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French Ridge Vineyards: Blending Tradition, Passion, and Nature in the Heart of Amish Country

Discovering French Ridge Vineyards & Winery: A Treasure in Holmes County, Ohio

As the late winter sun cast a soft, golden hue over the rolling hills of Holmes County, Ohio, I found myself at French Ridge Vineyards. Located just west of Killbuck, this charming vineyard is a treasure that has grown from humble beginnings in the spring of 2001 into one of the most prestigious vineyards in the region, thanks to the dreams and hard work of Scott and Kathy Buente.

The Growth of French Ridge: Acres, Vines, and Varieties

Scott, who grew up on a New York state vineyard, has a history steeped in viticulture (the cultivation and harvesting of grapes used in winemaking.) He brought his extensive knowledge to Ohio, where he and Kathy established the first winery owned and operated within Holmes County, sharing his dream and passion with their community. 

The Buentes’ journey, a testament to their dedication, has led to French Ridge boasting 23 acres, 23,000 vines, and an impressive array of 13 different grape types, culminating in 22 distinct wine varieties. 

Upon arrival, the vineyard’s natural beauty immediately struck me. The landscape, a tranquil blend of carefully tended vines and wild, natural beauty, offered me relaxation and contemplation. The vineyard, silently awaiting spring, is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Two hands extending towars each other each holding a glass of red wine and toasting their day on the deck at French Ridge vineyards & Winery

As someone who adores visiting wineries, I immediately felt at home when I arrived at this particular one. The property is serene yet lively, and its ambiance is perfect for families, friends, or couples seeking a romantic getaway. At the winery, guests can enjoy a bottle of their favorite wine while engaging in conversation and laughter. Families are also welcome to explore the vineyards, offering them a chance to spread their wings and escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

A Story in Every Sip

Each wine I tasted has a story to tell, reflecting the care and expertise with which it is crafted. From Frosty, the dessert wine kissed by the lips of the season’s frost, to the dark and fruity Cabernet Franc that leaves a hint of pepperiness and herbal notes on the tongue. 

Of the 23 wines, grapes harvested directly from their vineyards are used to make 22. They also process the wines on the property, ensuring a unique and authentic taste.

In addition to growing the vast majority of its grapes, they also grow the fruit used in their production. And soon, they plan to introduce Quince wine. 

As the day waned, I took in the breathtaking view of the Holmes County sunset. This spectacle of colors seemed to celebrate the day’s end.

Comfort and Charm Await

The vineyard offers charming, on-site cabins for those seeking more than just a day trip. Each cabin, equipped with a Queen bed, kitchenette, and private bathroom, promised a comfortable and intimate stay. The private deck with a state park-style charcoal grill offers a personal vantage point to admire the vineyard’s beauty.

To accompany the wine, French Ridge offers homemade pizzas and various appetizers. Also, on Saturdays, they host a full dinner, “meal of the night,” and live music. Once the warmer weather returns, they will also have live music on Fridays. 

French Ridge Winery: The Heart of Ohio’s Wine Country

My visit to French Ridge Vineyards & Winery was a delightful journey into the heart of Ohio’s wine country. For travelers interested in exploring Amish Country, Historic Roscoe Village, or Mohican State Park, French Ridge is a perfect base, offering a unique blend of local culture, history, and natural splendor. As I left, with a bottle of their finest tucked under my arm, I knew I would return to French Ridge Vineyards. A place where dreams are cultivated, and the fruits of labor are enjoyed under the setting sun.

To learn more, visit French Ridge Vineyards & Winery and Ohio Amish Country to plan your visit. For more captivating places to discover in Amish Country and Beyond, check out our website at Ohio Compass.

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