YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — People got the chance to try out 10 local wineries all in one place Saturday afternoon. The Winter Wine Affair at Stambaugh Auditorium showcased a growing Ohio industry.
Dozens of people were listening to music and — of course — sipping wine.
At the Ohio Wine Producers Association’s Winter Wine Affair, there were 10 vineyards and wine producers from all over Northeast Ohio, including some local ones — like the Vineyards at Pine Lake in Columbiana.
“We get a lot of people that come through that have never even tried wine — some of them and others have, but don’t know where we’re at,” said Joe Glista, owner of the Vineyards at Pine Lake.
First News spoke to two winery owners who say this is the perfect way to showcase their growing industry.
“The number of wineries has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, 10 years — even to the point now where it really is its own developed winery region,” said Troy Litwiler, founder of Stable Winery in Andover, Ohio.
Litwiler opened Stable Winery two years ago. He says the climate around the Great Lakes is great for making wine. But even in other parts of Ohio, wine-making is thriving.
“It’s still a very much growing industry, even in the state of Ohio not necessarily in this area,” Glista said.
Litwiler said there’s also a ton of support from the state, the Grower’s Association and the wine-making community.
“The wineries themselves have been so willing to accept newcomers that it makes it a really easy business to enter,” he said.
Glista said he wouldn’t be surprised if more wineries pop up right in the Valley backyard.
“Everybody thinks wine has to be grown in California or produced in California — it’s really not the case. We’ve got great wines here in Ohio,”