As we have seen over the past years, there has not only been a growing number of Ohio wineries, but a growing number of successful Ohio wineries. These wineries are producing a product that is not only enjoyed, but a large number of them are using fruit that is locally grown. An economic impact study, from 2012, put the number of wineries at 175. Those 175 licensed wineries are contributing nearly a billion dollars to the economy and providing over 5,000 full times jobs. This number is likely to escalate with the results of a recent international wine competition.

Ohio-made wines are now reaching the point of national and international recognition. This could not be more apparent than with the results of the 25th Annual Cincinnati International Wine Festival. A Southwestern Ohio Winery, Valley Vineyards of Morrow, received the coveted recognition of being awarded the most medals out of over 125 wineries from around the world. With the Cincinnati International Wine Festival, Ohio wines are put on the map, which is where many of us knew they should have been in the first place.

Valley Vineyards, which took home a Gold Medal for their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, a Silver for their Ice Wine and a Bronze for their Cabernet Franc, has already seen a 600% increase in sales over the last 5 months since signing with Vintage Wine Distributing. Vintage is helping to put them on the map with some of the larger wine retailers in the state. As Valley Vineyards looks to the future, they are anticipating what such recognition means to them on a daily basis. To keep up with the growing demand, they are expecting to hire at least 5 more people as well as expanding their already 80+acre vineyard, the second largest vineyard in Ohio. What this means for Ohio, as this booming industry continues to gain prestige, is more tax revenue, more jobs, more vineyards and more great wine. As Joe Schuchter, Director of Sales at Valley Vineyards, simply states, “After 45 years of working under the radar, this competition will hopefully prove to our local community that we aren’t just producing good wine, we are producing world class wines, right here. At home.”