Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sandusky Ohio's Sand Hill Winery

Sand Hill Vinyard & Winery, about five miles south of Sandusky, is a little piece of Europe in Central Ohio. The winery, which just started making wine in 2002, sits on 150 acres that have been in propreitor, Dr. David Kraus' family for generations, since his great, great, great grandfather came to this country from the Moselle region of Germany. You might say that winemaking is in his blood.

Kraus, however, took an unlikely route to winemaking. He is a licensed psychiatrist and still maintains a practice in Greenwich Village (yes, New York City), where he lives during the week.

Kraus' approach to winemaking is a European one. He has planted over a dozen kinds of traditional Italian and French vinifera grapes, including Grenache, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Viognier, and Semillon. In an interview last year with the Lorain Morning Journal, Kraus said that he likens the Sandusky microclimate and limestone-rich soil to that in Turin, Italy.

Sand Hill bottles just 5000 cases a year, but they have caught the attention of the Wine Enthusiast reviewers, who give the winery's Hermes 2006 Viognier an "84" and their Semillon an "82." Both wines are available at local (primarily in Erie and Huron County) wine stores and directly from the winery. They both retail for around $15. You can also sample wines in their tasting room, housed in the family's restored 18th century barn.

Sand Hill Winery is located at 6413 Hayes Ave. (route 4) in Sandusky (about one mile south of Route 2). They are open seven days a week.

(photo credit: Flickr user: miss beckles/cc license)


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