A taste of California is now just down the road at a brand new winery. Whiz’s Courtney Wheaton has more from Thornville.
Buckeye Lake Winery recently opened its doors to the public and owners of the winery, Tracy and Laura Higginbotham say business is strong and steady.
"We’ve had 4,000 people visit our property in the past four days and expectations have certainly been exceeded. We’re trying to source local and we’re trying to buy local.. were trying to keep money in the local community," said The Higginbothams.
It took two years of planning to open the winery. Prior to venturing to own and operate their own winery the Higginbothams worked for clients in the wine industries in California and learned as much as they could about the business before setting up shop in Tracy’s hometown. The Higginbothams prefer dry wines and encourage guest to come and sample.
"At the winery they have two different options for wine tasting. They have their choice of trying three or they can try all six for $12. They get their wine from Napa Valley and next year they’ll have an addition of an Ohio sweet wine," said Reporter, Courtney Wheaton.
In the upcoming year they plan to work with local farmers and eventually they’ll have their own vineyard where they will produce a home brew. California wines will always be their base because it fits their taste profile. Along with wine, food is an important aspect of their business and a retired chef for the Governors’ Office created the gourmet menu.
"The chef here is wonderful about trying to get as many local distributors as we can here because it’s good for the community and the fresher the product the better the product, " said Retired Chef, June McCarthy. Swen Hunt is the head Chef of Buckeye Lake Winery.
People who have visited the winery say that they are pleased to have a new place to visit on the lake.
"We’ve been waiting a year for it to open… it’s fabulous.. It’s a great place for people my age to come and have a nice glass of wine, " said Visitor, Kathleen Poulton.
If you are interested in visiting Buckeye Lake Winery you can come by boat service for $10 a person or drive up on land. At the venue you will hear local music, see a lake view and plenty of friends and family gathering for a glass of wine.