A Summer in Wine Country

 A Summer in Wine Country

Vinoklet Winery promises fun all summer long

By Jessica Baltzersen

There are two things Kreso Mikulic, founder and owner of Vinoklet Winery, wants you to know about him—that he has a great mustache and he is a hardworking man, both of which are true.

Vinoklet is a secluded treasure tucked away from the busy roads of Colerain Township that was built inch by inch by Mikulic himself. “Some say there are 24 hours in a day, but I work 25 each day,” Mikulic adds jokingly.

His work, however, is obvious in the breathtaking landscape of the vineyard, making it a perfect summer destination for wine tasting, special events, culinary cuisine and a leisurely escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Vinoklet was established in 1986 when Mikulic, inspired by his native country of Croatia, planted his first vine. Today it consists of over 30 acres, 12,000 vines, three lakes, an amphitheater, restaurant, winery and more, all of which Mikulic has designed and implemented over the past 30 years. Now people from all over the Midwest enjoy the fruits of his labor (literally) with nearly a dozen award-winning wines.

Despite the winery’s celebrated accolades from local and regional wine competitions, Mikulic isn’t into wine snobbery and pushing his preferences onto other people. His motto is, “If you like it, drink it. If you don’t like, don’t drink it.”

“You are the ultimate judge,” he adds. “Don’t judge our wines by the description, judge them based on whether or not you enjoy them.”

The backdrop of rolling green hills and panoramic views of the vineyard attract tourists annually for its popular summer events. One of those events is the Summer Fair celebration on July 8 complete with 30 craft vendors, live outdoor music from local bands, grill-out food, beer and, of course, wine.

If you enjoy live theater performances, Vinoklet’s amphitheater will host two free Shakespeare plays by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company on July 21 and Aug. 18. The view offers a stunning sunset as a backdrop. Shakespeare himself couldn’t have written a better setting to enjoy his work.

Vinoklet’s biggest event of the year is its annual Wine and Art Festival, taking place over the weekend of Sept. 8-9. This year Vinoklet is celebrating its 20th anniversary with over 60 artisans, fine art booths, outdoor concerts, wine tastings and more. This end-of-summer gathering is free and fun for the entire family. It even includes a grape stomping competition.

Guests are encouraged to enjoy the beauty of the vineyard all summer long, even when there isn’t an event. “This is a different place,” says Mikulic. “People come here to celebrate.”

The large restaurant and banquet facility is a charming gathering space for events, weddings, graduations, family get-togethers or a place to reminisce with friends.

Regardless of the occasion, the staff at Vinoklet invites you to savor the experience. They encourage slow eating, leisurely sipping, and a chance to unwind from the stresses of the outside world. Visit vinokletwines.com for more upcoming events.