My First Wine Adventure

It’s no secret that economic conditions have recently had a negative impact on businesses.  Blogger K.O. on GTS “Franchise Success” News wrote people are still “drinking like fish” even in this economy.  The difference?  K.O. said people are drinking like fish at home and with cheaper bottles of booze.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice dinner and an alcoholic beverage at a moderate price every now and then!  It just means you might have to look outside your box.  Step out of your comfort zone and go to new places and try new things.  Be adventurous!

Try This.

Ohio Winery - Grand River Cellars

Photo courtesy of Grand River Cellars

I made the trip  to Grand River Cellars, located in the Northeast Ohio town of Madison, part of Ohio’s wine country, for this post.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It only took a few seconds in the drive surrounded by vines to feel the relaxed vibe enveloping Grand River Cellars.

It was hard to gauge the best part of the experience.  The wine was second, only to the amazing service.  I tried the semi-sweet to sweet wine sampler for $6.  My favorite was the Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.  This was the first time I tried it and it tasted just like honey!  The grapes for this wine were actually picked only a few weeks ago.

The Vidal Blanc Ice Wine has won a double gold medal in the Best-of-Appellation Wine Competition, a gold medal in the Ohio Wine Competition and a silver medal in the International Eastern Wine Competition.

The food was equally astonishing!  I had a 10-ounce sirloin strip steak with a vegetable medley, skin-on redskin mashed potatoes, a pretty big salad and a roll.  The menu is full of an array of choices for every budget.

The atmosphere was joyful and homelike, providing the perfect location for friends and family to enjoy one another’s company.

Medals for the numerous award-winning wines inundated the bar, and trinkets for sale lined the walls.

I was greeted by a friendly hostess and escorted to a table near the bar.  To my surprise, Grand River Cellars president and owner Cindy Lindberg took a few moments out of her obviously busy Saturday night to speak with me…a bonus I didn’t expect!

Grand River Cellars, Ohio Winery, Ohio Wine

Grand River Cellars owner Cindy Lindberg (right) and me

Lindberg was excited to speak with me, partly because she is a Kent State grad, but mostly because I told her I was going to write this blog post.  Her enthusiasm and passion for this winery she acquired five years ago was contagious.

Give Back.

I was most impressed with the fact that Lindberg is a former school psychologist turned business owner.  And part of being a good business owner is social responsibility.

Lindberg found a way to incorporate her love for children into her new business endeavor.  She and a friend started the charity, Northeast Ohio Autism Group, to benefit local schools, programs and services that help care for people with autism.

What makes this so impressive?  The winery blends and corks two types of wine for the sole purpose of contributing to this cause.  A portion of the sales from the bottles of Austin’s White and Austin’s Red wines go directly to the charity.  Between $3,500 and $5,000 are donated each year through sales and donations.  Children even get to design the wine label.

“Even though the economy is down, alcohol is still surviving,” Lindberg said. “It’s important to give back.  Those suffering with the disease are the real victims.”

What am I trying to tell you here?  First, social responsibility is key to running a business.  Second, these bottles of wine cost between $13 and $15 per bottle – a small price to pay to help someone with autism.

Give Back.  Animal Style.

Not only does Grand River Cellars support a cause for humans, but it also supports an animal cause. Being a dog lover, I thought this was worth noting.

Winemaker Ed Trebets had the idea to create another wine label and send proceeds from those sales to Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.

The wines are called Muddy Paw Wines and come in a white and a red.  The white is a Semillon and the red is a Cabernet Sauvignon.  They can be purchased locally or online.

The Point.

I get that people are hurting for cash these days.  Trust me, I’m in college.   Treat yourself to a nice night out once in a while to stay sane!  Better yet, support local businesses that practice social responsibility.  Why?  Because you’re doing two good things at once that way, that’s why!  The booze shouldn’t be the only reason you’re warm and fuzzy inside.


7 responses to “My First Wine Adventure

  • Cindy Lindberg

    Your blog is so professional I would have thought you have been writing blogs for years. Thanks so much for such a wonderful review. Enjoy your adventures at teh other wineries in the Grand River Valley Wine Region. I can’t wait to have you back!

  • mgallow2

    The review is only wonderful because it’s a wonderful place and you’re doing wonderful things! I’m astonished by your passion to help those who need it. You’re the type of person that makes the world a better place. Way to go!

  • Tweets that mention My First Wine Adventure « Ohio Booze Blog --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Grand River Cellars, morganatlarge. morganatlarge said: Grand River Cellars practices philanthropy. […]

  • Kristen Hewitt

    Although I am not exactly old enough to drink wine, I have tried quite a few of different kinds at all price ranges by going to wineries with my mom. I completely agree that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good drink, some of my favorite wines that I have tasted were on the lower end of the price rang. I have never been to this particular winery but it sounds like a nice relaxing place to go and enjoy time with friends and family. I also agree that business owners should be active in their community in many ways and I love that this particular winery not only supports autistic children, I know how hard this could be having helped at multiple special olympics and working with them in high school, but they also support animals and helping the dogs have a better future. This post was very interesting to read and also makes me want to visit Grand River Cellars. Good Job.

    • Morgan Galloway


      Disclaimer: I don’t support underage consumption of alcohol. (Lol, I have to cover my butt!)

      Before writing this blog my favorite bottle of wine was Barefoot Moscato. A very, very sweet white wine that only costs about $7. For the most part, the wines I have tried throughout the duration of this blog have been on the lower end of the price range. There’s nothing that says an expensive bottle of wine is a good bottle of wine.

      I think it’s great that you’ve helped with the Special Olympics. That has got to be so rewarding for you and the participants.

      Be sure to be adventurous with your beer and wine tasting when you’re old enough to drink.

      • Kristen Hewitt

        I only was able to taste them because my mother will let me try the different kind of drinks she gets :). I don’t not know the name of my favorite wine because I tried my Aunts at a restaurant and forgot to ask her what it was but I do remember that for a bottle of it you would only have to pay between 6-7 dollars. I rather pay a lower price for a good wine than an outrageous price for a wine that most people drink simply because they think higher prices equal better product.
        I loved working with the Special Olympics, one of the ones I did was for adults and the other for children. I loved seeing how the adults were able to over come their disabilities and still enjoy their life, and the children were just adorable and so unaware of their disabilities and just enjoying all the activities that were set up for them.

  • Joshua Hamilton

    Madison is right by my neck of the woods. My sister lives there so I go there all the time! I was born in Ashtabula and I grew up most of my life in Geneva, Ohio. That area is known for it’s wine! I remember one time I went on vacation to Disney World and one of the workers new right away where I was from. It’s kind of of weird because I never really thought about it when I was growing up around there. It sounds like you had a ton of fun and tried out some great tasting wine. The owner Mrs. Lindberg seems like a really nice lady. I like the fact that they started the Northeast Ohio Autism Group and are able to help. It’s pretty cool to see a business giving back and it’s very good PR. I will have to check out Grand River Cellars next time I go and visit the family!

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