Nicholas Longworth believed that the Ohio River Valley had the potential to be a major wine producing area and planted Alexander, Isabella and Catawba grapes in the early 1800s.
By 1860, Ohio wineries produced more wine than any other state, but over the next 30 years, disease and the Civil War decimated Ohio's wine industry. The planting of hardy, disease-resistant hybrid grapes in the 1960s led to the revitalization of Ohio's wine industry, and more than one hundred and thirty Ohio wineries are located within five American Viticultural Areas (AVA).
Wineries are conveniently scattered throughout the state with clusters of wineries near Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.
Tours typically last from 30 to 60 minutes per tour and they are well worth your time to check out the different ones. Each one has their own flavors, beauty, and charm to experience.
What is even more awesome is that most wineries offer free samples of their wines when you go through a tour as well. Some do more formal tasting events as well. The tours are extremely interesting and fun to do too. They aren't just there to sample the wine that you're looking forward to but are actually very informative and you get to meet a lot of like-minded people usually that are also doing the tour. It's always nice to a fellow wine lover! - Be sure to call ahead if you are planning on doing a tour at one of the wineries or vineyards though to check on availability since many of them get very busy during season.