Published May 30, 2012
The basis of the multi billion dollar international wine industry is agriculture. In the end, the quality of the grape crop produced each year largely determines how good the finished product we all enjoy will be. The folks at Maize Valley Market and Winery in Hartville understand this, as they are farmers first and wine production is just one important part of their overall agricultural production.
Maize Valley is a 52 year old family owned and operated farm. While grape growing and wine production have recently become a focus, they still grow numerous other crops to go with their 18 acres of grapes:
3 acres raspberries
2 acres strawberries
1/2 acre apple orchard
120 acre of sweet corn
40 acrres of other fruits and vegetables
In 2009 wine production was 11,000 and has doubled in a three year period to just over 22,000 gallons. They grow Traminette, Vignoles, Concord, Catawba, LaCrescent, Niagara, Frontenac, and Vidal in their vineyards. The grapes are used to produce a wide variety of wines with creative and humorous names including:
Red Neck Red - A sweet red made from Concord grape. Their #1 seller.
Mad Cow - A sweet white table wine with fresh fruit flavors.
Hanky Panky - A sweet pink Catawba named after the farms two pigmy goats that live in the petting pasture.
Summer Fling - A semi-sweet white with a kiss of raspberry blended in.
Apple Pie - A sweet apple wine with hints of clove and brown sugar.
Maize Valley hosts approximately 250,000 visitors each year. They have several large special events including a weekly classic car cruise, 5K race and half marathon, annual hot air balloon lift off and their big, six week fall festival with a corn maze, wagon rides, and much more.
There is a monthly Vintners Dinner Series held the third Thursday of each month st 6:30PM. The dinner includes a multi-course meal featuring Maize Valley wines which are paired with fresh, locally grown foods. The cost for the dinner is only $40 per person and reservations are requested.
You can visit Maize Valley 3 miles east of Hartville on Route 619. Call ahead for information on upcoming events at (330) 877-8344 or visit www.maizevalley.com for learn lots more.