Why should beer get all the fun?
While the Columbus Ale Trail has been rewarding fans of craft breweries for branching out and patronizing the bevy of underrated beer purveyors throughout the capital city area, now wine lovers can get in on more of the fun as well.
Twenty-two of your favorite wineries are joining forces this summer to create Central Ohio Wine Country, an interactive wine trail covering the area from Mansfield to Circleville, and from Springfield to just east of Newark, meaning most fall within one hour or less from downtown Columbus.
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“My place started as a winery in 2012, and then in 2016 we added a brewery [Grove City Brewing Company], so we’re unique in that we have both beer and wine,” said Plum Run Winery owner Dave Crosby. “Our brewery side was having the passport, and people were asking us why we didn’t do it but for wine.”
Robin Coolidge, owner of Columbus-based Wyandotte Winery, is using the trail to help inform others about just how strong Central Ohio is for wine.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that we have about 45 wineries in Central Ohio alone, and a lot of them are really, really good ones,” Coolidge said. “So the idea with the wine trail is to let people know we have this quality wine in the area, and to get them to try some of it.”
Like the Columbus Ale Trail, its popular beer-focused counterpart, Central Ohio Wine Country (which has also launched a website promoting area wineries and the trail) will feature a fun, engaging passport system for participants to log their trips. Wineries along the trail will have passports available for pickup, and each spot will provide patrons with a stamp as proof of their visit.
And of course, there will be prizes.
While exactly what will be given away is still being determined, the trail will include a tiered reward system that awards participants even if they don’t hit all the wineries. But should you visit all of the spots listed in your passport, you’ll be entered to win a grand prize from a number of top-notch options, including an overnight stays at several different winery/bed and breakfast combos, a multiple course meal and sit-down with the vintner at Plum Creek, and much more.
According to Crosby, the trail will likely be going live early next month, which gives all of us just enough time to plan those weekend day trips.
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