Heineman Winery is a Put-in-Bay island tradition dating back over 125 years. Here, guests can get a taste of the Lake Erie Islands. Heineman’s is the only winery on the island that makes the wine they sell.
Heineman Winery History
An immigrant from Baden, Germany, Gustav Heineman founded the winery in 1888. The optimal soil conditions made South Bass Island a hotbed for grape growing and wine production. Moreover, at this time there were many wineries on the island. In fact, by 1900, there were 17 wine producers. However, change was on the horizon. After the passage of the Volstead Act, the sweeping reforms of Prohibition hit the wineries hard. Fortunately, Heineman Winery was able to survive. They did so by offering tours of Crystal Cave, located under the winery. This cave boasts the World’s largest geode. Here, guests can tour the cave. Interestingly, the crystals were once harvested for firework production. Consequently, the size of the cave grew over the years. Additionally, the family sold grape juice and provided taxi service to Crystal Cave.
Today, the wine making tradition of the Heineman family lives on. Both third, fourth and fifth generation family members are actively involved in the business. Now, they cultivate 50 acres of land on Put-in-Bay for wine production. So, they have great control from vine to wine. Grapes grown on the island are predominantly Catawba and Concord. These varietals are used in making their signature grape juice and many popular wines.
Heineman Winery Hours of Operation
- May 5th – September 25th 11 AM – 5 PM
Open Daily Mid April – Mid October 11 AM – 7 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 7 PM
A trip to the island is not complete without tasting some of the local spirits at this great thing to do on Put-in-Bay. The rich traditions and delicious wines keep guests coming back. So, be sure to include Heineman Winery on your next adventure to the island.