Toast of Ohio ages well in new cask

SANDUSKY Toast of Ohio planners can raise a glass and toast to the success of a fourth festival and a new venue. The a
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Toast of Ohio planners can raise a glass and toast to the success of a fourth festival and a new venue.

The annual wine and food tasting moved from Columbus Avenue to what patrons called a much more fitting location, the Sandusky Bay Pavilion at the former Surf's Up site overlooking the bay.

Some, like self-described wine diva Carol Hill of Perkins Township, called the new venue perfect.

Hill's jewel-emblazoned T-shirt proclaims her a "wine diva," an appropriate piece of attire to wear to an event featuring 13 of Ohio's wineries.

The move was a difficult decision for the planning committee, said member Kelly Kresser.

But the festival had outgrown its space, said Vicki VandenBout, director of the Merry-Go-Round museum.

Committee members said the move paid off.

"We're getting a lot of good comments about the venue," Kresser said.

Everything used to be housed beneath a 40-by-100 foot tent.

The tent is still a part of the festival but there is additional space for picnic tables and food booths at the new location.

This year was the first taste of Toast of Ohio for Donna Sisson of Milan.

She plans to come back next year because of the event's ambiance.

"It's fun to socialize with the people and to taste good wine," she said.

For Nancy Russell of Port Clinton, a repeat attendee, the change of venue was good.

The tent could be a little larger, she said, but crowded tables near good wineries are inevitable.

"You can tell where the good wines are. The tables nearby are always packed," she said.

Russell was sitting near Maize Valley Winery's booth.

The winery, located in Hartville, was sold out of its popular red table wine, "Red Pecker," featuring a rooster on the label, by 4 p.m.

Maize, along with St. Joesph Vineyard, were new to the tasting this year.

"The new labels coming out are unique and eye-catching," Russell said.

Wineries represented at Toast of Ohio

Breitenbach Win Cellar - Dover

Chalet Debonne' Madison

Ferrante Winery & Ristorante- Geneva

Firelands Winery- Sandusky

It's Your Winery- Fairlawn

Maize Valley Winery & Market- Hartville

Meier's Wine Cellars, Inc. - Silverton

Mon Ami Historic Winery - Port Clinton

Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard - Berlin Heights

St. Joesph Vineyard- Thompson

Stoney Ridge Winery - Bryan

Vikings Vineyards & Winery - Kent