6. Hundley Cellars
Hundley Cellars is a family-owned winery that offers tasting sessions of a selection of seven pre-poured wines from their vineyards.
The rustic, lodge-inspired tasting room is perfect for all seasons, offering sublime views over the vineyards, agricultural land and forest – but the atmosphere is particularly cozy in winter thanks to the wood-burning fireplaces that help keep you warm.
Highlights from this winery include their sauvignon blanc, a lightly oaked dry chardonnay and a lovely summery pinot grigio. The merlot will be a big hit with fans of reds, and there are also a couple of more unfamiliar wines that are well worth a sip.
Although they don’t serve meals, they have a good selection of snack options like a meat and bread board or a pretzel plate with creamy bacon brie, whole grain mustard and Boursin cheese to make sure you don’t go hungry.
Address: 6451 OH-307, Geneva, OH 44041
Email: Contact via website
7. Old Mill Winery
The rustic Old Mill Winery is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a delicious meal as well as the opportunity to taste some excellent wines.
In terms of the wines they have for you to sample, there’s a good selection of different styles of reds and whites.
Look out for the complex, slightly oaky chardonnay, the flavorful and sweet Riesling and the big, full-bodied cabernet sauvignon – as well as a few more unusual options.
The food menu is just as impressive, and you can choose from such delights as their homemade pizzas, steamed mussels, pulled pork wraps, sandwiches, pasta options and many others.
The welcome is familial and friendly, and they’re open every day except Mondays – you can book ahead to be sure, but most of the time, you’ll be fine with no reservation.
Address: 403 S Broadway, Geneva, OH 44041
8. Laurello Vineyards
Laurello Vineyards is an award-winning boutique winery that was voted the best of 2020 by Cleveland Hot List readers. They offer a good selection of excellent wines and are especially well known for their ice wines.
Look out for their pinot noir with notes of cherry and blackberry, the Estate Grown Chambourcin that displays notes of pepper and cherry and the Peach Riesling.
Of course, you can’t miss their specialty ice wines, including the Simply Mad, a habanero-infused wine with a kick of heat in the finish, something you can’t leave without sampling!
Laurello offers a range of snacks and pizzas to accompany the wine, and their gift shop also stocks a range of fun and humorous items that any wine buff will adore.
Address: 4573 OH-307, Geneva, OH 44041
9. Kosicek Vineyards
Kosicek Vineyards is a winery that’s been run by the same family for three generations since the grandfather of the present owners emigrated to the US from Slovenia.
They make a wide variety of wines, including their Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, an Estate Riesling, an Estate Merlot and the Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon.
Look out for their ice wines as well as a couple of special creations like the Rhapsody, a pinot noir and Riesling champagne-style blend that displays distinct notes of strawberry and cranberry.
The winery also serves a decent range of snack food that matches well with their wines – or if you prefer something more substantial, you’re also welcome to bring a picnic.
Wines can be bought by the bottle or by the glass, but if you just want to taste, all wines from the winery are available in 1oz servings for a dollar each.
Address: 636 OH-534, Geneva, OH 44041
Email: Contact via website
10. Virant Family Winery
The Virant Family Winery is located just a short distance from Lake Erie, and their tag line is “where you’ll be treated like family”, so you should know what kind of welcome to expect.
As the name suggests, it’s a family-run operation. It’s now been passed down through three generations, but the first two only made wine for family and friends.
However, they now sell their products to the public too, allowing you to taste the fruits of three generations of wine-making experience.
They produce a range of tasty wines, both classic and more creative. Their Legacy Ice Wine is one to look out for, along with the strawberry wine with a strawberry shortcake aftertaste or their lively red raspberry wine.
Of course, if you’re more of a traditionalist, you’ll be well catered for too – try the Riesling or the cabernet franc and you won’t be disappointed.
The winery also serves food, and they can cater for groups and even larger events such as weddings. Contact them directly for more details.
They also produce craft beer, so it’s worth a visit, even if some members of your party are not big wine drinkers.
Address: 541 Atkins Rd, Geneva, OH 44041
11. Benny Vino Urban Winery
Benny Vino is another winery with a homely, welcoming atmosphere. They put on entertainment every weekend too, so it’s a fun place to spend some time with a few glasses of wine and some great food.
The winery is located in the Grand River Valley, so there’s some gorgeous scenery to admire while you taste their wines.
The range of food on the menu is a little limited, but all of it is excellent. The wine list is more extensive and has something for just about every taste.
For example, the robust cabernet sauvignon with notes of oak is perfect for those who like their wines full-bodied and with plenty of character while the Syrah is a better pick for those who prefer a bit more fruitiness.
Their whites include a chardonnay, a pinot grigio, a cabernet sauvignon and a Riesling.
This winery is also able to cater for private parties, so it’s an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for an original venue to hold your event.
Address: 834 S County Line Rd, Geneva, OH 44041
A great place to spend a few days touring the wineries
If you’re a wine lover who lives near Geneva, Ohio, or are just passing through, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit at least one of the wineries to sample the local product.
However, there are so many wonderful vineyards there, so if you have the time, you can stop for a few days to visit several of the wineries, turning it into a fun and rewarding mini wine tour of the area.