Gervasi Vineyard Resort & Spa (GV) has many traditions for celebrating each of the four seasons in Ohio. But one of GV’s favorite seasons is summer and their favorite way to celebrate is by watching guests enjoy drinking great wines.

Eric Rabin is the Operations Manager at The Cave, and he has several recommendations for wine enthusiasts to enjoy wine throughout late spring and summer.

“I came to Gervasi Vineyard in 2019 as a bartender and was very fortunate to move up to the Winery/Distillery Tour Coordinator, Tour and Tastings Event Coordinator, and finally the Cave Operations Manager,” Eric said. “Gervasi allowed me to take the WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) level 2 which furthered my knowledge of wine. The team at The Cave never stops learning. My team and I constantly challenge ourselves to learn something new every day about wine and the winemaking process.”

Before coming to Gervasi, he worked in restaurants through college and beyond and held many positions, including server, bartender, new restaurant opener, manager, and regional market training manager.

Combining Eric’s expertise with Gervasi’s amazing wine list, below are some fabulous recommendations to enjoy wine with your summer gatherings or when cooking dinner on the grill at home with the family.

Top Three Wines for Summer

“During the warm months of summer, I prefer lighter whites to help cut the heat and refresh the palate,” Eric said.

When it comes to Eric’s top three wines for summer, he said:

  • A pinot grigio is an excellent way to beat the warmth. We offer one white wine called Lucello, a Pinot Grigio. It’s dry, yet crisp and clean on the palate.
  • If you like something with a little more depth, I would recommend a rose wine, such as our Romanza. This wine’s name translates to romance and is perfect in the summer. It is cool and refreshing, with just a hint of sweetness, with flavors of fresh strawberries and raspberries. What if you’re more of a red wine drinker?
  • Try Brigante, a red blend that has a medium sweetness and red and black fruitiness. It’s served chilled, which is perfect for this time of year. Cheese and charcuterie boards work in perfect harmony with these wines.

What About Wines That Pair with Summer Meals?

Eric suggests several great wines at GV that pair well with summer meal favorites including foods barbecued on the grill.

“If grilling is up your alley, I have a few wines that can hold up to the smokiness of grilled foods. Serenata is our Malbec, a red wine. It has a light body, but full black and red fruit flavor notes. Think red plum, black cherry, anise and almond with hints of smoke from barrel-aging. “

For salads, fish, and seafood, a more refreshing wine came to mind. “Our Sauvignon Blanc, named Fioretto (little flower), has beautiful floral notes with lemongrass and apple. This wine has a higher acidity to stand up to the freshness of summer salads and seafood.”

Wines Made from Gervasi Grapes

One of the first amazing views guests see when entering the Gervasi property is one of the thriving vineyards.

Eric mentioned that Gervasi grows three different varietals of grapes on the property and they are used to produce four different wines.

“A white wine called Passione is crafted from the Aromella grape, while a rose called Lascito, which means legacy in Italian, is created from the Frontenac Gris varietal.

We grow a deep red grape called Marquette that is utilized to make two different red wines: Unita, meaning unity, and Celebrazione, which means celebration. These grapes are all hybrid varietals crafted in the 80s at the University of Minnesota and Cornell University.”

Any of those wines can be served in the warmer months but Eric to steer clear of highly tannic wines or wines that are fortified. They are a little too aggressive and can be off putting. Try to pick wines that are best served chilled to help beat the heat.

Before, During and After Dinner Wines

Looking for great suggestions for before and after-dinner wines, or dessert wines?

“For a before dinner wine, pick a wine with high acidity. A Pinot Grigio, like our Lucello, fits the bill. The high acidity makes your mouth water and salivate, which tends to make people want to eat,” Eric recommends.  “After dinner, I would choose a fortified wine or dessert wine. Our Santo, a tawny dessert wine, is fortified to stop the fermentation process which leads to a sweet wine with intense flavors and aromas of raisin, mocha, dried figs, and hazelnut.”

GV’s ice wine, Sognata (Dreams) is also a great way to finish off a meal.  This wine is harvested in the dead of winter, made from the Vidal Blanc grape, which leads to a wine high in sugar content and intense flavors. Pear, honey, dried apricot, and tangerine are at the forefront of this extremely sweet wine.

Summer at The Cave

The Cave at Gervasi Vineyard strives to offer a unique and intermate environment for guests to relax and enjoy a world-class wine-tasting experience.

“Stop by anytime to learn about our wines and the winemaking procedures. The beauty of a wine flight is to try something you’ve never experienced before,” Eric said.  “Even if you don’t like a certain type or style of wine, join us in the Cave and maybe you’ll find out you’ve just been drinking the wine the wrong way. We have many guests come into the Cave as sweet wine drinkers and leave with a few bottles of dry reds.

“We also have a wonderful patio as well where you can sit with friends, listen to music and enjoy the summer warmth with a bottle of red or white.”