Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tuscawaras County Wineries

Photos by OHventures

To continue celebrating Ohio Wine Month this June, consider stopping in to one – or all six – of the award winning wineries in Tuscawaras County. While you embark on your wine-tasting experience, be sure to check out the Ohio Grape Industries VIP incentive program, where you can register and win rewards for visiting different Ohio wineries.

Island Palm Winery (Bolivar): Historic downtown Bolivar is the setting for this fun and laid back island-themed winery. When walking in, you immediately get a tiki bar vibe that sets the tone for a good time. Flip Flop Muscat, Seashell Chardonnay, and Shark Bite Zinfandel are some examples of the exciting and whimsical wines found at Island Palm. The best sellers are fruit wines: Pomegranate Cove and Sunset Passion Fruit. They also offer a great bologna sandwich called “The Big Kahuna,” and the tasty home brewed Crow’s Nest Hard Apple Cider.

School House Winery (Dover): One of my favorite wineries in all of Ohio is School House Winery, which was established in an actual schoolhouse from the late 1800s! This bright red structure stands out in the rolling countryside and beckons you to come in the doors and have some wine. All wines have been given elementary school-related monikers, my top picks being Bully Red (dry, smoky, oaky), and Teacher’s Pet (the best seller).

Breitenbach Wine Cellars (Dover): When I visited Breitenbach, it was swarming with visitors, with check-out and wine-tasting lines stretching throughout the winery. Known for over 40 vinifera and hybrid American varieties, Breitenbach produces 135,000 gallons of wine each year. A must-try is the extremely unique (and extremely sweet) Dandelion wine, which has become a mainstay and crowd favorite. It is so popular, that there is even an annual Breitenbach Dandelion Festival each May.

Swiss Heritage Winery (Dover): Located at the Broad Run Cheesehouse, you’ll find yourself amongst an array of cheeses (all made on site), lace, curtains, and other specialty items. Making your way to the rear of the gift shop, you’ll find a counter selling a selection of 17 different wines made on site. The folks at Swiss Heritage will do a great job letting you know which cheeses and wines pair best together. My recommendation is the light and grapey Victorian Lace paired with blue ribbon Swiss cheese!

YOLO Winery (Dover): A winery with the name “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) can only mean good things. The interior has a modern and upscale d├ęcor reminiscent of a California-style boutique. Order delicious flatbreads and salads delivered to you fresh from local restaurant Sammy Sue’s. Be sure to sample my personal favorite wine called Party On Garth.

Silver Moon Winery (Dover): A great place to sit back and relax after a long day of traveling and wine sampling. There is a large, open seating area with loads of comfortable couches and chairs that pair nicely with the wines at Silver Moon. Try Blood of Zeus and Luna Bianca. If you’re daring, check out Eve’s Delight or Kiwi Melon Splash!

Friday, June 26, 2015

AkRun & Crawl Photo Blog

Who: Nearly 300 runners and crawlers
What: Torchbearers AkRun & Crawl
When: May 30, 2015 (and upcoming May, 2016)
Where: The Merriman Valley, Akron
Why: Because what goes better with a 5K than a pub crawl?
How: Lace up your shoes and show up thirsty!

Photos by OHventures and Zipper City Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

AkRun & Crawl Recap

Photos by OHventures and Zipper City Blog

The 9th Annual TorchbearersAkRun & Crawl was held on Saturday May 30, 2015. The event was “Remixed” this year and held in the Merriman Valley, Akron. This high-energy event kicked off with a 5K that started from the front of BCG & Co. Runners were taken along the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The rain stayed at bay while the run was taking place, and everyone got to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery afforded by the Merriman Valley. With thoughts of cold adult beverages, cheers from volunteers and beats from DJ Garrick Black, all of the runners made their way across the finish line. The athletes’ efforts were rewarded with delicious Nooma drinks and bananas and water (provided by Giant Eagle) to help with their recovery before moving on to the next phase of the night.

Those that were able and willing made their ways down from the finish line to the first of three bars for the crawl. The participants were given special custom mugs that gave them drink specials for the night. Johnny J’s provided free (and delicious) burgers, hot dogs and sides. From the first stop, Johnny J’s Pub, participants crawled to Shot’s and then Woody’s Tavern.

This year’s AkRun & Crawl event brought in a record high number of registrations (281)! A big thank you definitely goes out to the event co-chairs, Patrick Bravo and Michael Evans. 

Race Directors Patrick Bravo and Michael Evans

Additional thanks goes to the people that helped make the rest of the event go smoothly: the TB Events Committee, Brandon Pauley for coordinating the water stops, Jocelyn Grant for heading up the registration, Michael Wilson for the event communications & artwork, Brian Berg for the coordination of the Crawl part of the night, Katie Kline being in charge of the awards, Nolan James for the sponsorships, and Kat Pestian and Leighann Fink as the events committee chairs. 

Torchbearers looks forward to seeing everyone at next year’s 10th Annual Torchbearers AkRun & Crawl!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Go Ape Treetop Adventure Photo Blog

Who: Any ape-like homo sapiens aged 10 and older
What: Go Ape Treetop Adventure aerial obstacle course
When: Spring & Summer months
Where: Cleveland Metropark's Mill Stream Run Reservation, Strongsville
Why: To test your endurance, balance, strength, and monkey-ish-ness 40 feet above the air
How: Book a time slot online now!

Photos by OHventures