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Anniversary Contest Stories

The Gervasi Vineyard 10th Anniversary Contest generated over 900 submissions! Thank you to everyone who submitted a story. You can view the winners here. We will continue to share more of our favorite stories throughout the month. As we strive to become a world-class destination for people to come and “Celebrate Life”, we are humbled when our guests share these memorable moments with us. We truly value our guests and take great pride in providing a wonderful experience and fond memories.

Lynn Goughnour’s Story
When my husband and I visit Gervasi, we know we will have a unique experience and are always made to feel special.  We have dined in the Bistro many times, enjoyed the Piazza Outdoor Patio, and excitedly took the tour of the Still House when it first opened.  In fact, we keep saying we will try the Crush House, but being consistently spoiled at the Bistro, we have never ventured next door.  The Gervasi staff have always been more than accommodating and wanting to please.  My favorite memory at Gervasi took place on October 16, 2016.  We celebrated my husband and my 40th wedding anniversary (married on October 16, 1976) with our two children and their spouses.  It was a celebration not only for our years together, but a celebration for me being cancer-free.  You see, I was taken by surprise that September when a follow-up mammogram turned into a biopsy needing done followed by a phone call telling me that I had breast cancer.  My surgery was scheduled quickly, and I had a successful lumpectomy.  With radiation needing to follow, our long-awaited Jamaican trip for our anniversary had to be cancelled.  So instead, we made it a very special day by lunching at the Bistro.  It did not disappoint.

Kelly Scott’s Story
My cousins and I came up for a girls weekend.  As soon as we turned onto the property we knew we were someplace awesome. From filling out our breakfast request to going to our room, we we overwhelmed with excitement. The room was like nothing any of us experienced. Gorgeous. Every request was handled like we were the only guests. Cannot say enough about the staff.  From the lovely girl that brought more pillows and feather comforters to the awesome server we had at dinner. Professional, she represented all of you like she owned that restaurant. What a fab experience.  Food was so good and the wine…. no words. We are going to make this a yearly happening. We are still talking about Gervasi Vineyard.  We have told more people and insisted they give it a try.  Thank you for treating us like royalty. Talking about very busy working moms and we cannot wait to return. Thank you for being one of the best destinations and only 2 hours away.

Karen Petz’s Story
When my daughter was in 2nd or 3rd grade in Waite Elementary School (Medina), her teacher had each child write a letter to their favorite restaurant.  Most kids wrote to McDonalds or Buffalo Wild Wings. My child wrote to Gervasi!!! I was worried someone would call Child Services since my daughter said her favorite restaurant was a WINERY.  But every quarter when Abby has a good report card, she wants to celebrate at Gervasi.  I just wish you were closer! She loves that it can be “fancy,” that you have fun events and live music, walking around the pond, and the chandeliers.  But most of all, she loves the gelato.  I can see her getting married on the grounds there someday! We’ve had special birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Gervasi is the place to make every occasion a special memory.  Thank you for that! – Karen, Craig & Abby (now 13) Petz

Kendyll Bartram’s Story
As a Gervasi Vineyard Event Coordinator, we are given the opportunity to work with dozens of new and excited wedding couples. Each season there are a few that we form an extra special connection with. One of those couples this past year for me was Kimberly and Tom Schwer. Throughout our planning together Kim and I got to know each other quite well and by the time her big day came I felt like a good friend was getting married. It was so great to finally meet her family the night before her wedding at the ceremony rehearsal. They were as kind and funny as I expected and I loved seeing the bond she had with her father. I learned in planning that her mother had passed, so when she referred to me as her “Fairy God Mother” it gave me even more of a personal incentive to make sure her day was “GV Excellent”.  Our staff went above and beyond, as always, to deliver a day to remember. She even shared the credit with our team that we brought the love together that night and they are now expecting a new baby girl! Kim and I are still in contact and I love getting updates on her growing family (and baby bump). It is amazing guests like The Schwer’s that keep us trying our best each day. I am so thankful that working hard for our GV couples each year does not feel like “work” at all! #ISchwerToLoveYouForever

David Whiteman’s Story
Since Gervasi Vineyard opened, my family has enjoyed many wonderful times there. We have had the pleasure of experiencing The Bistro, The Crush House, The Piazza, and have attended amazing receptions in The Pavilion. My favorite tradition is our annual family meal at The Bistro right before Christmas.  This past December’s meal was one of our most delicious yet. Sitting in the beautifully decorated main hall and eating exquisite cuisine puts my Father, Mother, Sister, and I in a state magical holiday spirit and joy. We toast this joy with great wine, and are very thankful to have Gervasi Vineyard to do it at.


Nancy Agacinski’s Story
I have been to Gervasi several times and enjoyed every visit. But my favorite visit was last January when my friend was turning 50. She rented a villa for 4 of us for an evening so we could all celebrate her big birthday. How generous of her! It was a lovely stay – we enjoyed our luxurious rooms and a delicious meal at the bistro. Afterward we stopped by the vibrant and energetic crush house for an after dinner glass of wine! The brunch that was served the morning of our departure was excellent and a great way to start our day! It was an outstanding experience! Also my friend’s car battery was dead and the manager helped us to jump the car! So nice of him! It was a great time spent at Gervasi’s from start to finish!

Kerri Sahli’s Story
Gervasi knows how to treat birthday girls! On January 2, 2020, we kicked off the 50th year of my life at The Bistro & The Crush House! I have not stopped telling friends and family how much I loved it and how delicious the food, wine and service was. All my high school friends turn 50 years old this year and I told them we need to go every week someone has a birthday! I was never there before and cannot wait to visit every season! The Christmas decor was perfect! The gluten free bread was the best I have ever had. We ordered gelato for desert and the special touch was scripted “Happy Birthday” in frozen chocolate on the plate. Gervasi is Ohio’s best kept secret just discovered by me! – Thanks Gervasi!

Yvonne Fey’s Story
My husband and I moved to NE Ohio from NW Ohio about 3-1/2 years ago.  I was recovering from surgery for an invasive form of cancer that was a result of my exposure during my 2 tours of service at 9-11 disaster.  As my approach to my health struggle has been holistic in nature, we were looking for things for us to do that would be relaxing, fun, and bring a smile to my face.  What a gem we found in Gervasi!  Just walking the serene grounds was healing, and the food and service was wonderful.  Just know that we have returned many times.  My husband I will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary in August and our plans are to include a stayover!!  Thanks for all you do and provide…the best!

Jill Ross’ Story
I had my dream wedding at Gervasi, out on the terrace at the Grand Villa.  I spent the night before the wedding in one of the villas with my best friend and attendant, enjoyed a wonderful relaxing breakfast in the common area, then got ready for the wedding surrounded by my luxurious accommodations. Everything was so well organized by staff, they even solved an attendant’s dress malfunction after it was discovered that the dry cleaner didn’t include the halter tie for the dress. Our attendant as a result sported a Gervasi black ribbon as a halter tie and no one was the wiser! It was Oct 11, 2015 and the weather was gorgeous and matched the setting. We utilized Rev Witherspoon who was recommended by the staff at Gervasi and he was exactly what we were looking for in an officiant.  Everything was set up beautifully for the reception and people today still tell me how wonderful the food was and how elegant everything looked.   My husband and I stayed another night in the villas and we eat at the various Gervasi associated establishments when we get a chance, which now isn’t as often as we would like since we have two small children.  Gervasi will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Anthony Filipovic’s Story
My wife and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary at Gervasi vineyards, this was our first visit and what an experience. We started with a wine pairing and tasting event, being wine novices, we learned a lot in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. We then checked into our Villa room, tastefully decorated and cozy with a nice fireplace on a cold evening. We topped the night off with a great dinner at the Bistro where we put our new wine tasting knowledge (with the help our gracious waitress) to a wonderful dinner. As we walked back to our villa we were greeted by swans swimming in the lake, what a great weekend anniversary experience, a lot of Italy in northeast Ohio, we are looking forward to our next visit in the near future.

Marlene Anniversary StoryMarlene Sommer’s Story
Sixty years ago, a six year old girl chased a curly headed 6 year old boy on the playground. She finally caught him and planted a kiss on the side of his cheek. The two continued as classmates for the next 12 years. After graduation, they went their separate ways. Fast forward 40 years. They found themselves both single and decided to reacquaint by having dinner at the Bistro. The Bistro provided the perfect setting for their romance to begin. After 3 years of dating, they decided to get married at Gervasi, February 14, 2014. We are that couple and that is our story. Thank you, Gervasi, for providing a special place for making cherished memories. We look forward to making many more memories at our favorite place to be.

Trudy DiFranco’s Story
My other half and I have begun a tradition to go to Gervasi and sit at the “Community Table” every New Year’s Eve. We are from Aurora, Ohio and don’t mind the drive at all. We know we are heading to a place of pure breathtaking beauty. We sit at the community table and meet new people and have an absolute amazing time each and every time! The food is “fabulous” and every meal is “delicious!” We have met some really neat people this way and have become friends on Facebook and keep in touch with one another. We laugh and talk all night! And then we check out the Crush House and end up at The Still House.  Such great memories I will always cherish.  We do the same throughout the year and always choose the Community Table…such a clever idea!

Deanna Anniversary Story

Deanna McCray’s Story
My favorite memory is one day my husband and I were coming home from a trip heading down 77 north. We saw A sign on the highway marker that said Gervasi, and neither of us had heard of it or been there, so we got off the exit and followed the signs. We pulled up and my face lit up!! The property was so beautiful and I felt like I was at a relaxing retreat! We drove to The Still house to inquire about the property and were welcomed by the most awesome staff. They suggested we try The Crush House. We sat at the bar and the gentleman behind the bar was SUPERIOR! From suggesting wines and the awesome mozzarella appetizer to our wonderful salmon dish! He was great. Although we were fresh off a road trip, we were having so much fun we headed back to The Still House. We were invited to play scramble in one of the areas by another couple we met there. We ended up staying for HOURS ! Since that day, we have been there three more times including spending New Year’s Eve with your wonderful staff. I have told all my friends and coworkers about Gervasi and many have gone or are planning to. Thank you to Gervasi for one of the most relaxing days we’ve had!

Tessa Anniversary Story

Tessa Istnick’s Story
I met the love of my life, Tim, at Gervasi on 7/7/19 for our first date! We started at the Patio, got to know each other, shared some wine, and then went for a walk on the property! We had our first kiss on the brick walkway right in front of The Crush house! We were there for 6 hours and didn’t want to leave each other. We knew right away that this was it for us, this was a connection that neither one of us have ever had before, and we’ve been inseparable ever since!! He proposed on New Year’s Eve in Aruba, and we will be having an intimate wedding in the conservatory at the Villas on 7/7/2020! Getting married at the place that we met, on the day that we met! The Crush house is our favorite food venue and we visit and eat there all the time! We will be having a lunch following our ceremony in the tower room!! Gervasi has been, and will always be incredibly special for us!

Fred Locker’s Story
My wife and I have been to every “first” night at every Gervasi property, as well as wine releases since the Bistro opened.  We usually sit at the same table in the Bistro that we sat at the first night it opened.   We feel the staff is like family and enjoy every GV experience.  Bradley is one of our favorite staff members.   He consistently goes above and beyond to make our visits memorable and has always made us feel like we’re part of the GV family.  Congrats on 10 years!  Looking forward to many more memorable meals and experiences!

Rachel Anniversary Story

Rachel DeLorenzo’s Story
My mother-in-law was born in southern Italy. She loved any chance to feel like she was back there and after she got sick we heard about Gervasi and decided to make the trip down with her to check it out. As soon as we drove through the gate and down the long drive, she started to smile and told us that being there made her feel like she was back in Italy. She was so happy that night! She never made it back, we lost her that spring, but we will never forget how being at Gervasi made her feel! We were grateful to have been able to give her that experience. Thank you!


Susan Mercer’s Story
When you first opened, my husband and I had a tasting and lunch at the Bistro on a rainy Saturday. We sat at a long table at the front window, to view the beautiful water and surroundings. We both were in awe of the beauty and delicious food and wine. He has since passed away, but I will never forget that wonderful afternoon with him there at your winery. I’ve been back many times at all of your offerings, but nothing will compare to that afternoon. Thank you for this destination in my hometown.

Andrea Anniversary Story

Andrea Tharp’s Story
Gervasi has always been our favorite anniversary getaway ever since my husband and I got married six years ago. But last year especially, it was a trip that we anticipated for months — it was going to be our first much-needed date night away as new parents. We reserved a villa, booked a table at The Bistro (our anniversary dinner tradition), and were looking forward to drinks at The Crush House after. The thought of the beauty, serenity, and romance that we always found at the vineyard got us through the sleepless nights with a seven-month-old that preceded our visit. But that day, right before we were planning to drop the baby off early at my parents’ house, his first set of sniffles made their way into our lives. Yes, it was barely a cold (doctor confirmed), but to a brand new mom and dad, it seemed like the plague. After waiting at the pediatrician’s, going to the store to buy all of the excessive care items, and debating for hours whether or not we should still make the trip, my mother assured me everything was going to be alright and that we needed to do this for us. It was already evening, so we decided to go for a shortened version of our night out. We drove to Gervasi with a somewhat gloomy attitude — we were worried about our son’s three total sneezes, our longed-for day was already shot, and to top it off, it had started pouring. But…. As soon as we drove through that familiar and welcoming Gervasi archway, the tension softened, and we could feel the stress lift. Sharing our only tiny umbrella, we darted from our villa to Bistro to Crush House that night, enjoying an impeccable meal, flight after flight of our favorite wine (because there is no way to choose just one), service that made us feel like royalty, and a reconnection to ourselves as husband and wife. Gervasi had always been our spot, but on that night more than ever, we just needed to have some fun; we couldn’t have chosen a better place to find it. The next morning, we woke early to get back home (the baby was perfect, but again, new parents), but not before savoring our treasured little breakfast box of warm baked goods, fruit, and other delicacies. While my husband showered and packed up, I made myself a steaming cup of coffee, grabbed my book, and enjoyed the quiet beauty of the morning on the villa’s back patio overlooking the lake; the rain had stopped and what emerged from the dampness was breathtaking. The peace of that morning and the luxury of our stay renewed me; I’ll never forget our shortest but sweetest experience at Gervasi.

Sara Maksim’s Story
Shortly after I was hired at Gervasi Vineyard in October 2018, I greeted a woman and her friend when they came into the Marketplace to shop. Their names were Theresa and Anna and they told me when they shop together “it gets dangerous honey”. (HA!)  I shopped with them for a few hours and they came in multiple times during their week-long stay. When they left they hugged me and said they loved shopping with me. 6 months later they came in again for another stay and asked for me as soon as they got here. I helped again and got more hugs. November of 2019, they both came in for a week stay and asked for me. When I came out to greet them, Theresa  had made a scarf for me and gifted it to me and I got more hugs and she and Anna told me they just love to come shop with me and she always thinks of me when she books her stays and she thinks of me as one of her grandchildren.  So naturally I took my scarf to the back and had a happy cry.  Theresa has even called asking for me a few times to get things shipped to her home! The connection we have is truly special and I always keep an eye out for her and Anna every 6 months so we can shop together.

Brad Preston’s Story
My memory is more of a feeling. PRIDE!  A feeling that I’ve had for the last 7 years since I got hired here as a server in the Bistro.  I’ve had the pleasure of opening The Twisted Olive and becoming one of the Private Event Coordinators and then becoming the GV Destinations Wine Steward.  I’ve been proud in every role that I have attained and continue to be more and more proud as we grow.  GV started off as a job and became a career, and that was not my intention!  Some of the best memories for me have come from tableside interactions, to wine dinners, to representing the company offsite.  I love my life because of my career and I am proud to be able to say that I work for Gervasi Vineyard!