Warblers & Wine in Ohio? 

My next week of travel was Presque Isle, Erie, PA along Lake Erie’s coastline to the northwest corner of Ohio. Warblers migrate through the northwest area of Ohio during a particular time of year; however, I could not coordinate my time to be there when it was to happen. So I thought it best to scout the area now for next year’s travel through this area. I will then know best places to bird, to camp, get food, and whatever else I stumble across during my scouting. What I also discovered east of Cleveland, Ohio is wine country near Madison!

My scouting report:

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge protects what remains of the Great Black Swamp/marshes of Lake Erie. There is an auto drive loop, but was closed the day I was there. I will return next year.

Side Cut Metro Park in Maumee provided me with great birding on a 2.2 mile loop which paralleled the Maumee River on one half of the walk. Will definitely return here.

Well kept trail!

Wildwood Preserve Metropark has a beautiful mansion and gardens one can tour. There is plenty of hiking and bicycling activity, not great birding. My next visit here would be to cycle.

W.W. Knight Preserve has a nice short hike one can take by a pond and through a forest. I liked the quiet area. I will stop by here again.

Boardwalk along a pond and then into a forested area.

Metzger Marsh has a quick one mile drive in and a trail off the parking lot. It’s an easy way to observe birds from your car.

Magee Marsh has an auto drive of a couple of miles, but most people seemed to enjoy walking the boardwalk. I understand this area can be quite busy when the warblers migrate through the area. I will visit again.

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve has an interesting history of being constructed with old barge/container ships. Nice trail and even deer where in the area. I will visit again.

Headlands Nature Preserve was recommended to me. The preserve is located next door to Morton Salt Co. There was interesting information about sand dune formation, the piping plover protected nesting area, and the Buckeye Trail (more about that another time). I will definitely stop here again.

About the wineries:

Growing grapes just north of the Grand River in the Madison, Ohio area is where you can find about 25 wineries. The soil from the long ago glacial activity left the best soil for grape-growing and thus vineyards are here.

Debonné Winery had good food and wine. I had a meal and glass of wine. I especially liked the Double Wing Brewing Co. beer. Entertainment happens on weekends. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.

Paper Moon Vineyards had good food and wine. I had a meal and a glass of wine. Their Harvest Blend definitely had Concord grapes in that wine! Entertainment happens here too. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.

Silver Crest Winery had good wine and I could bring in my hummus and crackers. I did a wine tasting of 5 different wines and had a glass of wine with my food. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.

My other nights I stayed at Kampgrounds of America. Staying at the wineries though was a nice change of pace and especially fun ending my day, relaxed with a meal and glass of wine! The birding will be fun next year if I can catch the warblers during their migration; the wineries will be there whenever I come through!

A surprise was my stop in Vermilion, Ohio. This little town has a Main Street Stormwater Improvement Project and care is being taken of their lighthouse. Here is how I ended one of may days … in beauty …

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate …and I’m There!

My reality lately though is I am not at the winery to enjoy this combo of food with wine; however, once again Papapietro Perry had a live at winery and virtual event at the same time.

I think is very slick how our world has changed and more programs are available to us through zoom. Papapietro Perry winery staff have gotten better with their programs and to combine it now with people at the winery was an excellent idea. We were concerned that they would not continue the virtual events, but they did!

At this event, we started with a delicious 2021 Chardonnay from Peters vineyard with Toma cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Sip of wine, bite of cheese, another sip of wine and then to try it all with Volo’s orange chocolate … which has orange pieces in it! Point Reyes creamery is a women-owned business with very happy cows and many different cheeses! Volo Chocolate was founded by a husband-and-wife team hand-making “bean to bar” chocolates.

Next tasting was 2019 Pinot Noir also from Peter’s vineyard, paired with Pimento cheese spread and dark chocolate with olive oil and roasted almonds. I love Papapietro Perry’s pinot noir … which is the reason we are wine club members with them… thanks to Pedroncelli Winery sending us just a short distance from their place to Papapietro Perry when they heard we were looking for delicious pinot noir. I was hesitant about the cheese spread but actually found it very tasty. The next day I took it and spread it on bread as my cheese with a turkey sandwich … delicious!

The final tasting was 2019 Pinot Noir from Nunes vineyard. Quinta cheese has a bark wrap around it and when left out about 1/2 hour before the tasting, it is like brie in its melting. With some ooze of cheese on a cracker and a sip of wine, wonderful! We followed this up with mocha bar….yum!

Papapietro Perry Winery is in Headsburg, California … check it out if you enjoy wines and specifically pinot noir. Pedroncelli Winery is in Geyserville, California and also has excellent wines …zinfandel …especially their Mother Clone. So if you are in California, you now have two wineries to enjoy tastings at. Let me know what you think of their wines!

Team Spirit and Wine!

I spend many minutes, maybe I should say hours, on the tennis court playing with various people; however, we truly spend little time getting to know each other. So when the opportunity came to have a group wine tasting trip to an area south of Tucson, I was in! I will be the first to admit I have not met an Arizona wine I like… and my opinion does remain the same. But I had a good time with team members; that was the important part to get to know them better and have fun.

Photos below are brought to you by a team member, thank you! Looking forward to a good season on the court! Sonoran Tasting Tours was great in providing transportation, lunch and getting us to the three wineries safely.