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What goes into producing a wine?

For the winery’s 150th Anniversary, we always intended to celebrate in a BIG way – by bringing back wine production to Catawba Island and releasing wines crafted right here on the property. We’ve already released six new wines in 2022 – a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Red Blend, Semi-Sweet Riesling, and White Blend.


What goes into producing a wine?


Let’s use our Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon as examples, both are 2019 vintages. Quin and I purchased the juice from Debonne Winery in Geneva and aged them in newly purchased French oak barrels in the Cellar (which you can see on our Tuesday and Thursday Cellar Tours this summer).


Our onsite winemaker, Margot Federkiel, tasted each wine periodically to determine when they were ready to bottle and keg – and then the magic happens!


If there isn’t quite enough nose, she can help that. If there’s not quite enough body, she can blend a little something to enhance that. In fact, you can add up to 25% of another grape and still legally call it a single variety, not a blend.


For our Cabernet Franc, Margot added 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and for the Cabernet Sauvignon, she added 17% Merlot.


When she finally gave the green light, we gathered our team of waitresses, bartenders, bar backs, and kitchen staff – all interested in the production of the wine – and established an efficient assembly line for our hand bottling machine, which filled six bottles at a time.


Over the course of two days, we produced about 100 cases of both varietals. Then the team hand labeled each bottle with the use of a semi-automated bottling machine. We split the amount of wine we produce between bottles and kegs, using the bottles for retail (available in the Gift Shop AND now Bassett’s Market in Port Clinton) and the kegs are what feed our bars.


We think our Gideon Owen wines are PERFECT for you and pair well with our menu, any time of year. Our White Blend is a great summer sipping wine. Can you guess what two grapes, mixed 50/50, make up this blend? Santé!



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