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October 16, 2009


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I'm wondering how any of us can truly comment on such a bizarre story.

It sounds like $30 worth of entertainment if you've got a morbid sense of humor, and a definite stay-away if you don't.

If Edgar Allan Poe wrote a story about a winery...

Oh, I'm adding this to my next wine trip itinerary. And I'm buying NOTHING. Let's find out what happens.

Ack, as a grower supplying grapes to C-LE wine trail members, I'm appalled that this is what you chose to write about! This guy is a crackpot and his wine is terrible. Thanks for the disclaimer, anyway.

And you didn't make it to Liberty Vineyards, which is the best out there and right on Rte. 20. A list of their wines can be found here: http://www.libertywinery.com/Site/Wines.html.

Creepy and so timely, considering we are into the Halloween season.

My post next Friday will discuss the many positive tasting experiences I had in Chautauqua - "Fair and Balanced" would be my motto if it wasn't already in use.


We wanted to make it to Liberty Vineyards as we know "the Bob" very well and were interested in seeing the winery. Ironically the time we spent at SD ate into the rest of our tour.

We will see you there soon :)

Your post brought back memories of our stop at Schloss Doepken probably 10 years ago. Nothing nearly as weird as your experience and I don't remember an older guy running the tasting bar. My wife and I and another couple stopped in for a tasting. There was another couple already tasting.

They had a list of their current wines along with a single riesling that was at least 7 or 8 yrs older. It wasn't labelled as a library offering and there was nothing else from any vintages between that and the current releases which seemed odd to us. We disliked all of the wines including the older riesling. We concluded their approach was to keep offering the wines for sale as long as they had any left. We were able to get out without buying anything.

The kicker to the story is the other couple was hauling cases of wine out and said they'd specifically come from Ohio to buy them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We did not check out that winery on the trail, but it doesn't suprise me at all. In general the Lake Erie trail disappointed me. Other than a few gems, the wineries were typically labrusca style sweet wines, which sell well to Pennsylvanians and non-wine drinkers, but sour my palate a bit too much. We've had MUCH better luck going just a few hours more into the Northwestern Ohio region, with some excellent vinifera based wineries.

My Bad, I'd meant Northeast Ohio.

Bryan, good to know that you'll be visiting Liberty. Bob is the BEST -- we've "followed him" (i.e. sold our grapes) to whatever winery he was working with.

Chriasas, you are correct in that many of the LE-Chaut wine trail wineries offer sweet labrusca as their bread and butter. That, I'm happy to report, is changing with the influx of new wineries and winemakers. You can get Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Carmenere on the trail that are made with grapes grown right in the region. There are also good hybrids and natives that can be found there, too -- Traminette (similar to Gewurz), Noiret (similar to Shiraz), and Diamond (a native that pre-dates Niagara & is much fruiter and much less foxy) are just a few.

This made me laugh so much that my stomach hurts! I also visited schloess doepken for the first time on one of theharvest wine weekendsthis year. I found the experience to be good for a laugh but I would not recommend anyone go there. My first impression was that I was going to the "wrong turn" of wineries when we pulled up to the farm house. We started off by tasting the selected wine which was a fruity spiced variety which was offerred in a plastic medicine cup. We were instructed by the girl working to make sure we take the cup to the wine bar if we chose to taste "so we didn't get yelled at". A 900 year old man dresed in suspenders was working the bar who looked as though he could collapse at any moment. He snapped "hold out your cup, hold it up high". He shakily poured the smallest sample possible into the my reused cup. Next, he pulled out two wine glasses and began to tell us a tale about a 2001 cabernet sauvignon that we could taste for a fee of $7 per taste but he would allow us to "keep the glasses". After only been allowed to taste 1 variety (which we did not find impressive), we declined this spectacular offer from the wine nazzi. He proceeded to tell us how none of the customers who were on the wine trail ( and paid $35 a ticket) buy any wine from him. He told us that he does not "see a dime of that money". We politely thanked old man river for the "experience" and got the heck out of there while he was muttering about us not buying anything on our way out the door. I'm pretty sure the guy with the glass eye was outside fixing the door!!! Lol. We couldn't help keeping an eye out on the road behind us after leaving there. I too, will now carry pepper spray .

I'm 24 and my friends I go on the wine tour every chance we get. Schloss Doepken is a pretty awesome place. We never leave without a story. I highly doubt that the old man ever smacked someone with his cane for not buying wine or blocked the door. This piece is a little over the top dramatic. We all go there, because it's great for a good laugh and some decent wines. That's the charm of home style wineries.

Don't assume that because we are a young group we haven't experienced great wine tasting, as members in our group have toured in places ranging from California to Greece. This review seems a bit snobbish and adding in the part about the guy with the glass eye is sliiiightly immature, don't you think?

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