Photos by OHventures
455 Schneider's Crossing Road NW
Dover, OH 44622
If these walls could talk, they would surely tell the tales of young Ohio schoolchildren of the late 1800s and early 1900s learning their way through reading, writing and arithmetic in the heart of Tuscawaras County. They'd be likely to spout off stories of dunce caps and chalkboards, yard sticks, and pencil sharpeners. Built in 1886, Oak Grove School held classes in one room from all students grade 1-8 up until 1941. It was thereafter owned by numerous families and used as a home, until it became what it is today: The School House Winery, established in 2009.
Owners David and Jennifer Jagunic ferment all of the wine on site, most made with grapes from the Lake Erie region. They have approximately 2 acres of beautiful landscaping including a small pond and outside sitting area where patrons can enjoy live local music every Saturday night.
The school house has been painted a strikingly bright red hue that stands out in the countryside backdrop. Inside, the one-room school house has been transformed to include a wrap-around bar in the center and ample seating throughout.
All of the wines have been cleverly given elementary school-related monikers, and are available for approximately $13-16 per bottle, $5 per glass, or $0.50 per sample. Naturally, I opted to get a sample of each of the 11 available wines so I could see what tastes each had to offer! Julie, our bartender, poured the samples from driest to sweetest and lined them all in a row!
First up was The Principal, which is the driest red, and seemed like a crowd favorite (others coming to the bar seemed to ask for this one). I personally loved it, given that dry reds are my favorite! The next was Oak Grove, named after the original school. This one reminded me of wine consumed at church during communion, which is a good thing! Equation was next, which was the driest white wine available, and was rather palatable. My absolute favorite was next in line: Bully Red. Full of character, it had a smoky, oaky flavor, and I even bought a bottle to take home!
Next came Eraser, a semi sweet white wine, followed by Teacher's Pet (which wins the coolest name award in my book and is apparently the winery's true best seller), Lazy Daze, Cranberry (a seasonal sweet red), Class Clown (tasted too much like candy to me), and an apple-flavored wine that was a delight!
A small yet incredibly tasteful menu is available that includes meatballs in a bread bowl, 10 inch pizzas (veggie, cheese/garlic, and pepperoni), subs, and pizza rolls. All menu items were made with local ingredients, such as bread from nearby Breadhead Bakery, Mids sauces from Navarre, and cheese from Heini's Cheese Chalet in Berlin.
This quaint winery is one of the most memorable and noteworthy I have been to in Ohio, and is worth a road trip no matter where you're coming from - just be sure to have a DD!