Our Winemaker says "Wine is about enjoying food, family, and friends. The only real rule for wine is 'Drink What You Like'!"
A Little Slice of Wine Country in Central Ohio's Backyard!
That's the way we like to think of our place. Where else can you go that is 45 minutes from much of Columbus and enjoy rolling vineyards, great wine, fun events, and a relaxing wine experience? The first vines were planted in 2007 on a beautiful 17 acre spot among the rolling hills of Fairfield County near Lancaster. With a natural south facing slope and well drained soil, the spot was perfect for growing grapes. Four years later in 2011 the winery and tasting room were built and the new winery was on its way!
In October of 2014 Robin and Valerie Coolidge purchased the winery and vineyards. The couple had owned Wyandotte Winery in Columbus for many years. Wyandotte, one of the oldest wineries in Ohio, is land locked, and has no space for vineyards. RockSide was the perfect way for the family to branch out and expand their winery business. Ryan Coolidge also joined the family run business as the General Manager and Assistant Winemaker at Rockside.
Ohio can be a challenging place to have a vineyard. Our winters are cold and summers are relatively short and humid. Valerie, the Vineyard Manager at Rockside, has decided we will only grow vines that can grow well on our soil. That means native American varieties and French-American varieties that are cold hardy and can stand up to our winters.
Varieties such as Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Niagara,Corot Noir, among others, were chosen because of their ability to thrive in a climate that can be challenging to growing vines. We keep our crop loads low, which means the vines have plenty of resources to develop healthy, intense, flavorful grapes that reflect the unique environment where they are grown.
The family spends many hours in the vineyards caring for the vines, and in the fall harvests the grapes and begins the winemaking process. RockSide also brings in some fruit from California to make wines from grapes that just cannot be grown well in Ohio's climate. Winemaking at RockSide follows traditional methods that have been used for thousands of years. Robin, the Winemaker at Rockside, makes wine in small, hand crafted batches. No wine goes to the bottle until Robin feels it is ready. The result are great wines made mostly from fruit grown on the property.
Rockside's beautiful tasting room is a comfortable space to relax and enjoy our wines. The adjacent patio overlooks the vineyards and the rolling hills of Fairfield County. The facility is available to rent for parties and other celebrations.
We invite you to stroll the vineyard when you visit and ask our helpful staff any questions you have about our vineyards and how we care for our grapes. Kick back and relax on our covered patio or in our tasting room where you can take in our entire process - from seed to bottle.