Located just under 30 miles from Ohio University, the Hocking Hills Winery features many award-winning wines, nestled in a scenic setting within prime Ohio Appalachia.
“The winery has been around since 2013 when we first started our plans for the winery, and then it took a couple of years for construction,” Drew Davidson, CFO at the Hocking Hills Winery, said. “So we've been open to the public since April of 2015.”
With a cozy indoor tasting room and an extensive patio featuring a firepit and stage for live music, the Hocking Hills Winery has a lot to offer in terms of setting.
“We've got a really special location back here, tucked right here in the heart of Hocking County,” Davidson said. “In the summer, we've got a beautiful look overlooking a ravine back on our patio, and we've really got a nice atmosphere on our patio and our tasting room.”
But it’s not just a special atmosphere that this Hocking County winery offers, but also a large variety of celebrated wines.
“We've been competing really hard for the past couple of months entering the competitions out in California specifically,” Maya Kraus, assistant winemaker at Hocking Hills Winery, said. “Our hardest one that we have entered – and one of the biggest wine competitions in North America – is the San Francisco Chronicle.”
Despite being a fierce competition, Kraus says the winery received a best-of-class award on their 2021 honeysuckle, an Ohio white blend. The winery also received a 100% medal rating for the competition.
“Everyone we sent there was able to take home a medal ranging from our best to class to gold, into bronzes as well,” Kraus said.
Also in California, the winery entered a San Diego International Wine Competition. The winery received a platinum on best red hybrid, along with a platinum on best pink moscato, which tied for best moscato in the entire competition.
The winery also won best of class in the Harvest Terroir Challenge and Ohio AVA in Sonoma, California, along with the best of class at Dan Berger’s International wine competition.
Kraus says that since joining the winery, she has been able to work on her first solo wine, which received a gold award.
It’s not just Kraus who’s been able to pursue her passions at the winery. Ryan Scott is the winemaker at the Hocking Hills Winery, and he said the position allows him to pursue his passion for working with his hands, along with his love for science and creativity.
Hocking Hills Winery is also looking to expand to dessert wines in the future. Scott says he wants to see more recognition for the winery among tourists and Ohio University students.
“It's kind of a neat, beautiful area,” Scott said. “People don't realize the town itself is here. So the more tourists that come, we kind of pipe them into the town and let them experience the history here.”
In addition to dessert wines, staff at the winery are also looking to see more food and wine pairings. But the owners are also hard at work establishing new concepts in the region.
“We have our new spot, 58 West, that's opening up so we're very excited about that – full restaurant, bar, distillery, on-site brewery,” Scott said.
58 West, which happens to also be the address as 58 W. 2nd St., is officially open to the public. Davidson also is the brewer at the new facility.
Despite the desire to attract more customers from OU and the surrounding area, Scott said the winery still receives some visitors from the university. Mom’s Weekend is a time that the winery sees a large uptick in OU customers.
The winery also hosts bridal parties and musical performances, among other events and programming.
The winery is a true local establishment. In addition to its locality, it is the hard work of the winery’s staff that allows for the Hocking Hills Winery to receive its high praise and massive awards.
“The ‘support local’ movement is there for a reason, not us specifically, but Ohio wines in general,” Scott said. “I think it's a really big opportunity.”
Be sure to check out the winery, located just off U.S. 33, at 30402 Freeman Rd. Logan, OH. The winery is open from 1:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The winery is closed on Tuesdays.