Mahoning Valley Wine Trail
By Vince Guerrieri

There’s a prayer offered up in jest that says, “Lord, grant me coffee to change the things I can and wine to accept the things I can’t.”

Apparently, the Mahoning County Visitors Bureau has taken it to heart. A year after introducing their “Joe in the Yo” coffee trail in and around Youngstown, they’re offering a wine trail, in which my wife and I were only too happy to partake.

There are six participating wineries, and if you go and order a glass of wine there, you can get a stamp on your passport (available at the visitors bureau or any winery on the trail). Once you’ve gotten a stamp at all six wineries, you can redeem the passport for wine charms.

The wineries are clustered in two areas, so it’s possible to do the entire thing in a couple days. (This point is where I remind you to know your limits and look for a designated driver; most of the stops have some type of food offering, so you shouldn’t have to drink on an empty stomach.)

There are two in the farmland south of Youngstown. One is Diletto Winery in Canfield, in a Colonial-style building that dates back to 1930. They have a limited menu of snacks, meals and desserts (including doughnuts from across the street at White House Fruit Farms), and when we were there, they had beer as well from Birdfish Brewing in Columbiana. They have a host of activities, from the standard sip-and-paint evenings to an escape room, which appears to be the next big thing to do throughout Ohio. When we were there, they had a cellist who played an eclectic variety of songs (I swear, one was “Evil Woman” by Electric Light Orchestra).

The other is the Vineyards at Pine Lake on Route 7, just a couple turns off the last Turnpike exit before the Pennsylvania line. It’s definitely the biggest of the wineries in the Youngstown area, with the fullest menu and a banquet center. Both the restaurant – with a patio – and the banquet center offer great views of the lake, and on a Saturday night, it can get packed.

The other wineries are clustered in the western side of Mahoning County, near Lake Milton. The granddaddy of them all is Mastropietro Winery, which opened in 2005, but the family had been making wine for generations before that. In addition to a full menu, there’s even a bed and breakfast on site.

Halliday Winery, named for one of the Mahoning Valley’s early settlers, Jesse Halliday, who built a grist mill near what’s now Newton Falls in 1803, offers entertainment on the weekend and a great view of Lake Milton.

Myrddin Winery takes its name from a Welsh god, and its offerings are named for other figures in Welsh and English mythology. Lil Paws, on the other hand, names its wines after the pets owned by the family that owns the winery (they also make their own beer). They don’t offer food, but allow you to bring it in from other restaurants.

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About the Author

Vincent Guerrieri has been a writer for all of his professional life. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a bachelor's degree. His works include writing for newspapers in major cities, online news sources, regional publications, public relations/speech writing, and as a contributor to the Ohio. Find It Here. travel blog.