Warren County’s Valley Vineyards making the ‘best red wines’ in Ohio — and craft beers, too

This story is part of a series of profiles of wineries in and around the Miami Valley. Look for another installment here next week.

What: Valley Vineyards

Where: 2276 East US 22 & 3, Morrow, Ohio 45152

When: Tasting room open Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday to 6 p.m.

Web site: www.valleyvineyards.com

More info: (513) 899-2485

Wines to try: 2011 Cabernet Franc Rose ($11.99 per bottle): a dry, refreshing wine that has a lot more in common with Provence-style roses than white zinfandel; 2011 Cabernet Franc ($21.99): a rich, smooth-and-silky red wine with a depth of fruit and layers of flavor that are rare to find in Ohio-grown red wines; White Reflections ($10.99), a blend of Vidal Blanc, chardonnay and riesling, an easy-drinking, semi-sweet crowd-pleaser. From the beer list, try the Shawesome Black IPA.

Three generations of the Schuchter family are now involved in running Valley Vineyards, which was founded in 1970 and which now produces nearly two dozen wines ranging from robust, dry reds to super-sweet dessert wines from grapes grown in its vineyards near Morrow in Warren County.

The winery’s red wines have won particular acclaim: Each of the past three years, including 2013, Valley Vineyards has captured the “best red wine” award in the Ohio Wine competition for its locally grown varieties including cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and syrah.

But this winery isn’t resting on its laurels. In fact, it’s branching out: Last year, in February 2012, it launched its own microbrewery called “Cellar Dwellers” and added craft beers to its tasting-room offerings. Long-term plans call for opening a small distillery in the winery as well.

The wine menu includes sweet standbys such as Concord and Pink Catawba, and a Honey Mead is a top seller. But those whose tastes run toward dry wines will have plenty to explore, including six reds, three whites and a rose.

Valley Vineyards offers wildly popular weekend cookouts (every Friday and Saturday year-round, and on Sundays from July through December) that offers visitors their choice of two drinks of either wine or beer, a steak or salmon fillet, sides and a dessert buffet for $29.50 per person.

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