Hocking Hills Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Nov 19, 2018
The Hocking Hills in Southeastern Ohio is a section of the Allegheny Plateau known for its cliffs, waterfalls and gorges. The Wayne National Forest extends through the region’s steep hills. More than a half dozen state parks also help draw visitors from throughout the country. There are also a handful of wineries that benefit from that traffic.
One of these is Hocking Hills Winery about 20 minutes northwest of Athens. The Davidson family began planting grapes in 2008 and today have a little more than five acres under vine. Cold-heart grapes like Vidal Blanc, Frontenac, La Crescent and Traminette are supplemented with vinifera sourced from other parts of the country. The combined fruit accounts for between 1900 and 2400 cases of annual production.
CEO and winemaker Blaine Davidson pointed out that more vines will eventually be planted. Norton and Petite Pearl are among the grapes that will be planted. This additional fruit will still be supplemented with sourced grapes and the long-term goal is to boost production to around 10,000 cases annually.
I tasted several of the wines made from the Hocking Hills vineyards. The Traminette and Vidal Blanc were both well crafted, balanced and extremely good wines. The Trillium blend, on the other hand, was just off the charts. I am bewildered that it only won bronze at the Finger Lakes International. This blend of Vidal and Traminette is done in a dry style. Like the other whites, it was balanced and had a rich fruit component. The bright acidity and muted floral notes make it a very food-friendly wine or one that can simply be enjoyed on its own.
The tasting room at Hocking Hills opened in 2015. Even on a weekday in the late autumn, there was a decent crowd rotating through the bar or enjoying the fire in the corner of the room. I found the staff to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable and customer oriented. It was an experience designed to encourage customer loyalty and this must certainly pay off. The winery has a very loyal group of local clientele.
Located just off Route 33, the main highway between Columbus and Athens, Hocking Hills Winery is conveniently located to capitalize on tourist traffic or people just passing through. The experience and quality of wine are two big reasons to visit. This is a winery that we should support. If you are anywhere near this beautiful part of the country, make a point to drop in. After you do, please let me know what you think.