Great Wine Made in Southern Ohio?

wine_tapYes, indeed!  On a recent trip to Cincinnati, I had the pleasure of dining at Abigail Street, a wonderful tapas-style restaurant.  Perusing the menu, there was a section titled “Wines on Tap” (more about that below). We asked our server about the wine of the day and learned that it was a Cabernet Franc made at a local vineyard called La Vigna Estate Winery located about 45 miles east of Cincinnati. Well of course we had to taste it and it was excellent!

With our Cab Franc, we feasted on spicy grilled shrimp with sweet garlic chili sauce and scallops with roasted mushrooms and bacon.  The service was outstanding and the portions generous.

La Vigna

Winemaker Brad Hively

La Vigna is located above the Ohio River in a region known as the Glacial Edge Area. The location is unique within this region with glaciated soils that are deep, well-drained and have a low water-holding capacity.  With a southern aspect that overlooks a large body of water, moderating the high and low temperatures, La Vigna shares climactic characteristics with famous grape growing regions such as Burgundy in France and the Piedmont in Italy.

La Vigna VistaFirst planted in 2004, La Vigna produces wines from grapes that have been determined to grow well in the region. It is a small property with two planted acres, a third in development and total annual production of about 700 cases. In addition to their Cabernet Franc, La Vigna produces Petit Manseng, a Cabernet Blend,  a rosé of Cabernet Franc, and a Proprietary Red Blend. Brad focuses on tending the vines and harvesting the grapes at the optimal time.  As he says, “We work hard in the vineyard, and then we allow our wines to make themselves.”

Wines on tap?  Well, the owners of Abigail Street did their research. As they say on their website, “Things have changed, this stuff isn’t your Aunt Blanche’s boxed wine. Now, incredible producers from Oregon, California, Washington and overseas are creating and blending barrels of unique wines exclusively for Abigail Street.” It’s by far the greenest way to enjoy wine as it eliminates bottling, packaging and materials. The end result is a higher quality product at a lower price. Wines this fresh can only come straight from the vineyard to your glass.  All of this made me think back to my trip to Italy last year when Massi was going to the local vineyard on a daily basis to pick up the boxes of fresh Sangiovese that we consumed in large quantities.  No one ever had a headache due to the freshness of the wine.

Explore the world of wine including at the local level!




Written by Catherine

Catherine developed a passion for travel, food, and wine early in life. She owned and operated a gourmet catering business and small restaurant for twenty years, earning a number of awards. Eventually she chose to leave the food and beverage industry, but continues to enjoy cooking and furthering her knowledge of wines.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent posts

  • An Elegant Evening at Thoma...
    In California Wineries, Catherine On the Road, Chardonnay, Food and Wine, Pinot Noir, Sonoma, Vineyards, Viticulture Wine color
  • Competitive Wine Blending w...
    In Cabernet Franc, California Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wineries, Catherine On the Road, Napa Valley, Red Varietals, Vineyards, Wine blending Wine Education
  • Wine Blogger's Conference R...
    In California Wineries, Catherine On the Road, Food and Wine, Napa Valley, Pinot Noir, Vineyards Wine Tastings
  • Natural Wine...
    In California Wineries, Natural Wines, Vineyards, Viticulture, Wine Education Wine Making
  • The Cube Project...
    In California Wineries, Food and Wine, Oregon Wineries, Oregon Wines, Pinot Noir, Vineyards, Viticulture, Wine Making Wine Tastings