Discovering Ohio Wines

Gentile, Roger L. Discovering Ohio Wines.  Columbus, Ohio; Enthea Press, 1991.

Some time back, I said that someone should write a reference book about Ohio wines and winemakers.  Little did I know that Roger Gentile had already done so, be it two decades ago.  Because a great deal has changed in the Ohio wine scene over the last 20 years, Discovering Ohio Wines is a historic document.  But, it has its virtues for the wine historian.

When Discovering Ohio Wines was published in 1991, a new generation of Ohio winemakers was becoming established.   While the pre-Prohibition wine  industry in Ohio is very extensive (Ohio was third largest wine-producing state in 1909 [16]), the industry hit a sweet bottom in the 1950s with many of the old wineries closing up shop.  During Prohibition, many wineries switched to growing Concord exclusively for juice and jam products.  Tastes were changing, where Joe Winedrinker wanted a California Pinot Noir over a Lake Erie Pink Concord. Continue reading