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Viking Vineyards & Winery

Viking Vineyards & Winery

Viking Vineyards & Winery
268 Old Forge Road
Kent, Ohio
USA 44240
Phone: (330) 678-2080

Contact: Dana Nelson
Email: viking@vikingvineyards.com

Hi! I'm Dana Nelson and I'm the Business Manager and part owner of the Winery. My husband, Jeff, is the other part owner, as well as the winemaker and vineyard manager. We first got together in 1997. At that time, I was working as a Program Manager in New Business Development for the Bearing Business at The Timken Company, and Jeff was working as an environmental consultant. We were both doing considerable traveling, which meant that we spent quite a bit of time apart.

In order to remedy this situation, we began thinking about starting our own business. While considering which business might be a good "fit", we recognized the fact that Jeff had been a home wine maker for many years, we both loved wine and visiting wineries, and we had always enjoyed the type of people we met at wineries. We had both always heard that the best business go get into is one that you love. So, by the end of 1997 we had decided that a winery was what we wanted to do.

We began looking for property in the fall of 1997, but it wasn't until the spring of 1998 that we finally found the right spot - it had a house where we could live, land where we could grow grapes, a pole building (albeit in much need of improvement and addition) where we could make and sell the wine, and a lovely lake that would be their attraction.

The first grapes went into the ground in May of 1999 and the winery officially opened on November 5, 1999, with a Tasting Room that would seat 30 people. That winter we added more seating. During the summer of 2000 we added seating by the lake, and built a deck by the lake in the summer of 2001. By the winter of 2001 we had completely outgrown the original Tasting Room (which now had seating for 48), and also had a pressing need for additional wine-making capacity. So, in the spring of 2002 we began construction of an addition that more than doubled their seating and wine-making capacity.

This new Lake View Hospitality Room, besides being an ‘overflow’ for the original Tasting Room on busy nights, is available for rent for parties and meetings.

The Winery currently bottles 4000 gallons of wine, up from the 1000 gallons at which we started. There are currently 17 wines on our wine list, including Vidal Blanc Ice Wine and Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. Jeff has also won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals over the past 9 years at both the Ohio Wine Competition and at the Indy International Wine Competition.

Jeff is constantly making new wines, so the wine list is always changing. So, even if you think you know our wines, we’ve probably introduced some new ones since the last time you visited. So come on back and try them!

Winemaker: Jeff

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