Founded in 1888, Heineman Winery is a historical Put-In-Bay island landmark originally developed by Gustav Heineman. As one of the designated stops of the Tour Train, guests can explore the winery, learn it’s history, and enjoy expertly crafted wine made and sold locally. As guests tour the winery they will also learn about the generations of tradition that are infused in every bottle.
Located 40 feet above the magnificent Crystal Cave, home of the world’s largest geode, lies the multi-generational family winery. Having immigrated from a region of Germany best known for grape growing, Heineman traveled to The Lake Erie islands over 125 years ago. The rich soil quality of South Bass Island was ideal for growing grapes and producing wines of every variety. The conditions were so favorable that roughly a decade after the Heineman Winery establishment, 17 other wineries choose to make the island their home.
But their stories aren’t nearly as successful. Prohibition proved to be an impossible obstacle for the wineries around the country. Luckily, the Heineman family winery was able to go underground… Literally. The Heineman Winery sits atop one of the world’s most beautiful caves, so they used it as Prohibition collateral. They offered tours of the underground Crystal Cave to make ends meet and were able to outlast the alcohol reform.
Heineman Winery Favorites:
- Island Chablis (White)
- Cedar Woods (Red)
- Crystal Cave Spumante
- Catawba Grape Juice
- Niagara (White)
Nearby Tour Train Stops:
- Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center
- Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
- Lake Erie Island Nature and Wildlife Area
Put-In-Bay is proud to still serve as the home to this amazing treasure. There are few establishments in this region of the United States with such a rich history of winemaking traditions. Five generations later the Heineman family, the Heineman Winery, and Crystal Cave are still standing strong. Catch a ride on the Tour Train and indulge in all the winery has to offer. Once you’ve sampled all the delicious locally-produced wines make your way across the street to Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center. If you’re up for a little island exploration, rent a moped and go for a ride. No trip to Put-In-Bay is complete without visiting this amazing attraction.
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