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Grape expectations — Ohio wine country bringing in billions of dollars a year

Ohio wine country bringing in billions of dollars
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 30, 2023

CANTON, Ohio — Wine country in Ohio was ranked number seven in the country for economic output, bringing in billions of dollars each year and forcing some wineries to expand.

At Gervasi Vineyard Resort and Spa in Canton, the increased love for the grape adult beverage has left them no choice but to grow their 55-acre property.

“We go through hundreds of barrels and not only are we shipping our wine in 10 states, but we serve it here on property,” said Andrea Hartman, the Marketing Director for Gervasi Vineyard resort and spa.

With that, they had to create more storage.

“We have outgrown our winery, especially for barrel storage. So right now we are in the barrel cave, so this is where the mills will be stored for aging,” said Hartman from a tour of the winery's literally cavernous underground storage area.

According to the Ohio Wine Producers Association, the increased demand for wine is something 323 wineries across the state are seeing.

“The states around us were closed — Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Michigan — and so lots of people discovered our wines by enjoying them on 30 acres of social distancing,” said Donniella Winshell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association.

Those people just kept coming back, bringing in $6.6 billion in economic activity. To keep up in a year’s span, 1.2 million gallons of wine were produced, which also provided more than 40,000 jobs.

“We’ve had really record sales. We're delighted with the fact that people are looking toward us and discovering what we're doing — really, really, exceptional wines,” Winshell said.

In Gervasi, they are racking up the barrels to meet that demand and also providing extra services in their brand-new spa that includes facials, massages, manicures, pedicures and more.

“We have 48 luxury accommodations here on property so we constantly have overnight guests and what we kept hearing was, they were looking for spa services,” Hartman said.

As they expand and revamp, they just want to see customers keep coming back for a full glass of wine.

“We will teach you firsthand how we make our wine from grape to glass. We have a great model. It's winemaking by design,” Hartman said.

For more information about Gervasi click here and the Ohio Wine Producers Association click here.

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