Filed under: Wine
A wine cave in Ohio? Why not. Harmony Hill in Bethel, Ohio has opened the first wine cave in the midwest. The cave was created by using four massive archways, the kinds used in highway passes, which were sunk into the ground. The husband and wife team behind Harmony Hills, Bill and Patti Skvarla, came up with the idea after a visit to Napa. The cave, which opened over Memorial Day, currently hold 16 empty 59-gallon oak barrels waiting to be filled with Rhapsody, a Bordeaux-like blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Hoses running from a horse barn converted into a fermentation room run the wine downhill to the cave full of barrels.
The cave is currently open for tours but once the barrels are full it will only be open on a limited basis (to let the wine age at optimum temperature). The winery is a small one, producing about 700 cases per year from a variety of grapes such as Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Marechal Foch and Traminette. Harmony Hill produces six table wines and four dessert wines all with musical names like Ovation and Concerto. Oddly enough, the winery is located in a dry township and the winery is only able to sell because they grow the grapes and cork the wine onsite. The wines are in the $10 range and they only ship within Ohio. The pours are cheap too, only fifty cents a pour at the winery.