An estate or farm winery uses grapes grown from its own adjacent vineyards. The entire vinification process, including the crushing, pressing, fermentation, aging, and bottling, occurs on site. Grapes have been grown at Johnson Estate for well over a century. All of the European and American grapes used to make our estate wines are grown within 3000 feet of the winery. Our grape varieties have been selected for their excellent wine-making quality and suitability for the Lake Erie microclimate.
Wines can be no better than the grapes from which they are made. This concept is the basis of the centuries-old estate or "chateau" wine-making traditions of France and Germany. Since grapes ripen at different times from vineyard to vineyard, an estate winery is better able to harvest the grapes at their perfect ripeness. Grapes start to deteriorate the moment they're picked, and the farther they must be transported before they are crushed, the more their quality is affected. Estate wines are proudly labeled "Erzeuger-Abfullung" in Germany, "Mise en Bouteille au Chateau" in France, and "Estate Grown and Bottled" in the United States.
Photographs by Elmore DeMott
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