I’ve been to wineries with tasting rooms and gift shops as well as some that give tours and even a few that have on-site restaurants. But I’ve never encountered a winery that delivers an experience as comprehensive – or as classy! – as Canton’s Gervasi Vineyard.
The word “winery” hardly does justice to Gervasi. It’s a destination best described as a winery resort, an upscale oasis that offers award-winning wines, a variety of tastings and tours, culinary classes in a professional kitchen, a carefully curated international Marketplace featuring handcrafted goods, distinctive dining options, and luxurious lodging in Tuscan-style villas.
As soon as I drove under the handsome, vine motif archway that marks Gervasi’s main entrance, it felt as if I’d been transported from a northeast Canton neighborhood to the Italian countryside.
The property’s deft combination of rustic chic elements – picturesque vineyards planted on gentle hillsides, serpentine walking paths, stunning stucco and stone buildings with square towers, and a swan gliding on a pristine lake – reflect the Italian heritage of Canton businessman Ted Swaldo.
In less than a decade, he and his family transformed an old tree farm into 55 acres of beauty and style, and they christened their remarkable creation “Gervasi” because that was the maiden name of Swaldo’s mother.
Although the Bistro, which is in a converted 1800s barn located beside Gervasi Lake, is a fine dining restaurant featuring Sunday lasagna suppers and other Italian fare, I usually eat at The Crush House, a casual café with a trendy vibe that is in the same contemporary building as the winery where Gervasi’s 20+ domestic wines are made and bottled.
The Crush House’s upper level offers a fine view of the tasting bar, and when I spent a recent Wine Down Wednesday there, I began my meal with a simple green salad and a glass of Lucello, a crisp pinot gris that went perfectly with that evening Crush House Plate – haddock served with roasted baby Brussels sprouts and pureed chick peas.
After finishing the divinely rich flourless chocolate truffle torte that my server suggested for dessert, I settled into a suite at the Verona Villa. From the beamed ceiling to the sumptuous bedding, my room oozed Old World ambiance and was a perfect place for winding down my mini Italian getaway at Gervasi Vineyard.
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