By Peter H. Milliken
Owners of a popular, newly opened Beaver Township winery and event center on the shore of Pine Lake aspire for it to become a destination in itself.
The Vineyards at Pine Lake, 14101 Market St., consists of vineyards that visitors see at the entrance, a wine-making and bottling plant, a wine-tasting room with an outdoor deck overlooking the lake and a lakefront event center.
The Glista family, which owns the winery, eventually plans to erect a new restaurant, an outdoor pavilion and rental cabins for overnight guests, open a brewery on the premises, plant additional grapevines and establish lakefront hiking trails, said Joe Glista, part-owner, vice-president and winemaker.
“The ultimate goal is to get it to a complete destination,” for a weekend, he said.
Besides the Mahoning Valley, winery customers already come from the Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, Glista noted.
“The property lays itself out beautifully. We’ve got the nice flat area out front, where you drive through the vineyards, then it kind of drops off 80 feet” in elevation from the tasting room to the lake, he said.
“It gives a real panoramic view of the lake from the tasting room,” he added.
“When this place is done, it’s going to be a crown jewel in eastern Ohio. People are going to be flocking here,” predicted Ray Colledge of Fairfield Township, Columbiana County, a regular winery customer.
“The food is fantastic. Chris [Jenkins] is a master chef,” said Colledge, who was there with his wife and eight Pittsburgh-area friends when a reporter visited the establishment.
Colledge’s wife, Sharon, described the winery as “warm and inviting” and “charming,” and she said its Avily is the best blush wine she’s ever tasted.
“You have to come here to experience it to understand it,” she said of the winery’s charm.
The 12,900-square-foot event center can accommodate up to 350 people, or it can be split into two smaller spaces accommodating up to 150 guests.
That center, which opened in August 2016, includes an outdoor patio, two dance floors, two built-in bars, a fully-equipped kitchen and bridal suite and an outdoor ceremony space.
The rustic wine-tasting room, which opened in December 2016, and now doubles as a restaurant, has a fireplace and a vaulted ceiling and features live entertainment most Saturday evenings.
The tasting room, which requires no reservations, can accommodate up to 120 people indoors.
Tasting room hours are noon to 6 p.m. Sundays; 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Mondays.
The winery produces and bottles on its premises all 10 of the wines it sells for carry-out and on-premises consumption.
Featured are chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot noir, merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
“We have a very fruit-forward merlot, which is different from what people usually think of,” Glista said of this wine, which features plum, blackberry, chocolate and red fruit aromas.
Syrah features blackberry, blueberry and plum aromas.
Also featured are three house wines, Lindale, Avily and Cire, whose names are variations on, or combinations of, first names of Glista family members.
Lindale is a sweet white wine, with grape, citrus and melon flavors.
Avily has cherry, raisin, strawberry and watermelon aromas.
Cire is a sweet concord wine, with grape and berry aromas.
The wine tasting room menu includes the Vineyards Burger, grilled chicken Florentine, chicken francaise, a grilled pork chop and grilled flat iron steak.
Desserts are creme brulee, molten lava cake and Nutella brownie cake.