If you’ve never been to an Ohio winery, there’s never been a better time to visit Firelands Winery & Restaurant. If you love wine, there’s nothing better than tasting wine right from the source where it’s made.
Not only that, there are usually breathtaking views to take on while you enjoy your wine and many wineries offer great food to pair with the wines they offer. Is there anything better than delicious wine paired with delicious food?
In northcentral Ohio, there’s no better place to visit than Firelands Winery. One of the best things to do in Sandusky Ohio, it’s one of the Buckeye State’s oldest wineries and produces and bottles wine for several different brands.
History of Firelands Winery
During the Revolutionary War, the Firelands region of north-central Ohio was settled by residents of Connecticut, whose homes had been burned. As they resettled in Ohio, they passed down a love of fine wines and winemaking.
Firelands Winery began in 1880 and was known as the Mantey Winery after German immigrant Edward Mantey began making wine there. His original wine cellar is still on the property today and is still used. The winery still pays homage to Mantey under a line of wines with the Mantey label.
Now under the direction of a new owner, Firelands Winery is Ohio’s largest producer of wine and offers customers a wide selection. Salvador imports Italian wines from all over Italy, but Firelands also embraces native wines too, from grapes grown right on the shores of Lake Erie.
FAQs About Firelands Winery & Restaurant
If you’re planning a trip to Firelands Winery, here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help give you all the information you need:
Where is Firelands Winery located?
Firelands Winery is located at 97 Bardshar Rd in Sandusky, Ohio.
When is Firelands Winery open?
The winery at Firelands is open Wednesday through Sunday. The tasting room, gift shop, and restaurant are open year-round.
Can I buy Firelands wine online?
Yes, you can. You can buy both domestic and imported wines online from Firelands as well as ready-to-drink spirits and liqueurs. You can also buy gift cards for the winery or even sign up for Firelands’ wine club.
What if I don’t really drink wine?
Don’t sweat it! No two wines are the same and you can try any of Firelands’ wines from its five labels. There are wine tasting flights, so you can sample some different ones you might be curious about.
Even if you don’t drink wine, you’ll get out of the house, have a heck of a view and leave with a bit more knowledge about wine when the day is done.
Wines Offered at Firelands Winery
For years, Firelands Winery has been known as the largest winery in Ohio and has gained a reputation for producing fine quality wines that it shares throughout the state and throughout the nation. But in recent years, Firelands Winery has become so much more than just wine.
The winery was purchased in 2019 and has renewed its commitment to producing quality wines as well as becoming a national beverage solutions company. As such, the Firelands Winery portfolio now includes wines as well as spirits, ready-to-drinks, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Visitors to Firelands will find an eye-catching array of wines, both domestic and imported. Some of Firelands’ offerings include:
This brand of wine stems back to the 1850s when Mon Ami Winery was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers. The winery was completed in 1872 and winemaking began there in 1873.
Many years later, after the winery stopped making wine, Firelands Winery became an advocate for them and purchased the brand.
Since then, Firelands has been producing wines under the Mon Ami line and has made them available for purchase online and in its tasting room.
The Lonz brand of wine goes back to a winery located on Middle Bass Island in the 1860s. At that time, George Lonz, who was dubbed “Ohio’s Wine King”, ran the winery for most of the 20th century until he died in 1969.
As with the Mon Ami Winery, Firelands stepped in to buy the brand around 2000 and continues to pay homage to its history with its Lonz brand of wines.
This brand pays homage to Edward Mantey, who moved into North Central Ohio in 1880 and began what eventually became the Firelands Winery.
Today, Fireland Winery still produces many of the original lions that Montey made, and those wines are sold in the winery’s tasting room and throughout the Midwest.
1880 Estate Reserve
This brand celebrates Firelands’ longevity and blends the past with the future. Wines in this line are small-batch boutique wines made with innovative techniques and grapes grown on the property.
This is the winery’s namesake and wines in this line are made from the Vitas Vinifera species of grape, often used to make Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio.
Believe it or not, Firelands was Ohio’s first winery to plant Pinot Grigio grapes.
Taste and Dine at Firelands Winery & Restaurant
One of the timeless features of the Firelands Winery is its wine tasting bar. This is a must-stop attraction for any visitor. It’s fully stocked with an impressive offering of premium imported and domestic wines.
This is a great way to sample the offerings of Firelands, whether you’re a wine novice or you consider yourself a wine connoisseur. If you want to sample some different offerings, you can even get carefully curated wine flights.
In addition to offering delicious wines, the Sandusky Ohio restaurant offers some delicious food options that are deliciously prepared to pair with the wines they offer. The menu includes appetizers like a charcuterie board and cheese bread.
Entrees include gourmet pizzas, sandwiches like an Italian panini, as well as soups and salads. If you’ve left room for dessert, there are a few dessert options on the menu as well as coffee and wine cocktails.
Special Events at Firelands Winery
During the year and each week, Firelands Winery hosts many events that are worth checking out:
- In February, Firelands hosts its annual Wine and Chocolate Open House, which features its amazing wines with the perfect chocolate and food samples to pair them with.
- In May, Firelands hosts Jockeys and Juleps to celebrate the Kentucky Derby. Visitors are asked to come in festive wear and prizes are awarded for the best hat. The celebration included mint juleps, bluegrass music, and southern fare.
- During the summer and early fall, the winery also hosts local musicians, offering the perfect bit of ambiance as you sip your glass of wine and enjoy the view.
- In the past, Firelands has also hosted an Italian Wine Brunch, a four-course brunch that includes wines from the winery, and a Q and A session with a winemaker.
The winery also has some weekly specials that are definitely worth stopping in for:
- From 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Firelands hosts Wine Wednesdays, where wine by the glass is half price.
- Firelands also hosts Sangria Sundays, where sangria pitchers are only $15.
- There’s also Half-Price Thursday, where pizzas are half price with the purchase of a bottle of wine at full price.
If you’re looking for the perfect place for a party, Firelands Winery has that too. The winery offers rental of its Osteria Gusto, Outside Patio, and Osteria Gusto Lounge.
Firelands Wine Club
There are lots of different wines to be enjoyed at Firelands Winery, but if you find some you really enjoy and want to enjoy them at home, your best bet is to join the Firelands Wine Club. This is a great way to try some wines and gives you something to look forward to every month.
There are several club shipment options available, including:
- Firelands Social Club — Offers members 10% off of all purchases, the first crack at event tickets, a free pizza and a free tasting flight each month, and a gift upon signup.
- Firelands Tasters Club — This offers members three bottles of wine each quarter and all the benefits offered in the Social Club package.
- Firelands Sommelier — This offers members six bottles of wine per quarter, 20% off purchases, early event tickets, two free pizzas and tasting flights per month, a signup gift, tickets to winery open houses, and access to members-only events.
If you’ve never visited Firelands Winery before, eventually you’re going to find something you like. Whether you’re a wine novice or a wine aficionado, every customer is treated the same.
After some wine tasting and eating some delicious food, you’ll leave with a great experience and more knowledge about wine. There’s something for everyone at Firelands Winery, so make the trip to Sandusky and treat your tastebuds to some unparalleled flavor.