For Pete Noble, his first wine experience occurred long before he was legally old enough to drink.
As a child, he would make wine out of choke cherries and anything else he could ferment. Soon, his brother was sneaking the wine to school and other children were drinking the concoction in the school’s boiler room.
“I started making wine when I was just a kid,” Noble said. “I was making wine with anything that would ferment. Some of it was evil, but when you were a kid, anything with alcohol in it was good.”
He also wanted grapes – lots of them.
“When I was a kid, I said when I get old enough to make some choices in life, one thing I’m going to do is move out of what I call the snow belt and down to the lake shore and … I was going to have some grapes,” said Noble, a native of South Ripley. “That was always the thing – I wanted some grapes. I don’t know why because nobody in my family were grape farmers, so I didn’t know how that bug had bit me. But that was what I wanted.”
So, it isn’t hard to believe that his life would end up revolving around wine and grapes.
Noble, along with wife, Diane, are the owners of Noble Winery. Located at 8630 Hardscrabble Road in Westfield, the winery features a variety of local wine all made on site. Situated within a 189 acre grape farm, the winery also features picnic areas and amazing views of Lake Erie and the surrounding countryside.
“When I bought the farm in 1979, I already had visions of this winery being here,” Noble said. “Back before I even signed the papers, I already started to map it out in my head and planned it. I guess I planned it so many times I think the rest of the world was tired of hearing about it.”
With a large tasting room and bar with several tables, the facilities can hold a large amount of people. Noble said he still has plans to add onto what he calls his “favorite spot on the farm.”
“I want to put a big banquet hall on the other end,” he said. “That’s my dream. People just say, ‘Yeah, do it. Put it up.’ We’ve got some grand plans here. But when you get those plans, they always escalate into something more.”
For now, Noble said visitors enjoy bringing lunch or picnics and local non-profit organizations like to hold their meetings at the winery, and take in the sweeping views the facilities location offers.
“It’s amazing how far these people come up here. They like to sit out on (the porch),” Noble said. “We have so many people who are from away and they are astounded that we’re here. They think we are an undiscovered gem.”
And, even with a bad summer for crops and a poor economy, Noble said the winery has grown from when it first opened four years ago. At that time, Noble said the winery was producing 4,500 gallons a year. Now, it is cranking out nearly 10,000 gallons.
“It’s been a good, steady growth year,” Noble said. “As far as the winery’s concerned, we’ve done well. But it’s hard to gauge how much better we would have done if we had a little more summer, seeing as summer was so brief.”
Still, people are coming to the winery, and, Noble said, to the Westfield community.
“I don’t know how much influence I’ve had on the community during this brief period of time,” he said. “I do know one thing, though, we have drawn a lot of people into this area.”
And Noble doesn’t hesitate to send visitors to area restaurants, shops and other attractions.
“As a community, we have to realize that we have to work together and everybody needs to pull a little bit,” he said. “I just think we have a lot to offer here.”
Noble Winery is located at 8630 Hardscrabble Road in Westfield. Featuring a variety of wines, the winery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day of the week and all year round. The winery can be reach be calling 326-9463, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.noblewinery.com.
Noble Winery, located at 8630 Hardscrabble Road, features a large selection of wines made on site, as well as numerous picnic tables and sweeping views of Lake Erie and countryside.