Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
Summary: Ferrante Winery & Ristorante is a delightful winery to visit. The old world Tuscan style architecture of the facility enhances the visit. Good wines and food at reasonable prices add another incentive for consumers to visit the winery and restaurant. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful facility and friendly staff. Ferrante Winery is one of the largest wineries in Ohio.
Ferrante Winery & Ristorante is a family-run winery located five miles from Lake Erie and is within the Grand River Valley AVA. The location benefits the vineyards by providing protection from late spring frost damage to buds and early fall cold snaps.
Upon entering the tasting room foyer, the first word that comes to mind is elegant. The tasting room is located to the left and to the right is the restaurant. The atmosphere is both elegant and friendly.
We met Mary Jo Ferrante in the tasting room that is cozy and comfortable. Mary Jo is passionate about this family owned and operated winery. In the tasting room, visitors may choose from tasting wines at the counter or at small tables. On the day of our visit, Christmas decorations were in place in both the tasting room and restaurant. The decorations added a lovely ambience and friendliness to the facility. Mary Jo gave us a tour of the winery. Two pieces of equipment caught our eye. One was a large bladder press made of wood. Previous bladder presses were made of metal. Another were two stainless steel tanks with computerized punch down attachments. This alleviates the need for a winemaker to punch down during late hours. One can set the computer to have the punch down automatic. The tanks can also be used to age wine.
The vineyards consist of 20 acres behind the restaurant and 20 acres down the road. The vineyards are home to Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Vidal Blanc, Niagara, Catawba and Cabernet Franc. The only grapes sourced outside are Merlot that comes from Long Island. The winery produces 110,000 gallons (almost 46,000 cases) of wine. French, American and Hungarian oak barrels are used. Mary Jo commented that white wines are their “strong point.”
The Ferrante winery and vineyards has a long history and today the 4th generation is very involved with the entire operation from vineyards to restaurant. The Ferrante family purchased the property consisting of 60 acres in 1937. Today the winery is one of the largest wineries in Ohio.
The tasting room is the perfect place to put one in the shopping spirit. Be sure to take time to browse the delightful giftware available. For the person who has “everything” gift baskets are sure to be a hit. Creatively labeled, some of the basket labels read, Souper Supper, Caribbean Getaway, Afternoon Tea Time, Chili Chill and Wine & Dine for Two.
Sitting at a small table with Mary Jo, we tasted several wines beginning with the Reserve Chardonnay 2007. This wine offered a light oak and apple aroma with an apple taste. The finish was crisp with apple yielding to oak and butter. Signature Series Grand River Valley (GRV) Chardonnay 2007 had an apple aroma. The taste was smooth with apple, some citrus and a hint of oak. The finish was smooth and buttery with fruit. Pinot Grigio 2007 had a complex aroma of apple, pear and grapefruit. The taste also had apple and pear nuances with citrus. The finish was crisp with a long grapefruit aftertaste. Golden Bunches 2007 was a dry Riesling. The aroma offered slight floral and mineral tones. The taste had peach with some mineral nuances. The finish was crisp with a peach aftertaste. This wine was delicious and we noted at another local restaurant the next day, this wine was on the list. Gewürzt (short for Gewürztraminer) 2006 had a floral aroma. The taste was complex with floral, spice and fruit salad nuances. There was a long fruit aftertaste. The Cabernet Franc 2005 Icewine offered a fruit cherry aroma. There was a strawberry-rhubarb taste with a smooth crisp finish. It had a long fruit aftertaste.
Later in the day, we returned for dinner at the restaurant. The experience was wonderful. Selections on the menu were accompanied with suggested pairings. Despite ordering a delicious lasagna entrée, I opted for the Celebration Spice wine. The waitress served the wine with a cinnamon stick in a glass mug. This particular wine was produced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Not only is it easy to serve cold or hot, but also it was delicious and spicy. Ending the meal with a hot mulled wine was a very enjoyable way to finish the evening. Terry paired the Golden Bunches dry Riesling with penne in a garlic sauce with vegetables.
Considering the ambience, service, food and experience, we felt the prices were very reasonable. The Ferrante Ristorante is a great restaurant for special occasions and everyday.
When the opportunity arises, be sure to consider a visit to Ferrante Winery & Ristorante.
5585 State Route 307
GPS: N 41° 45.597’ W 80° 57.273’
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