Thursday, September 19, 2013

Number Eight: Old Firehouse Winery

After the first attempt at Old Mill Winery, we moved on to Old Firehouse Winery in Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH.
Sorry for the less than stellar picture of the sign. We'll be back to correct that.
If you're looking for a low-key setting to sip wine and relax, Old Firehouse Winery is the place for you.    Located on a beautiful lot on the Lake Erie shore, Firehouse has a tasting room, shop, restaurant, indoor and outdoor seating, and frequently hosts events and live entertainment.

The Bear had taken me here before in the winter, so it was nice to be able to enjoy more of the lovely scenic view Firehouse offers on a warm, late summer day this time. The outdoor setting is gorgeous. The property overlooks Lake Erie and rests on the former grounds of the Erieview Park amusement park, which are now full of enough tables, tents, benches, and green space to comfortably host the entire town of Geneva, their guests, and their guests' guests.

Immediately upon arriving, guests will notice that one of the most iconic rides from Erieview Park still stands- the ferris wheel. Originally built in 1956, it has been relocated, restored, and is now fully operational for nightly rides. Keeping the ferris wheel is a brilliant way to tie in part of Geneva-on-the-Lake's history with what it has become today; the throwback park ride retains and exudes the charm that characterizes the decade which is arguably America's greatest, the 1950's.

Disclaimer: We visited in the afternoon before it started running and (I'm pretty sure) it was undergoing maintenance at the time, so the picture doesn't do it justice. In fact, in the condition it was in at the time- note the three missing cars- no amount of wine would be enough to get me to ride it. But, it's still really cool that they have one, so check it out, even if you're just admiring from a distance.

At this point in the day, I was so hungry I thought my stomach was going to start eating me from inside, so we came here for a late lunch since we couldn't at our previous stop. We sat outside in the gazebo and had it all to ourselves for the most part. The service was fantastic, too. Our waitress was attentive without being overbearing and very helpful. The Bear ordered the fish tacos which were out of this world, and I had a burger with smoked cheddar and bacon on a pretzel bun.

Even if I wasn't as hungry as I was, that burger would have disappeared just as quickly. It was SO good that I've craved it since then. My waistline is thankful that we don't live closer.

We didn't do a lot of wine tasting this time, but we ordered a bottle of Chardonnay with our meals. It was perfectly chilled and very crisp which allowed it to pair well with our foods, even my burger. It had a pretty strong oaked taste with a buttery nose and finish so I would recommend pairing this with very flavorful foods, like the smoked cheddar on my burger. We couldn't finish it while we were there so we had it recorked.
We should have finished the remainder of the bottle it sooner than we did. We were at Firehouse on a Thursday, dragged it around in the car until we came home on Saturday, and drank it a few days later. The second opening of this bottle didn't resemble the first at all because the wine had gone bad. Another lesson learned.

As a heads up, we tried the Chambourcin the previous time we were at Firehouse and there was some concord grape blended in. It tasted like dry Welch's grape juice. It may be different now since it's been almost a year, but beware if you're a Chambourcin lover that you may get a little surprise.

The building that was once known was Geneva's first fire station houses Firehouse's tasting room and shop which, unlike other businesses in the immediate area, are open year round. The store offers some unique gifts for wine lovers, like Old Firehouse Winery shirts, screw pulls, and coasters, among other things.

The tasting room is simple with a historic feel and is very warm and welcoming- this is not a lavish, extravagant setting like you may find in some of the newer wineries. But, one thing that is really cool about the tasting room is that the beams overhead have TONS of patches from different fire stations all across the country brought there by firemen when they visited. A very original, thematic, and well implemented idea.

I would highly recommend Old Firehouse Winery to anyone who loves wine and wants to take in the beautiful scenery. The wine is good, the food is great, and the people are fantastic. If you're looking for some live entertainment, their website has a list of performers that are scheduled in the upcoming months. There are also special events like clam bakes and a Celtic festival held at Firehouse that are worth looking into. Firehouse also is linked to dinner theater presentations at The Landing in Geneva, which is just a short walk away from the winery!

But, if you can't make the trip (which I hope you can), you can order wine from their online store. Firehouse wines are also available at some retail locations if you're looking to go that route.

Firehouse is a must-go for anyone traveling to Geneva-on-the-Lake. Up next will be our review of the lovely Buccia Vineyard, so check back soon for an update!

Enjoy your pours responsibly! Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. The Firehouse is a great place to be in the summer time and those warm fall days. The wine is pretty good. During the week you can grab a bottle of wine and sit at a picnic table and look over Lake Erie in a peaceful atmosphere. On the weekends they have music through out the afternoon and evening. Anytime is a good day to be here, especially on a warm day.