Lonz Winery Middle Bass IslandPreservation Of A Pastime
LONZ WINERY MIDDLE BASS ISLAND, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) proudly unveiled the restoration and preservation efforts that have been completed at the Historic Lonz Winery Middle Bass Island State Park on Friday, June 23. A ribbon-cutting ceremony preceded tours of the more than 150-year-old wine cellars that were opened for the first time to park visitors since being restored and will be open every weekend this summer. ODNR would like to invite the public to visit Ohio’s newest state park to explore the history of Middle Bass Island, the rebuilt Historic Lonz Winery, and the incredible views over Lake Erie.
With the first wine cellar built in 1863 on this property, these islands were once the largest producer of wine in the entire United States. Since the state acquired the Lonz Winery Middle Bass Island property more than ten years ago, many have been discussing how to repair and adequately utilize the property. Visitors will experience the culmination of years of work on the island, including environmental remediation and shoring up the structure to ensure it stands for generations to come.
ODNR saved as much of the original structure as possible, including the cellars, the iconic Lonz Winery façade, and the tower. Much of the winery’s upper levels could not be salvaged, but the footprint of the building is being utilized as a large patio that features excellent views of Lake Erie and Put-in-Bay. Additional completed projects include a pavilion with tables and a fireplace, flush restrooms both inside and out, and multi-use trails.
To help with the increased number of visitors expected to visit Middle Bass Island State Park, ODNR also redeveloped the marina, including seasonal dockage, a harbor master building, and a new boat launch ramp. The Sonny S Ferry will bring Put-in-Bay Tourists to Middle Bass Island. ODNR ensures a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for all benefits.