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Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio is so much more than just wine. With a rich history, this Tuscany-inspired escape introduces guests to beautiful landscaping, lush vineyards, on-site wine production facilities, and delectable foods.
Join us as we take you on a tour through this memorable destination through an all-inclusive video series that gives you an inside look at what lies behind the vines at Gervasi Vineyard.
Episode 1: Tour of the Vineyard with Brian Gregory
Please enjoy a brief description of what's happening with our grapes as well as a video tour of the vineyard. Veraison is the gradual process, after the Equinox, when grapes begin to color, soften, sweeten, and plump up. Our four year vines in the North Vineyard have been trellis positioned, cluster thinned, hedged and bird netted. Now we are just waiting for sunshine and time to do their thing.
Our purple/black Marquette grapes, left, and our pink Frontenac Gris grapes, right.
Veraison is not a sudden process, each berry turns on its own time. To speed and even the ripening, we hand pull leaves that are shading the clusters so all the bunches get the same light.
Clusters of each variety have their own characteristics. Marquette grapes, left, form tight compact bunches. Frontenac Gris, right, form longer, looser clusters with larger individual berries.
After an exceeding mild winter and the hottest driest summer on record, everything is very far ahead of schedule. But as of now our established vines are loving these hot and dry conditions.
For more information on what's happening to our grapes at Gervasi, click here to see a video with Brian Gregory!
Abraham's formal education up to this point has been with the American School of Wine in Cleveland. He is currently working on getting certification in the advanced bracket of the training that they offer from WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) out of London. After he finishes this leg of their program he plans on taking the exam to become a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters.
Why does he enjoy learning so much about wine?
ABRAHAM: I love wine because it is a study that is inexhaustible. The history of wine is fascinating because it is woven into the fabric of almost every culture around the world and the science of winemaking is exciting because it is constantly evolving and pregnant with possiblity. The experience however, is the most rewarding part. When the right food is paired with the right wine the experience envelopes the senses and becomes a lesson of it's own in balance and creativity. There are few subjects on this earth more pleasurable to learn about.
For more information on wine pairing with Abraham, click here to see a video with Gervasi's Wine Steward!
Join us as Gervasi's own Winemaker, Andy Codispoti, explains how he utilizes careful sensory evaluations in the production of Gervasi's premium handcrafted wines. You can visit us and taste our wines at our Tasting Bar which features over a dozen varietals of Gervasi wines. The grapes are selected by Andy and his experienced team and all wines are bottled and cellared on premise.
As the winemaker at Gervasi Vineyard, Andy aspires to produce elegant wines of the highest quality that will complement gatherings of family and friends. An Italian immigrant, he humorously links the beginning of his winemaking career to the age of four when he stomped grapes in his birth town in southern Italy.
The family owned several small vineyards in the area and over time the winemaking traditions of his father and mother exposed him to the art of old world winemaking. After retiring from a career in the bearing industry, Andy joined the Gervasi team and has responsibility for all phases of making Gervasi wines, from vineyard to bottling-and planning for future growth. In Gervasi's first two harvests, their wines have been awarded three medals by the Ohio Wine Competition.
For information on sensory evaluation with Andy Codispoti, click here to see a video with Gervasi's Winemaker!
This August, the Gervasi Vineyard Harvest Team harvested Marquette grapes! Andy Codispoti, Gervasi's Winemaker, said "The fruit was sound and clean with wonderful flavor. The chemistry is on target!"
It was among the hottest, driest summers on record, and despite some frost damage after an unusually warm winter and spring, our established vines thrived in these conditions. We knew from experience we'd need to guard from flocks of hungry migrating song birds, so we netted our vines early and tightly.
But who would have predicted that drought conditions would lead Canada geese to develop an unexpected appetite for low hanging grapes, once other food sources had dried up? Even the tightest netting is no match for their ravenous appetite and agile necks.
Despite these challenges and others, the grapes we harvested this August reflect the unique conditions of this growing season, and the particular characteristics of our Canton vineyard. No two seasons, and no two vineyards, are alike, and we look forward to tasting the wine our inaugural 2012 harvest produces.
Andy and his team will develop the wine as a varietal to establish a benchmark for Marquette's wine potential and decide this vintages use later.
For information on our first harvest and crush, click here to see a video with Gervasi's Harvest Team!For information on our first harvest and crush, click here to see a video with Gervasi's Harvest Team!
Developing a new vineyard is a long term proposition. It takes at least four years to train new vines onto a trellis system, and develop permanent woody trunks and cordons. Each ensuing year these cordons will produce vigorous new growth that will bear a season's crop.
During these formative years, the vines require our meticulous hands-on attention. Our work in the vineyard is to channel the grape plant's rampant growth tendencies into a uniform, consistent trellis structure. We also limit the grape crop severely, to channel the plant's energy into healthy roots and trunks. Because we are growing wine grapes, we want the highest quality, most flavorful fruit, so each year we limit the crop to produce the quality our hand crafted wines require.
No matter how carefully the vines are tended, however, the grapes grown must be suited to the unique characteristics of the vineyard terrain from which they arise. That's a concept the French call terroir, the particular qualities of geography, geology and climate, that interact with the vine's genetics, to produce a grape and eventually a wine that reflect the "sense of the place" of a particular vineyard.
So our real work in these formative years is to develop and understand the terroir of this corner of Canton, Ohio. We can't help but think that somehow the particular beauty of this old farm, with its spring fed lake and pebbly vineyard hills of loamy soils formed by glacial outwash, will produce exceptional wines from the six grape varieties we've carefully selected and lovingly tended.
For information on when the vines are ready for harvesting, click here to see a video with Brian Gregory!For information on when the vines are ready for harvesting, click here to see a video with Brian Gregory!
Enter through the doors of the Marketplace at Gervasi Vineyard and transport yourself to a rustic, cozy shop lifted from the hills of Tuscany. Whether shopping for a Gervasi memento or choosing a statement piece for your home, a visit to the Marketplace is a must for all Gervasi guests.
Francie Kell, Marketplace Manager, invites you to celebrate the season and join us at The Marketplace for our annual Holiday Gala, November 8th from 3 - 9PM and November 9th from 11AM - 9PM!
For a tour of The Marketplace with our Marketplace Manager, click here!
"A winery and vineyard on the property is a dream come true for me. The investment of time, energy and resources by all involved with Gervasi has created a truly unique destination that can be enjoyed by people from near and far. I look forward to the new addition of the Crush house, as it will create an improved opportunity to present our wines to the many current and future Gervasi wine lovers."
~Sandy Prentice, Vineyard & Property Manager
For information on the history of the property, click here to see a video with our Vineyard & Property Manager, Sandy Prentice!
Try pairing Gervasi Vineyard's Velluto wine with Chef Jerry's Duck Impersonating Ravioli! Un'unione perfetta! "A perfect marriage!" Meet the royalty of red wines! Velluto "Velvet", seduces you with its translucent jewel-like hues and velvety smoothness. Delicate in body and acidity, it suggests flavors of Cherry and Raspberry. It is a perfect companion to this dish. (See Video for Recipe)
For a demonstration of this recipe, click here to see a video with our Executive Chef, Jerry Risner!
An Italian immigrant, Gervasi Head Winemaker Andy Codispoti traces his passion for wine to his youth in a small mountainside village in Calabria. Andy's father Vincenzo worked in Rome as a professional shoemaker to support his wife and sons. The family owned several small vineyards that were planted on the hillsides and the Ionian plain near the sea. The vineyards managed by his mother Maria produced wine for personal and local commercial use. As young children, Andy and his brother Tony had fun helping the hired workers stomp grapes and make wine. After immigrating to America, the traditions of his mother and father further exposed Andy to the art of old world winemaking and set the tone of his philosophy and appreciation for wine. Listen to Andy recount his story and talk about his transition from a career in the bearing industry to his passion and love for wine. Andy joined the Gervasi team at the onset of the project in February of 2009 to develop and start up the winery. Today, Andy oversees the design of Gervasi wines, wine production and inventory and manages the wine portfolio.
Click here to see a video of Andy Codispoti as he reminisces about how it all began!
Grapes are one of our oldest cultivated plants, and wherever humans have settled, we've endeavored to nurture varieties suited to a particular terrain. Even in classical Rome, Virgil concluded vine-growers had cultivated so many distinct varieties, no one could know the true number.
For our Canton vineyard, we have selected six varieties from the tens of thousands of named varieties grown today. Each has been selected for its cold weather tolerance, and the excellent wine potential of its fruit.
As we nurture young vines in our Canton vineyard to fruitful maturity, we get to know the distinct growth habits and cultural requirements for each of our varieties. Eventually, if all goes well, we get to enjoy the unique color, form, aroma, and flavor of each variety of fruit.
Take a stroll through our vineyard rows on the hottest days of August, and you'll be rewarded with seeing each variety display its distinct and beautiful yield. Whether it is our Frontenac Gris vines straining under the weight of their intriguing bronze-hued fruit borne in long, dangling clusters, or our youngest vines, Petite Pearl, so anxious to bear fruit that they produce miniature blackberry-sized clusters in their very first season, the personality of each variety soon becomes apparent, characteristics and personalities that will be further nurtured and developed in our winery after the harvest.
Click here to learn about the background of the types of grapes Gervasi grows with Vineyard Assistant, Brian Gregory!
Our customers constantly remark about our beautiful grounds. It takes considerable care and understanding to make them successful. Take a moment to get to know our staff horticulturalist a little better.
Click here to learn about our Horticulturalist, John Virdo!
While technology and the laboratory are expressions of science in modern winemaking, the barrel cave elicits passionate sighs of awe and inspiration as the wine enthusiast is transported to the "old world" when mom and dad made wine in cement fermentors and wooded casks.
A science in themselves, wine barrels are one of the most intriguing components in the winemaker's pallet. Like a temperamental artist, the winemaker painfully chooses the barrels to achieve the wine's envisioned profile. Barrels are not inert like stainless steel tanks. They interact with the wine like mom's secret ingredient in her pasta sauce, that illusiveness found only in her kitchen.
The barrel cave is a finishing school for brooding young wines. Candidates enter full of youthful edges and graduate with refinement, cachet and finesse. It comes as no surprise that Gervasi Head Winemaker, Andy Codispoti, obsesses over barrel selections for Gervasi wines. Listen to Andy as he highlights key aspects of Ingredient X.
"Great wines are made by design" Andy Codispoti
Click here to take a tour with Andy in Gervasi's Barrel Room!
"In this video I give a brief demonstration of the aeration/oxidation method for the determination of sulfur dioxide in wine. This method is very accurate, and not overly complicated to perform. The vivid color changes in the trapping solution also make this one of my favorite analyses to do.
If you have ever noticed "contains sulfites" on a wine label before, this is what we are checking. The "sulfites" or sulfur dioxide concentration is important to monitor throughout the winemaking process. Sulfur dioxide does naturally occur in grapes and many other fruits. We need to add more during winemaking in order to have enough in the wine to help protect it. Sulfur dioxide protects the wine in two major ways. The first is to guard against oxidation, which will diminish the aroma and flavor. The second is too inhibit spoilage microbes from making a home there.
Different wines need different amounts of sulfur dioxide, and too little won't give us adequate protection, while too much will affect the flavor and aroma of the wine. From this you can see that having an accurate and reliable way to check for sulfur dioxide is very important. It doesn't hurt that it's fun too!"
Click here to explore Laboratory Testing in the Winery with David Smith, Gervasi's Cellar Leader!
For some, Ohio may not immediately come to mind as a prime grape growing region.
But during Ohio's decades as a young nation's impossibly fertile western frontier, so esteemed were her vineyards that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was moved to pen a florid ode to the "dulcet, delicious, and dreamy" wines made from native vines that garlanded America's "Beautiful River."
Ohio's wine reputation was largely the result of the prodigious labors of Cincinnati lawyer-turned-grape-grower Nicholas Longworth, who starting in 1813 began planting vineyards on the sunny river slopes of southern Ohio. He took a huge gamble on the previously unheralded native Catawba grape, and Cincinnati wines soon earned the Ohio River valley a reputation as the "Rhineland of America."
In later decades the state's wine industry shifted to Lake Erie's "wine islands" and shoreline grape belt, but in fact, prior to Prohibition, all eighty-eight Ohio counties grew grapes commercially.
An 1877 history of Stark County, where Gervasi Vineyard was established in 2009, reports that vineyards flourished here "scarcely second to any place in the state," producing Concord, Delaware, Lady, and Agawan grapes for local consumption.
In recent decades, the successful rebirth of viable wine grape production across Ohio has been built on both scientific advances in viticulture, and relearning a thing or two Ohio's frontier grape growers already knew.
Click here to learn about Ohio's history of wineries with Vineyard Assistant, Brian Gregory!
A Time Capsule for Wine
I'm always intrigued with the detail and complexity of a ship in a bottle, but even more fascinated by the mysterious life of "wine in a bottle".
The enjoyment of wine is the climax of a life whose journey begins with the newness of bud break at springtime. While its character originates in nature, it is explained and guided by science and crafted by artful vinification. Then at the perfect moment, wine is transferred into a "time capsule", the bottle, where it awaits release.
Unlike a traditional time capsule that we hope to unearth unchanged, a wine's personality is nurtured by its captivity. It undergoes a continuation and progression of life. Will the wine's delicate freshness be preserved? Will its robust character grow in complexity and soften? Will the wine achieve its aging potential? The winemaker's final influence on these matters lies in the precision of the bottling process.
With so much at stake, Gervasi exercises the best practices of art and science at each step of the bottling stream to assure both the preservation and evolution of the wine's characteristics until it can be enjoyed by our guests.
In this segment, Gervasi Head Winemaker Andy Codispoti describes the physical steps in this most critical operation.
"Great wines are made by design," Andy Codispoti
Click here to learn about the wine bottling process with Andy Codispoti, Gervasi's Winemaker!
Gervasi Vineyard's diverse fifty-five acres of vineyard, woodland, fallow pasture, and wetlands support a lively avian community.
Barn swallows and bluebirds nest in knotholes in our natural locust trellis poles, helping to control the insect population and keeping our grapevines healthy.
Chirpy killdeer build pebble nests on the open soil below the vines, depositing speckled eggs perfectly camouflaged amongst smooth glacial stones.
Eagles and hawks swoop majestically above our old crop fields, while sharp-kneed Great Blue Heron fish patiently in deep pools along the meandering creek that transects this, the last working farm in Canton, Ohio.
Among all of these creatures, however, it is clear that one pair rules the roost: Gina and Guiseppe, our regal pair of white mute swans.
During winter months you might find them bedded down on snow nests they build on ice patches on the lake, while on the first warm day in February, Guiseppe will dive to the deepest muck of the lake, to begin daubing a leaf, mud, and willow branch throne for lovely Gina.
It is during the summer months, however, that Gina and Guiseppe are in their element. On certain crystalline Tuscan afternoons, when the afternoon light is perfect, Gina and Guiseppe glide in to view. They pirouette, dive and splash extravagantly, and, on occasion, touch bills, elegant necks joined together as a heart, perfectly reflected in still blue water.
Being mute swans, of course they cannot speak, but we like to think this is their way of saying Grazie! Consider it your personal welcome to Gervasi Vineyard, and the romance of this place.
Click here to learn more about our resident swans, Gina and Guiseppe with Brian Gregory!
Welcome to our final episode of our wine and vineyard focused series of "Behind the Vines". My name is Scott Swaldo, General Manager of Gervasi Vineyard and I have the honor of introducing today's episode "The Past, Present, and Future". In a moment winemaker, Andy Codispoti will take you through a brief history of our winery but before he does I want to THANK YOU for watching this series AND for your tremendous support over these last 3 years.
When we opened a little over 3 years ago, we never imagined the rapid growth that we have experienced and the interest in our wine. Because of that, we have already outgrown our current winery located in the lower level of the Bistro and construction is well underway for our new state of the art 14,000 sq. ft. winery we've named "The Crush House". This new 30,000 gallon wine making facility will also feature a new wine bar which will offer a wonderful wine tasting experience, a light lunch or dinner option, or just a place to relax and enjoy our beautiful property. We look forward to introducing it in the Fall of this year.
Thank you for your interest in Gervasi Vineyard and our Behind the Vines video series, we look forward to bringing you new episodes focusing on other areas of GV in the future. Now...here is Andy....
Click here to learn more about the past, present and future winery plans with Andy Codispoti!