There are wineries, and then there’s Gervasi Vineyard — a 55-acre winery resort in Canton that makes you feel like you’re in the heart of Tuscany. With Italian-style luxury lodging, incredible landscapes, a rolling five-acre vineyard and a mix of fancy and casual dining and drinking establishments on site, you’ll definitely feel those Mediterranean vacation vibes.
And one of the best parts? When you stay in one of the estate’s luxury suites (at the The Villas, The Casa or The Farmhouse), you can sample all the wines, spirits and craft brews you want without having to worry about driving anywhere. (Sweet, right? Right.)
Ready yet? Let’s go.
You can't beat this — every single guest suite in The Villas or in the brand-spankin’-new Casa boutique hotel comes with an in-suite breakfast for two made fresh from the Gervasi kitchen. Sit out on your veranda (patio) and take in the views (they’re great no matter which suite you’re in) as you start the day with an Italian continental breakfast. Slippers and robes are totally acceptable dining attire.
Enjoy a stroll around the estate’s walking paths or the scenic Middle Branch Trail (part of Stark Parks), which meanders through the property. Walk through the vineyards to see where the estate grapes (Marquette, Aromella, and Frontenac Gris) are grown for some of Gervasi’s award-winning wines.
The Crush House Wine Bar & Eatery is perfect for a midday indoor or outdoor lunch. Try the short rib sliders with bell pepper cheddar sauce — you won’t be sorry. If you’re not a meat-eater, might we suggest the Vegetariano Piada? They’re eggplant “meatballs” with arugula, fresh mozzarella and spicy marinara, and they. are. amazing. Once your belly is full, kick off the day of sampling with a Napa-Valley-style tasting bar experience.
While you’re at The Crush House, take an afternoon winery tour to see where the magic happens in Gervasi’s state-of-the-art winemaking facilities. The free, 30-minute tours take place on Saturdays at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. For a more in-depth experience, opt for the Winery Pairings Tour, also on Saturdays by reservation, which is a one-hour tour that includes samples of popular Gervasi wines paired with small plates for a nominal fee.
During the warm season (May-October), enjoy an outdoor lunch at The Piazza. It’s totally casual with killer views of Gervasi Lake. Order at the counter and then your meal will be delivered to your table on the patio while you relax and enjoy a bottle of Gervasi's estate wine. Breathe it in — this is what al fresco dining is all about.
Stick around afterwards and get your fancy feet ready to dance along with live bands in the evening Tuesday through Sunday. Or, make some friends and play a game of bocce or cornhole.
Sleep in. It’s vacation. Have your included breakfast in bed and maybe play some Italian opera to get you in the mood for a fabulous Day 2.
Schedule an in-room private yoga session from experienced yogis. To work out those muscles and extend the zen, there are in-suite massages also available. Finish off the morning with some of Gervasi's Lambrusco, an Italian sparkling wine (throw some orange juice in there and call it a breakfast mimosa). You deserve it.
Take a real-deal Italian cooking class at The Cucina, located in The Villa Grande. Sip a glass of vino as you get hands-on experience taught by Gervasi’s chefs and instructors. Then, enjoy your hard work around a table with fellow students. (Offered October - May.)
Next, head over to The Still House. The Tuscan church-like exterior was inspired by the real-life St. Gervasio church in Denno, Italy, where Gervasi owner Ted Swaldo’s mother was baptized. But this church’s interior is … slightly different. Inside, you’ll find a clever “saints and sinners” theme complete with a confessional booth and stained-glass windows adjacent to a swanky cocktail bar and indoor/outdoor cigar lounge.
In the mornings, The Still House is a cafe pouring brew made from proprietary blended, organic, fair trade and locally roasted coffee beans. But it is also the property’s home to the new Gervasi Spirits venture, including a distillery that offers free public tours on Sundays (appropriately). The corn for the Gervasi spirits is grown locally at Swartz Farm in Hartville and ground by Hartville Elevator Co., making it a true Northeast Ohio effort from start to finish.
Get a few snacks to munch on while you sample spirit, wine or craft beer flights (yes, Gervasi also has its own craft beer made in partnership with Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.), then head out to the patio for a fancy cigar hand-picked from the onsite humidor.
The absolute crowning moment of a Gervasi getaway is dinner at The Bistro, located in a gorgeous, rustic barn from the 1820s. Soft-lit and dripping with romance, the restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine that can easily be paired with wine flights and topped off with one of the insanely good desserts. Like tiramisu. Or maybe the hazelnut brownie. Or both. We won’t judge. (Reservations 2-3 weeks in advance are encouraged.)
Fun fact: This place has quite the history. In the swingin’ 1920s, it was the site of a gangster-style shootout. Gervasi took up the theme with a 1920s cocktail menu complete with creative names inspired by the notorious event.
It’s your last night, so do it up. The Still House has mixologists that work their magic with Gervasi Spirits, while The Crush House is a more casual pub-like/party atmosphere in the evenings. Get your social fix, then head back to one of the many firepits around the property to put your feet up and finish off a bottle of wine under the stars.
Tuscany in Ohio?! Let’s Do This.
Gervasi Vineyard has everything you need for a stress-free getaway including fantastic food, drinks, entertainment (live music almost every night of the week — whaaaat?), tours, a marketplace, luxury accommodations (rated a AAA four-diamond resort for seven consecutive years), spa treatments, exercise and wellness opportunities and more.
Aside from the suggested itinerary, there is an extensive list of special events including festivals, wine and beer crawls, cruise-ins and concerts available at this winery resort.
There’s availability even if you make a same-week decision to go. So go ahead; live the good life. Grab your #1 or a group of friends and escape for a couple of days to Gervasi.
Learn more at GervasiVineyard.com.