Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hiking for Winers

Forget mowing the lawn or running errands this Saturday morning. Instead rise, shine, hike and drink. Sounds like my kind of good time. The unlikely pairing of activities is organized by The Ohio Wine Producers Association and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The two organizations are sponsoring a series of guided explorations of nature preserves and forests not open to the general public followed by visits to nearby wineries.

Meet up at 10 AM for the May 22 outing at the North Kingsville Sand Barrens, about a half mile from Lake Erie in Ashtabula County. The protected area is what’s known as a fossil beach, and I hear that this time of year its rolling savannah and surrounding swamp forest are alive with migratory birds and blooming wildflowers, including purple lupine.
After two hours of walking, everyone will caravan to MarkkoVineyard for lunch, a talk by winemaker Arnie Esterer, and a sampling of the Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon that he produces.
Cost is $35 per person, and you must be registered to participate. Sign up here or call 216-231-1177. Once you're on the list, you'll get directions and details. Space is limited. If you like the concept but get shut out or are unable to clear your calendar for this weekend, three more trips planned for July, September and October.
Winemaker Arnie Esterer

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