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Grape Escape 

Local wines flow at Vintage Ohio.

Chardonays, pinot noirs, and even now-maligned - merlots will be up for sips at Vintage Ohio.
  • Chardonays, pinot noirs, and even now-maligned merlots will be up for sips at Vintage Ohio.

Although Jim Iubelt grew up in Southern California, he dismisses his home state when it comes to making wine. And he points to his fellow winemakers at Vintage Ohio to make his case.

This weekend, more than 20 vintners from Northeast Ohio will peddle their wines, which they claim are on par with their counterparts in France, which has an Ohio-like climate. And while California wineries produce more grapes in hotter weather, the taste doesn't compare to Ohio's grape crops, says Iubelt, who owns Maple Ridge Vineyards in Thompson. "The juice is going to make drinkable wine, but not high quality," he says about West Coast wines. "Our growing climate next to Lake Erie has a climate that's similar to Burgundy and Bordeaux. We may not be able to make as much, but it's better than California's." Get sippin' 1 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland. Tickets are $20; call 800-227-6972. -- Cris Glaser

High on the Hogs
Harley fans park their rides.

SUN 8/7

When Tom Reddish joined the West Cleveland Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) in 1990, "There were a lot of guys that were thinking of becoming Hell's Angels," he says. "But they quickly dropped out, because HOG is a family organization. A lot of our activities involve kids. We're squeaky-clean." On Sunday, the family-friendly bikers hold their annual Frostville Ride-In Bike Show, where local Harley enthusiasts show off their rides. All sorts of bikes will be on display, including street, custom, and antique models, says Reddish, who's president of the club. "We want bikes that are actually ridden," he says. HOG runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Frostville Historical Village Museum, 24101 Cedar Point Road in North Olmsted. Admission is $4; call 216-556-0551. -- Lucy McKernan

Train of Thought


We've always admired the Little Engine That Could. It took a lot of spunk for that fella to thrust his tiny locomotive self up that hill. This week, with nothing left to prove, the indomitable choo-choo visits the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, seemingly satisfied with the fact that the remainder of his days will be spent hauling kids around. Other characters from the classic story will also be there, as will live music, stories, and activities. The Little Engine departs hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at the Railroad, 1630 West Mill Street in Peninsula. Tickets are $15; call 800-468-4070. -- Michael Gallucci

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