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The Vineyards at Pine Lake — a mastery of wine science

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Published: Wed, April 3, 2019 @ 12:00 a.m.

Valley Deals 365


The Vineyards at Pine Lake

By Corey Crisan


In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV

COLUMBIANA - A family hobby that stemmed from self-interest has turned into a fluid operation on one of the most picturesque spaces in the Mahoning Valley.

The Vineyards at Pine Lake is a multifacility complex that provides, as co-owner and winemaker Joe Glista III puts it, “a sense of escapism” on the shore of Pine Lake.

“As you come in through the main entrance, we set the scene by driving through the vineyards,” Glista said. “Then you meander through some forested area before you even see the first building. … [T]hat’s when the panoramic view of the lake opens up. Step-by-step, we set it up that way.”

The use of the land and its natural shaping comes from the family legacy of operating Energy Resources of America, a natural gas and energy company based in Austintown.

“The [gas] market started to go south, and we decided we needed to diversify and do something different,” he said. “We always had a passion for wine … we just turned that passion into another business.”

Glista and his family opened the Vineyards in 2014. He says it has become a destination for wine you cannot purchase anywhere else, fitting into his environment of escapism.

“Our absolute, best-seller is Blue Orchard,” he said. “[It’s an] apple wine with blueberry flavoring. The apples are sourced locally from Haus Orchards [in Canfield], so it has a local connection. People go bananas over that one.”

The Vineyards at Pine Lake features 10 white and seven red wine options – all created with house-made recipes. Those recipes, once completed, are stored in either barrel or tank systems, which gives each batch a unique flavoring.

Wine aficionados can enjoy the aura of the Vineyards tasting room at any time. Seating options include the wine bar, a restaurant-style table, or a table on its enclosed patio.

When the weather is warm, the Vineyards brings in bands and local artists to perform live music, as Pine Lake acts as a backdrop.

The Vineyards changes its food menu seasonally, according to Glista. Its current winter menu features soup and salads, plus sandwich and special entrees from chef Angus O’Hara.

In addition to its tasting room, the Vineyards has an event center with back patio for small or large events. The event center also caters to the guest’s need, including plated or buffet-style choices. The event center also offers a “bridal suite,” making it a hotspot for hosting wedding ceremonies.

While the Vineyards stands as an attraction in itself, Columbiana is building. The Town Center at Firestone Farms was recently rebuilt to host events. With wine season around the corner, the Vineyards expects to be a hot destination as the county continues to develop.

“We got in on the ground floor,” Glista said. “Columbiana seems to be where a lot of the growth and development and the future is heading. Things are growing this way. … This really is an area that is developing and we got in at the right time.”

As far as ditching the oil rigs for the wine tanks and barrels, Glista says there are no regrets.

“The oil patch had its benefits and everything,” he said. “But being elbow-deep in grease or tasting and blending wine, there is no question.”

The Vineyards at Pine Lake vary in hours and is closed Mondays. For reservations, information about the event center, and the full wine list, visit vineyardsatpinelake.com.

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