The Wyandotte Winery is located in what looks like a large house at the end of a residential street in northwest Columbus. In existence since the mid 1970s, it is currently owned by Robin and Valerie Coolidge.
On Saturday’s they offer tours of their winery. It is not a massive winery like you see in the movies or on TV, rather a small ’boutique’ winery that exists in the lower level of the building in about 4000 square feet (a guess).
Valerie was our tour guide, and it ended up being 1/3 technical discussion of wine making, 1/3 history lesson and 1/3 stand up comedy routine. Valerie was a hoot, and informational at the same time.
It helped (I think) that the predominately female group had been tasting for some time upstairs!
The first display was a vintage machine for taking the impurities out of the wine before bottling. It is not currently used in production.
On the bottom of the risers for the stairs is a history of the labels that the winery has used since the 1970s.
The winery names some wines after local landmarks.
Another vintage machine was a grape press.
There are no vineyards on site (just suburbs) – they try to purchase their juice from within Ohio, but will source some from California and as far away as Peru in the winters.
Some of the grapes are grown on their other winery in Fairfield County, Ohio, just southeast of Columbus.
Valerie explained much of the science that goes into wine making.
All of her information was delivered with a lot of humor and informative anecdotes.
More vintage wine making devices
High School science was never like this.
Some test bottles – some fail, some succeed.
The bottle filling station. They can fill 6 at a time.
The original corker – it takes a lot of manual labor and is slow.
The modern corker – works great, but she said the instructions were in Italian.
Once the wine is ready to be aged they go into large vats.
Most of the wine making equipment comes from Italy or France. The American made equipment kept breaking down, so they bought the quality equipment from Europe.
Wine has to bleed off CO2 in the process.
The newer vats have taps at the bottom. Valerie said she enjoys checking out to make sure everything is going ok.
Finally when the wine is bottled and ready – it needs a label. Back in the 1970s the original owners would use Elmers Glue to stick the labels on, often crooked.
The label applicator puts them on perfect every time. The Wyandotte Winery will make you a custom label for your wine for only $5 – how cool.
Valerie was a great tour guide and host – providing an amusing 90 minutes of wine making. Cheers!