Lonz Winery photograph   Save
Ohio Department of Industrial and Economic Development Collection
Description: This 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm) photograph of Lonz Winery on Middle Bass Island was taken in the 1960s. Lonz Winery was established by Peter Lonz (1857-1955) in 1884. His son George Lonz merged the Lonz and Golden Eagle Wine Cellars (established in 1866 by Andrew Wehrle) into one business in 1926. George studied chemistry and botany at Ohio Northern University, graduating in 1910. He used his scientific skills to experiment with grapes and wines, and tested his own products in a lab behind the winery. George Lonz purchased the wineries during Prohibition and on the eve of the Great Depression. He remained solvent during Prohibition by selling 100,000 gallons of grape juice per year. Some of his product was eventually sold to a Chicago firm which made it into champagne. The New Deal and the repeal of Prohibition brought new prosperity, and from 1934-1944 he rebuilt the old Wehrle Winery and added a boathouse and basin to the complex. During this time Lonz became one of the few American champagne makers. Through the 1960s, Lonz Winery continued to prosper on the strength of its high-quality wines and as a popular tourist attraction. Lonz constructed a pleasure boat marina behind the winery in 1968. George Lonz died in 1969, without heirs and before finding a buyer for the winery. For a time, profits from the winery were given to charity. In 1979, Meier's Wine Cellars, Inc., a division of Paramount Distilleries, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, purchased the Lonz Winery. Meier revitalized the winery by replanting the vineyards and restoring the buildings. The winery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om3072_3670565_001
Subjects: Business and Labor; Architecture; Wine industry; National Register of Historic Places
Places: Middle Bass (Ohio); Ottawa County (Ohio)