Wyandotte Winery, the first and oldest winery in Central Ohio, has been in operation since 1977. Located in a neighborhood setting, Wyandotte features fine wines hand crafted by the Coolidge family for a wide range of tastes.
Robin Coolidge, our Winemaker, says that he has one rule for wine. That is, "Drink what you like!" From red wines to white wines, sweet wines to dry wines, traditional grape wines to fruit wines, Wyandotte has something for every taste.
Don’t be intimidated by a wine tasting. Come in to our wine shop and tasting room and let us serve you a variety of wines in relaxed environment with no "wine snobs" and no intimidation. We can help you to discover the wonderful experience that is appreciating good wine. We believe that the best wine is the one you like to drink the most! But we can also help you try some wines that might be outside your comfort zone. You never know, you might find you enjoy a wine style that you never thought you would!
Valerie Coolidge, our resident "Chief Whiner", is also our food and wine pairing expert. From time to time the winery will host dinners that feature a wonderful multi-course meal designed by Valerie and thoughtfully paired with our wines. As our resident chef, Valerie also makes our famous Wyandotte Wine Cakes. Wine cakes are prepared with wine both baked into the cake and as a part of the cake glaze. Samples are available at the winery, and cakes are available to purchase both in the winery and online.
We love making unique custom labels for people to help celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and other special events. We can print names, dates, your own special message, and even your own photo, right on the label.
Wyandotte is also a unique place to hold celebrate a special occasion, hold a business meeting, do a team building event, or have a club meeting. Our space is very reasonably priced and we can offer a variety of services to help make your meeting special.
A History of Wyandotte Winery
Many people are surprised when they first turn onto Wyandotte Drive to visit the winery and realize they are entering a cozy neighborhood setting. The next surprise comes when they pull up to the winery itself. It looks like someone converted a house into a winery! Not true though! Floyd Jones built the facility in 1976, and from the very beginning it was meant to be both a home and a winery. Mr. Jones designed the winery with a large production facility in the cellar, a wine shop and tasting room on the first floor, and a comfortable living space for he and his family. Back when Wyandotte was being built, acres of field and forest surrounded it. None of the houses that are around the winery today existed at the time. There were also only 10 wineries in Ohio at the time, and Wyandotte was the first in the central Ohio area. The building was completed in 1977, the family settled into their new home, and soon after the Jones Wyandotte Wine Cellar was opened. Floyd was a unique winemaker. He made traditional grape wines, but his creations also included unique ingredients like dandelion, red clover, dry rhubarb, and red beet. Floyd and his wife Peggy slowly built the winery up, and it soon became a very successful business.
Around 1985 the winery was sold to Bill and Jane Butler. Bill, the winemaker at the time, was very good at his craft, and won many awards for his wines. People still tell stories about the wonderful Raspberry Champagne that Bill made during his tenure at Wyandotte. Jane, a talented marketer, developed a new set of labels depicting various landmarks around Columbus and Ohio. This was about the time that the land surrounding the winery was being sold, developers were coming in, and new houses were being built. A neighborhood grew up around the winery. Today Wyandotte is nestled in a comfortable neighborhood setting.
Around 1990, the Butler's decided to expand. They found an old building in the German Village area of Columbus that at one time housed a brewery. After many months of renovation, the William Graystone Winery and Restaurant was opened. The Graystone was in the cellar of the old brewery, and the unique, stone lined rooms with vaulted ceilings that once housed beer casks were remodeled by Bill and Jane into an elegant, unique venue for dinners and special events. After a long, successful run, the owners of Wyandotte and Graystone decided to pursue other interests. They sold the Graystone Winery in 2003, and while it is no longer producing wine, the Graystone Wine Cellar is now a wonderful event and banquet hall that still serves many of Wyandotte's wines.
Late in 2004, Wyandotte Wine Cellar closed its doors and was put up for sale. At the same time, Robin and Valerie Coolidge, after many years of home winemaking, were pursuing their dream of owning their own business. Robin often says, "If you don't know how you got to a place, that usually means that is where you are supposed to be." That is very much what happened. Through a set of fortunate circumstances, the Coolidges learned that The Wyandotte Wine Cellar was for sale, and approached the owners about purchasing the winery. In November of 2006, the Coolidge's purchased the winery, and after several months of remodeling, moved their family into their new home. In June of 2007, the new Wyandotte Winery re-opened to the public, and to this day continues a winemaking tradition that has spanned more than 30 years.
In November of 2014, Valerie and Robin purchased the Rockside Winery and Vineyards, a beautiful property near Lancaster, Ohio, about 45 minutes’ drive from Wyandotte. Rockside is in the rolling hills of Fairfield County, and there are about 4 acres of grapes growing on the property. Robin and Valerie’s son Ryan manage the Rockside Winery. Rockside and Wyandotte are now sister wineries, each producing their own unique variet
Winemaking at Wyandotte Winery
All our wine is made there, on premises. All the equipment necessary to ferment, process, age, and bottle wine is in the wine making facility located in the cellar of the building.
Historically, Wyandotte was a winery, not a vineyard. In 2009 that changed when Valerie planted 75 vines of a grape called Marquette. These vines began Valerie and Robin's journey to learning about growing grapes for winemaking. Wyandotte has also collaborated with a local vineyard called Broken Fence Vineyards to expand its access to locally grown grapes. The plantings at Broken Fence were started in 2012.
It surprises people sometimes that grapes are grown in Ohio, but the truth is that Ohio can grow some very good grapes. Traditional native American varieties like Niagara, Catawba, and Concord thrive all around the state. In fact, before the Civil War, Ohio was the largest grape producer of all the states, mainly because of the Catawba grape. In the north, near Lake Erie, the big bodies of water moderate temperatures. In this area they grow classic varieties like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, among others. These are all relatively cold hardy varieties that, while challenging, can survive most of the cold Ohio winters. In other places, vineyards grow French/American hybrid grapes that are developed to be very cold hardy. Varieties like Baco Noir, Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Traminette, and Chardonel are examples of French/American Hybrids. In southern Ohio, where they benefit from a little more heat, they are even beginning to grow some very good Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Robin tries very hard to use Ohio grown fruit whenever possible. Other grape or fruit varieties that don't grow well in Ohio are sourced from other places such as California, New York, and as far away as Chile.
In the winery yeast is added to the juice and, in the process of converting sugar to alcohol, the yeast also creates special flavors that are found in no other beverage in the world. Robin uses his skill and expertise to manipulate the environment the yeast is growing in to convert simple fruit juice into a work of art. The winemaking process can take anywhere from months to years depending on the kind of wine and the aging process used. On Saturdays, the winery offers free tours of our facility where you can learn more about the winemaking process. See our calendar to reserve your spot.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to learn about Wyandotte Winery. Owners Valerie and Robin Coolidge invite you to visit the winery as soon as you can to enjoy all the wonderful wine, food, and events we have to offer!