Get Your Grill On - At Valley Vineyards
Valley Vineyards, Morrow, Ohio
Photography by John Connors
Summer’s almost here. Our frequently wet and chilly spring has given way to warm afternoons and evenings.
It’s time for something different, unique and engaging with that special someone or friends and family.
At Valley Vineyards Winery and Brewery in Morrow, you will find a dining experience offering much more than a good dinner. A mainstay of this long-established, award-winning, family-operated attraction is their weekend cookout – with you in the role of grill master. The vineyard’s most popular feature has evolved over 35 years, adding refinements and new features, but retaining the much-loved, homemade, original recipes. The cookout is a year-round event Fridays and Saturdays and also held on Sundays from July to October.
No matter the size of your party, the cookout will engage you and provide an atmosphere for conversation and interaction that will enhance your dining experience. You will get to grill your own entrees without having the hassle of set-up and clean-up. Whether this encourages friendly competition or collaboration, you will have all you need to cook a delicious main course, including seasonings, tools and helpful suggestions for beginners. The winery offers outdoor and indoor grills and seating in their spacious dining room or outdoor patio.
You can start your evening with a wine or beer tasting at the tasting room. When you and the charcoal are ready, you grill your choice of New York strip steak or Atlantic salmon filet. Dinner comes with a bottle of wine or four drinks per couple. Once your steak or salmon is grilled to perfection, surround it with your choice of salads, green beans almandine, baked potato, (corn on the cob, in season) rice pilaf, seasonal vegetables and fresh breads. Save room for the dessert buffet that features family recipes that have been cookout favorites for decades.
On a recent Friday evening, Scott and Beverly Couch from Mason, Lisa and Jason Adams from Wilmington and Diane and Bud Cole of Maineville enjoyed their cookout at Valley Vineyards. A mix of first-timers and veterans, everyone liked the friendly atmosphere and the fine dinner they helped prepare.
Joe Schuchter is the third generation of the family upholding the values and quality of the Valley Vineyard traditions. Looking back on the evolution of the cookout Schuchter says, “It has grown and improved through trial and error.” Schuchter, his father, Kenny, and grandfather, Ken, before him, “wanted to see the cookout as an opportunity to make wine accessible to people in an atmosphere that is comfortable and congenial, with no intimidation.”
Dinner is unhurried, you set the pace and there is only one seating. This encourages conversation, interaction and socialization. These are reasons why the cookouts are a destination for private corporate events. At the same time, the cookout has been voted “Best Date Night in Warren County.”
Valley Vineyards combines the cookout with other opportunities. A recent favorite is “Twilight Canoe Dinner for Two” in cooperation with Morgan’s Canoe and Outdoor Adventures, a 3-mile float on the scenic Little Miami River in a canoe or kayak followed by the cookout.
The cookout can also be combined with a tour of the Valley Vineyards property and wine making processes or as a private party event.
Aside from the cookout, Valley Vineyards hosts a number of events that could make the vineyard a regular option for year-round entertainment. These include Sunday Brunch (to resume mid-June); Thursday’s “It’s Just Wine and Beer” with live music; the June Wine and Beer Festival; and December’s Light Up the Valley.
Valley Vineyards is located at 2276 East US 22 & 3, Morrow, OH 45152. For more information, call 513 899-2485 or visit www.valleyvineyards.com.
5-8:30 p.m. reservations
4-6 p.m. reservations
Valley Vineyard cookout pricing:
Ages 21 and over:
$65 plus tax per couple
$32.50 plus tax per person
$18.95 plus tax with steak or salmon
$8.50 plus tax buffet only