BERLIN CENTER, Ohio (WKBN) – Twelve years ago, Dan Mastropietro turned a hobby into a career when he opened Mastropietro Winery in Berlin Center.
He says it was the first to open in Mahoning County — the 75th in all of Ohio — and now, Ohio’s wine industry is booming.
The Ohio Grape Industries Committee says Ohio’s grape and wine industry created over $1 billion for the economy in 2016. Wineries also provide over 8,000 full time jobs in Ohio — 2,700 more than in 2012.
Owner Dan Mastropietro says Ohio’s wineries pair nicely with the state’s attractions.
“You have some great golf courses in Ohio, but you have so many other things to offer,” Mastropietro said. “People coming in, they’re not just doing the wineries — they have options to go with it.”
In 2016, 265 wineries called Ohio home. Since Mastropietro opened his, 190 have also opened.
Wines and Vines — a website and magazine that does research on the wine industry — says wine sales are up five percent from 2016.
The vineyard in Berlin grows three types of grapes. The winery offers 15 wines.
Mastropietro says he makes 7,000 to 10,000 gallons of wine each year. When he started in 2005, he made just under 4,000.
All of Ohio’s wineries created one million gallons of wine in 2016.
“I would say that would catch a lot of people off guard,” Mastropietro said.
And it’s not just wineries booming in Ohio — it’s also craft breweries.
National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute shows Ohio’s breweries have contributed two billion more dollars than they did in 2015.
Mastropietro has an idea why.
“People love local,” he said.
For more on Mastropietro Winery, check out their official website here.