New winery opens today in Greene County

NEW JASPER TWP., Greene County — Walter Borda started planting vineyards in 2005 on his secluded, sloping property adjacent to Caesars Creek in eastern Greene County. For the last several years Borda cultivated his grapevines and harvested his grapes, selling his crop to other Ohio wineries and keeping a low profile.

All that changes today.

Borda bottled wines under his own label, built a tasting room and today unveils the Miami Valley's newest winery, Caesar Creek Vineyards, at 962 Long Road east of Xenia.

Unlike many Ohio wineries that bring in juice or grapes from vineyards outside the state, Caesar Creek Vineyards grows all of the grapes for the wines it sells. “We know we’re not going to compete with the Napa Valley,” Borda said. “But we do want to produce fine table wines.”

Borda is part of a growing trend. Ohio has seen a surge in winery activity in recent years — there are now 175 in all corners of the state — but most of that growth has occurred in other parts of the state. The greater Dayton area’s wineries include Brandeberry Winery in Clark County near Yellow Springs, Valley Vineyards near Morrow in Warren County, The Winery at Versailles in Darke County, Hanover Winery in Hanover Twp. in Butler County, Bent Tree Winery in Mason, and at least one more in the works, Old Mason Winery & Vineyard (formerly The Naked Grape Winery) in Miami County.

These wineries contribute to the state and local economy by generating sales taxes on tasting room sales and by bringing in travel and tourism dollars from winery visitors who stay in local motels and eat in local restaurants, according to Donniella Winchell, executive director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association.

Jim Brandeberry, owner of Brandeberry Winery, praised the new Caesar Creek winery as “first-class” and said he’s glad to have another vineyard relatively close by. “I think this will help me, because it provides another destination for people to visit. I’ve been telling my winery’s visitors about him and encouraging people to go visit him when he’s open.”

Caesar Creek Vineyards’ tasting room opens at noon today, Feb. 1, and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday going forward. It is closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. For more information, call (937) 479-4278.

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