5 Generations Of Wine Making
Heineman Winery is a Put-in-Bay fifth-generation island tradition dating back over 125 years. Visitors can taste wine from grapes grown on the Lake Erie Islands. Heineman’s is the only winery on Put-in-Bay that produces the wine they market.
History Of Heineman Winery
Gustav Heineman, an immigrant from Baden, Germany, founded the winery in 1888. The optimal ground conditions and climate made South Bass Island perfect for growing grapes and wine production. Moreover, at this time, there were numerous wineries on the island. In fact, by 1900, there were at least 17 wine vintners.
Nevertheless, a transition was on the horizon. After implementing the Volstead Act, the sweeping reforms of Prohibition struck the wineries badly. Fortunately, Heineman Winery was able to endure. They did so by presenting Crystal Cave tours under the winery. The Crystal Cave boasts the World’s largest underground geode. Guests can take tours of the cave.
Interestingly, the crystals at one time were harvested for the production of fireworks. Therefore, the size of the cave increased over the years. Additionally, the family marketed grape juice and provided a taxi service to Crystal Cave.
Today, the wine-making ritual of the Heineman family lives on. Both third, fourth, and fifth-generation family members are busily involved in the business. Now, they farm 50+ acres of ground on Put-in-Bay for wine production. So, they have total control from vine to wine.
Grapes cultivated on the island are mostly Catawba and Concord. These varietals are used in creating their signature grape juice and many famous wines. While you are visiting the Heienman Winery, you may enjoy shopping at the Crystal Cave Gift Shop & the Heineman Winery Gift Shop, where you can purchase wine specially packed for the trip home.
Heineman Winery Hours of Operation
May 5th – September 25th, 11 AM – 5 PM
Open Daily Mid April – Mid-October 11 AM – 7 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 7 PM