Photos by OHventures
Maize Valley Market & Winery
On my quest to visit 10 new wineries in 2014, I thought it most appropriate to find the closest winery to my home and travel there first! That winery happens to be Maize Valley Market & Winery, located in Hartville in Stark County. I traveled here on a whim (the best time to go on any adventure) one cold, Friday night in January. I was unsure of what to expect, but found that the place was certainly a hotspot!
Live music could be heard playing right when I walked in to the establishment. In front of me was an array of produce (all grown locally) and retail racks full of wine bottles (all made locally, of course). This definitely screamed out as being equally a market AND a winery! As I traveled through what felt like a grocery store, I soon found myself right where I needed to be: the bar!
The bar sits in an original barn from the 1860s with sandstone walls and wood beams on the ceiliings. The bar area had a number of patrons wining and dining at tables throughout an open area, where the live music was set up. Like all of my wine excursions, I opted to do a sampling session of various wines in order to get a good overview of what kind of place I was visiting (and at 25 cents per taste, you can't not do that)!
First on the list for me - due to its hilarious name alone - was the "Big Red Pecker." How can you not giggle when you hear that name? Nonsense aside, it was a great wine - a dry red. Most of the wines were very sweet, which isn't quite my style, so I took a quick liking to the Big Red Pecker (wow, that sounds pretty bad if you take that in the wrong context). The most popular wine - a sweet concord wine - also had a funny name: Redneck Red, which tasted just like a fresh picked grape!
Some of the bottles on the shelves jumped out at me as well because of their designs: Mad Cow, a white wine which has black and white cow-spots on the bottle, for instance. There was also a wine available that had a pink ribbon on the bottle, due to the fact that the proceeds go toward breast cancer research (a cause that I can definitely get behind).
In the food department, you can find freshly made pies, cookies, and bread all baked on site. And you can choose from a wide variety of tasty entrees, including roast beef sandwiches and tasty quinoa, for starters.
And if you want to have some fun that goes above and beyond wine and music, Maize Valley is a great spot to do so! There are tons of seasonal events that are fun for the whole family: wagon rides, corn mazes, pig races, and MORE! You have to come out to Maize Valley. And if you do, make sure you message me because I don't live far!