For nearly a century, Mantey Vineyards has produced fine Ohio wine. In 1880, Edward Mantey moved from Kelley's Island to a small fruit farm in Venice, Ohio. The growing of grapes and production of wine was becoming a thriving business on the south shore of Lake Erie. The climate and soil produced excellent wine grapes, and the growing immigrant population from wine producing countries provided a good market. A sizable part of Edward Mantey's farm was allotted to grapes. These were converted into wine and for the most part sold locally. Gradually fame of Mantey's wine spread over a wide area and an active business was carried out between Pittsburgh and Chicago. Edward Mantey's two sons became interested in the production of these fine wines, and joined their father's business, which had grown from producing a few thousand to over 50,000 gallons of wine a year.
National prohibition temporarily ended winemaking. Casks were dismantled or sold, but the vineyards and presses remained. The crops were either sold as fresh fruit or converted into juice.
Mantey's was one of the first Ohio wineries to apply for a wine producer's permit when prohibition ended. Now run by his son, the industry began to change rapidly. Packaging methods changed from filling barrels or the buyer's jug to packaging the wines exclusively in glass. Instead of selling to the consumer, the wines were now sold to a distributor or retailer. With all of the changes, the winery continued to grow, steadily increasing production and sales of their wines.
The winery stayed in the Mantey family, the last owners being Norm and Paul Mantey, grandsons of founder Edward Mantey, until 1979, when winemaker Claudio Salvador took over the reins. Claudio has continued in the Mantey tradition, producing the fine wines that customers have come to know and love!