The Johnson family farm consists of over 300 acres of land bisected by Freelings Creek, which drains into nearby Lake Erie. Thirteen varieties of grapes are grown at Johnson Estate in 115 acres of vineyards. The care given to the farm and its natural resources, including its meadows, creeks, and woodlands, reflects our family’s desire to be good stewards of the land for future generations. We select grape seedlings and rootstock appropriate to the region and each vineyard site. We maintain soil health by planting cover crops and mulching with pruned grapevines and grape pomace.
Johnson Estate grows four Labrusca, six French-American hybrid, and three Vinifera varietals within 3000 feet of the winery. For more than a century, this region has been known as the largest Concord grape growing region in the world. Our grape varieties have been selected for their excellent wine-making quality and suitability for the Lake Erie microclimate. In addition to our estate grapes, we purchase a very limited supply of Vinifera grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon) from Long Island where the microclimate is more suitable for heat-loving Bordeaux type grapes. Click here for more information about our varietals.
We manage our vineyards and winemaking so that the local terroir is expressed to perfection. The environment in which a grape is grown, its terroir, includes specific climate, geology, and viticulture methods. The Lake Erie Viticultural Area has excellent grape-growing conditions: a northern latitude that results in long hours of summer sunlight, well-drained sand, gravel and shale soils, and a climate moderated by Lake Erie and the hills of the Allegany Plateau which parallel the lake shore. Johnson Estate’s terroir is most like the Rhine and Moselle areas of Germany, both in climate and soils.
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