Owner(s): Meineke Family
Winemaker: Matt Meineke
Open to Public
Sun-Thu 12 to 6; Fri-Sat 12 to 8
6193 S River Rd W, Geneva, OH 44041
phone: (440) 361-4104
M Cellars Profile
Written by Brian—Jun 18, 2019
Northern Ohio has a band of terroir along Lake Erie that has, for many years, grown Concord and Niagara grapes for companies like Welches. In the last couple of decades, that crop has been gradually replaced by vinifera and the region is beginning to gain recognition as a producer of world-class wines.
One of the top wineries in the northeastern corner of the Buckeye State is M Cellars, which recently received the Director’s Choice Award for its Meritage. This is, by the way, the state’s top honor and only a single producer receives the award each year.
Curiously, owner and winemaker Matt Meineke began his working career as a mechanic. The transformational moment came when he received a bottle of wine as a gift and it sent him along a trajectory that ended with a winery. Of course he worked initially with a consultant and Ohio State kept him from making serious “rookie” mistakes. Regardless, the learning curve was steep. This makes it all the more remarkable that Meineke shaped M Cellars into such a highly regarded, award-winning winery.
Today, 15 of M Cellar’s 30 acres are under vine and grapes are grown on another 22 leased acres. Ten different vinifera are currently grown and only Noire is sourced outside Northern Ohio. The combined fruit is used to bottle between 4000 and 6000 cases annually. The long-term plan is to increase to a maximum of 10,000 cases.
If you stop in—and you should stop in—the Meritage is not to be missed. Meineke believes, however, that his best wines are the single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Riesling. Having said that, you should be the judge. So after you visit, please let me know what you think.