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The Island Wine Festival at Put-in-Bay

Two galsses of wine on a rattan woven table outside, One is a red the other is a white at the Island Wine Festival Put in Bay

A wine festival like no other. Lake breezes, sparkling blue water, an island vibe, wine history along with great wines, music, golf cart cruising, a little shopping, and lots of fun! On June 22, beginning at 11 am, join a dozen of Ohio’s family wineries for a festival of Ohio wines at Put-in-Bay, on the grounds adjacent to the historic Heineman Winery. But the Wine Festival will be just one part of a wonderful day on Ohio’s best-known lake destination: The Key West of the Midwest.

Board one of the Miller Boat Line vessels at the end of Route 53, sit on the upper deck, take in the sunshine, and enjoy the lake’s fresh air. After about 45 minutes as the boat floats across the bay, wind down, and disconnect from the rest of the world, land on the island and choose to take a leisurely stroll (though somewhat of a lengthy walk) or rent a golf cart to wind your way through quiet paths with brief peeks of blue water on the way to the winery located on Catawba Avenue.

As you approach the festival’s field, stop by the Historical Society display to discover some real treasures and support their efforts to preserve the stories of the island’s founders and its “Wine Island” roots.

Then, for a couple of hours, join the festivities at the Island Wine Festival to sip and sample with winemakers from across the state who will be pouring red, white, blush, dry, sweet, and fruit wines for you to enjoy.

Sip and sample until you find a favorite. You will surely discover wines you will love. Then relax with a glass or two while sitting under the shade of trees that have provided a relaxing place for visitors for decades.

Plan to take a couple of bottles home to re-create that “island experience” this summer when you return to sipping on your own back deck.

Local vendors and food purveyors will offer light, lunchtime fare that is easy to enjoy, while island artisans will showcase many of their talents.

When the event closes, hop on your golf cart (or perhaps walk again) toward the vibrant downtown area of Put-in-Bay. Explore the shops, ride to the top of Perry’s monument, and take in a panoramic view of the entire Bass Island complex in Lake Erie’s beautiful western basin.

Before sunset, head back to the ferry dock and watch as the sun drops to the horizon and contributes colors of pink and blue to the skyline as you return to the mainland and find your car with take-home bottles in hand to remember a wonderful day in this magical place.

More details and tickets are available at and are $32 for wine samplers and $10 for non-drinkers.

Summer isn’t the only time to enjoy this captivating region, check out this article and uncover all the fabulous things to do along Ohio’s Shores and Islands.

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