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Where To Buy Lonz Wine


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Friday hosted a grand opening celebration at the park, accessible by ferry from Catawba Island. The event ran all afternoon, and there was a great turnout from the general public who was invited. The state completed work this spring on the historic winery, which dates back to the late 19th century. The iconic Lonz tower, built in the 1930s and easily seen from approaching boats, has been restored, as has the main building facade. The building, however, has been converted into an open-air plaza.




where to buy lonz wine


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Lonz wines, now part of a corporation bearing its name, continue to be made by enologist Claudio Salvador. Born in Italy, where he received his education and experience in the art of winemaking, Claudio has been making the signature Lonz wines since 1979. Combining his knowledge of wine making, continuing research, meticulous vinification, and creative effort, he has produced a new class of Lonz wines that are winning national awards. The same pride, the same determination and the same standards set by Andrew Wehrle and George Lonz continue today as we expand and improve on the fine wines bearing the Lonz name.


In 2014, the state announced it was investing $6 million into restoring the Lonz property. Construction began in late summer of 2015 and the area, including the historic winery building itself, opened to the public once again on Friday for the first time since 2000.


While on the island, take a moment to tour the winery museum with its five historic Civil War era wine cellars. The museum showcases the history of Lonz Winery with exhibits of century old wine making equipment. Walk the state park trails and enjoy a fun and relaxing family adventure.


"It just came loose and gave way," said Steve Ernst, 31, who watched the floor crumble and drop. He said people "pulled doors off hinges to create backboards" to carry the injured out the door of a wine cellar where the victims and rubble fell. The cellar was unoccupied but contained casks.


George Prusock, 25, was transported to Magruder Memorial Hospital in Port Clinton. He told CBS Radio News he was attending a bachelor party at the winery when the terrace collapsed, injuring both his legs and trapping a friend.


The young adults who party at the winery buy bottles of wine there and carry them to picnic tables, where they socialize as a band plays '80s and '9s hits. Famous as a winery in the 19th century, the site hasn't been used for growing grapes for more than 20 years.


At least 75 people were hurt when the concrete patio collapsed July 1, 2000. Reighard, 29, of Columbus suffered brain injuries in the collapse and was pronounced dead at the winery on Middle Bass Island.


MIDDLE BASS ISLAND, OH (WTOL) - If the old Lonz Winery on Middle Bass Island looks like a castle, it is no accident. That's the way George Lonz designed it many years ago after he inherited the winery from his father Peter Lonz.


Lonz had worked many years as a grape grower for the original owners of the winery business, the Wehrle family. But when their Golden Eagle Wine Cellars fell to flames in the 1920's, an enterprising George Lonz bought the property and the ruins of the old winery and built his own building on top of the existing stone cellars.


The so-called "Golden Years" for the winery were about to begin as business flourished through the 1930's, 40's 50's and 60's. It was reported that as many 4,000 people might show up on a July afternoon to drink some wine, have some laughs and do some dancing.


"There were ambulances, fire fighters from all over Ottawa County and adjoining counties and townships that came from everywhere to help get the people back off with airlifts and life flights," Lonz said.


Visitors for example can now view the old stone cellars built in 1886, which still hold a an impressive line up of the historic white oak casks. Visitors may also see dozens of artifacts of aging equipment that was once used in the winemakers craft.


PROJECTS: Electrical cabling and renovation of the Press House.LOCATION: Middle Bass Island, OhioDETAILS: This was a historical building that brought many challenges for Westfield Electric. The challenge of feeding the underground wine cellars that were made of brick and rock from the 1800s proved to be the greatest of all. However, Westfield Electric handled this project with professionalism and respect to the history of Lonz Winery. On the same campus, we completed the renovation of the Press House into a future wine tasting establishment and a new pavilion.


With the first wine cellar built in 1863 on this property, these islands were once the largest producer of wine in the entire United States. Since the state acquired the Lonz Winery Middle Bass Island property more than 10 years ago there were many discussions about how to repair and properly utilize the property. Visitors will experience the culmination of years of work on the island, including environmental remediation and shoring up the structure to ensure it stands for generations to come.


ODNR saved as much of the original structure as possible, including the cellars, the iconic Lonz Winery façade, and the tower. Much of the winery upper levels could not be salvaged, but the footprint of the building is being utilized as a large patio that features great views of Lake Erie and Put-in-Bay. Additional completed projects include a pavilion with tables and fireplace, flush restrooms both inside and out, and multi-use trails.


The Lonz Winery Collection dates from 1899-1972. The operation and growth of a Lake Erie wine industry and some personal history of its owner, George Lonz, are reflected in the collection which consists of thirteen linear feet of correspondence, ledgers, Internal Revenue forms, financial papers, pamphlets, and photographs.


The Lonz Winery, located on Middle Bass Island, Ohio, is one of the oldest and largest of the Lake Erie Wineries, known not only in Ohio, but throughout the midwest. Its early history involves two separate wine making establishments: that of Andrew Wehrle and Peter Lonz. Wehrle established his winery, known as the Gold Eagle Wine Cellars, in 1866. He constructed his first wine cellar on the southern tip of the island. By 1870 Wehrle formed a partnership with George Werk and soon the establishment grew to be one of the largest wineries in the country. In the next year Wehrle constructed a large dance pavilion over the wine cellar, and built several additions to it in the ensuing years.


The reputation of the Golden Eagle continued to grow during the late 1800s, but by the early 1900s financial difficulties plagued its owners, and it was sold at Sheriff's auction in 1905. August Schmidt, another island resident purchased the winery the next year. He constructed a large house near the winery as well as a sixty-room hotel (called the Hillcrest) at the site of the Wehrle residence. Both the hotel and the dance pavillion were destroyed by fire in 1923.


The Lonz Winery was established by Peter Lonz (1857-1955) in 1884. He had come to Middle Bass Island in 1874 at the age of seventeen. Lonz assumed the responsibility of running the eighteen-year-old industry of his father-in-law, John Siegrist (born in 1825), an early resident of the island. This winery was located just one mile north of the Wehrle complex.


George Lonz merged the Lonz and former Wehrle wineries into one business in 1926. George, born in January 1887 was one of three children born to Peter and Maggie Siegrist Lonz. He and his sisters Cora (born in August 1884) and Louise (born in 1887) grew up on the island and helped with the family business. George attended Ohio Northern University, studied chemistry and botany, and graduated in 1910. He used his scientific skills to experiment with grapes and wines, and tested his own product in a lab in the rear of the winery.


George Lonz purchased the wineries during the midst of Prohibition and on the eve of the Great Depression. He remained solvent during these years by selling grape juice at a rate of over 100,000 gallons per year. Some of his product was eventually sold to a Chicago firm which made it into champagne. The New Deal and the repeal of Prohibition brought new prosperity, and from 1934-1944, he rebuilt the old Wehrle Winery and added a boathouse and basin to the complex. During this time Lonz became one of the few American champagne makers, which, like his wine, became famous throughout the country.


The winery continued to prosper well into the 1960s and was known not only for its high quality product, but also as a popular tourist attraction. To accommodate the ever-increasing number of visitors each year, Lonz constructed a pleasure boat marina behind the winery in 1968. The marina accommodated 150 boats of average size and an additional seventy-five boats when the north canal was completed soon thereafter.


In December 1968, George Lonz put his business up for sale for $800,000, citing a lack of heirs and failing health as causes. He had yet to find a buyer at the time of his death from cancer on May 15, 1969. He wife Fanny (1888-1955), who acted as sales representative both in Detroit and on the island, preceded him in death. At the time of George's death, the winery was producing twelve varieties of wine and two kinds of juice. Ten years prior to his death, he planned on how to perpetuate the winery. Having no immediate heirs to continue after him, he formed the Lonz Winery, Inc., to operate the complex. All profits of the operation were to go to the George F. Lonz Foundation and in turn to charities of his choosing.


In 1979, Meier's Wine Cellars, Inc., a division of Paramount Distilleries, Inc., 3116 Berea Road, Cleveland, Ohio, purchased the Lonz Winery. Meier's is also one of the oldest wine-making establishments in Ohio. They are now in the process of revitalizing the winery by replanting the vineyards and restoring the complex's structures. 041b061a72


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