Henke Winery ranks among top US urban wineries

Posted at 7:13 AM, Mar 03, 2016

CINCINNATI -- America's first successful commercial winery started right here in the Tri-State on Mt. Adams in the 1830s, but it's been a long time since Cincinnati has been known for its wine.

In a new ranking of America's top urban wineries out Monday from Wine Enthusiast magazine, the Queen City made a strong showing with Westwood's Henke Winery weighing in at No. 6.

The article claimed urban wineries have been creeping into rapidly developing cities like Austin, Texas, which topped the list. They say wineries' focus on innovation and local grapes has made urban tasting rooms worth taking seriously without the need for city dwellers to leave their city behind for a country vineyard.

Henke Winery, established in 1996, set up shop in Westwood after outgrowing its first location in historic Winton Place. The winery makes all 15 wines right in its cellar, which can produce 20,000 bottles per year.

Owner Joe Henke sources many of his grapes from Ohio as well as Kentucky, Indiana, California and the Finger Lakes region in New York. Among Henke’s portfolio is a spicy Zinfandel from 100-year-old vines, a robust Cabernet Franc and a Seyval that’s a barrel-fermented sur lie style. Nearly 90 percent of its wine is sold onsite.