I am not a wine connoisseur. Don’t get me wrong. I really like wine – the taste, the smell, its ability to cool me off on hot days and warm me up on cold ones. I just never realized how much goes into winemaking, and that it is an art in itself.
I first heard about Yellow Butterfly Winery when it opened last year, and was intrigued because it is one of Ohio’s newest, and is owned and operated by Michael White, former mayor of Cleveland, and his wife JoAnn. The winery is located in the scenic hills above the Blue Ridge Valley in the quaint village of Newcomerstown in Tuscarawas County.
I was excited to make the trip with my husband on a warmish day this past April. I wanted to learn about new types of wine, and my husband, the political junkie, was curious how Cleveland’s former mayor is managing with his new venture in the country–far away from city life.
Once off I-77, we were struck by the sheer beauty of the area. The spring’s showers had created lush green pastures that were filled with cows feeding their young and horses enjoying the rare dry day.
We knew we had arrived at the right place when a bright yellow barn leapt from the the area’s blue and green natural canvas.
We entered the barn and were enthusastically welcomed with an introduction about the winery. We explored the renovated barn inside and out, and witnessed the rolling vistas and a beautiful pond that we later learned is stocked with bass. On the back deck, we encountered Michael White and chatted with him before he gave us a tour of the 30-acre vineyard and wine-making facility.
Once inside again, we began to taste Yellow Butterfly’s wines, ranging from very dry to sweet enough to accompany dessert. Of the eight wines Yellow Butterfly produces, I settled on the semi-sweet Blue Ridge Blush, and bought a bottle to enjoy at home.
Every Friday and Saturday from June through September, Yellow Butterfly serves a country barbeque rib/chicken dinner with a bottle of wine. We’re excited to make it back this summer for a date night at the winery.
Yellow Butterfly Winery taught me that wineries – at least good ones – are not all about wine. In fact, visiting Yellow Butterfly is a complete experience of nature, education and wine rolled into one.
For more Ohio wines, Find It Here at Ohio.org