Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vineyard and Basketry

Most of my trip to Vermilion Ohio was dedicated to chatting and giggling with my girlfriends. Besides a bit of shopping, we did go on two excursions that were a bit different for us. We visited a vineyard and a company that has been making baskets for 101 years.
The vineyard was Paper Moon Vineyards in Vermilion. They had 9 wines that we could sample at 50 cents per sample. We each chose one we thought we might enjoy and shared the tastings. We all bought bottles of wine to take home. I am not a connoisseur so it was very helpful to have a vintner recommend a red and white that I might enjoy. He was spot on with wines that weren't too dry for me. I came home with Niagara (white) and Harvest Blend (red).

The basket company is the Berlin Fruit Box Company, maker of fruit boxes and Samuel Patterson Baskets. The company has remained in one family on the same land in Berlin Heights, Ohio for 101 years. They began making farm baskets for the nearby orchards and later added baskets for home use made from hard maple and black cherry. There are a few pieces made from Ohio Buckeye wood too.

Even though we arrived at the end of the work day, the owner, a great- great- great-grandson of the founder gave us a tour. He ran a lathe that is over 100 years old to show us how veneer is cut. He demonstrated use of a jig to assemble (weave) a farm basket. I bought a basket called a candy basket in cherry. I would have loved a larger basket, but I know that I can always find a spot to have a small basket on display and in use. A larger one may get housed in a closet from time. That might do for inexpensive baskets from a craft store, but not an artisan one!
Candy basket, open, showing liner

Do you ever wonder what businesses and attractions might be in your area that you've ignored or been completely unaware of? Both of these businesses were on Vermilion Ohio's Chamber of Commerce website. I should check out my own city's webpage, and those of neighboring communities. I could be missing something interesting in my own backyard!


Blondie's Journal said...

The wine tasting and basket making tour sound like great things to do on a trip. I ususally google the town I am going to visit and I find out all the fun things to do. And nothing beats what the locals have to recommend!

Sounds like a good time was had by all!! :-)


Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

I, too, am always amazed when I come across something in my own backyard that I had never noticed. Thanks for reminding me to pay attention to my own neighborhood.