Nicholas Longworth (1783-1863), recognized as the person most responsible for bring winemaking to the Buckeye State, was the first inductee to Ohio Wine Hall of Fame.
Ohio owes the rich heritage of its wine industry to Longworth, whose passion for growing native grapes and producing wine in the Cincinnati region led to the development of the Ohio wine industry in the 19th century. Longworth’s vineyards and winery produced more wine than any other in the country.
In 1842, Longworth created America's first champagne, which he called "Sparkling Catawba". With praise from across the country and as far away as Europe, he could hardly keep up with the demand for his champagne and Catawba wine. A lasting tribute "Ode to Catawba Wine" was written by the well-known poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Sources: Ohio Wine Industry Honors Founding Fathers with the Creation of the ‘Ohio Wine Hall of Fame’ Press Release from the Ohio Wine Producers Association, and Ohio Wine Producers Association Hall of Fame website.
Image courtesy of Harper's Weekly. Woodcut first appeared in the July 1858 issue.