By Martha B. Jacob –
The Meranda Nixon Winery in Ripley was visited by David T. Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Christy Eckstein, executive director of the Ohio Grape Industries Committee on May 29. The pair toured the facility and talked briefly about the growing wine industry in Ohio. The Meranda Nixon Winery is owned/operated by Seth and Maura Meranda.
According to Daniels, the number of wineries in Ohio has grown from 175 wineries in 2012 to 265 in 2016, showing 51 percent growth.
“People continue to look to find new ways make their living,” Daniels said, “I didn’t realize it, but Seth (Meranda), the owner here at Meranda Nixon was once a tobacco farmer, but got into the winery business.
“The grape and wine industry in Ohio provides almost 8,100 full time jobs in our state and we are the 6th largest wine produce in the nation making 1.3 million gallons of wine per year”
Daniels said that Ohio is also ranked 9th in the nations grape growing states. with 1500 acres of grapes being grown in the state. He said he enjoys visiting wineries across the state.
Meranda Nixon Winery between Georgetown and Ripley first opened in 2007 and is one of the largest grape growing regions in the country and grows 15 1/2 acres of vines and planting more.
Meranda Nixon Winery was recently recognized as having one of the best wines in Ohio with its 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Eckstein said that her office provides marketing and research opportunities for all of Ohio’s grape growers, those who produce grape vines.
“There are about 75 vineyards in Ohio,” Eckstein said. “And about 1,500 acres of grapes, then there are also 289 licensed wine manufacturers in Ohio with about 25 applications pending.
“In Ohio there is no requirement that you have to grow your own grapes in order to be a winery, some people buy their grapes, rather than grow them.”
Eckstein said her department would like to see more vines grown in Ohio. She added that the diverse weather conditions in Ohio produce a large variety of wines.
To learn more about Meranda Nixon Winery or to schedule a tour, please visit www. merandanixonwinery.com or call (855) 651-9188.
To learn more about the wine industry visit www.findohiowines.com, or call Christy Eckstein at (614) 728-6438.