COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State Fair is mostly about agriculture and innovation. Sure, there are rides and fantastic food options to enjoy. Have you thought about the less obvious offerings, like Ohio-made wine?
The Ohio Grape Industries is set up at the Taste of Ohio building and ready for you to take a sip of some of the Buckeye state’s best vino.
A little-known fact is that the American wine industry began in Ohio during the 1820s along the Ohio River and in Cincinnati. That ended when disease destroyed the 3,000 acres of vineyard. Nearly a century later, the local wine business started growing again.
Today, there are more than 1,500 acres of vineyards across the state and more than 380 licensed wine manufacturers. That means you would pass a local winery in any 30-minute direction from where you are in the state.
“Wine should be approachable, you can pair wine with anything, I think,” said Christy Eckstein, executive director at Ohio Grape Industries. “There really is no wrong answer, you should drink what you like.”
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“The Ohio State Fair is an excellent way for us to showcase Ohio wines,” Eckstein said. “If you’re here at the state fair, there’s a wine you can pair with corndog or cheese stick or elephant ear.”
When you’re at the fair, you can taste locally produced wines; if you don’t know what you like, they will help you figure out the process. There are 30 wines that qualified to be at the fair. You’re almost guaranteed to find one to your liking.