Janice and Jeff Hanneman, former Glandorf residents, recently opened the Sycamore Lake Wine Co., located just outside Columbus Grove. The winery’s natural setting is a relaxing experience. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
Janice and Jeff Hanneman, former Glandorf residents, recently opened the Sycamore Lake Wine Co., located just outside Columbus Grove. The winery’s natural setting is a relaxing experience. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
COLUMBUS GROVE - In the midst of a cornfield, not far from Columbus Grove, the area's newest winery is open.

The Sycamore Lake Wine Company, owned by Jeff and Janice Hanneman, formerly life-long Glandorf residents, was a year in the making. However, their idea of owning a winery began several years ago.

The Hannemans purchased a carboy kit, a container used for fermenting wine. They entered a winemaking contest and placed second. They continued making improvements to their wine, and won medals at several other contests.

"We have been helping Lou (Schaublin) at Hillside Winery for five years. She kept pushing us, telling us we should open our own winery," Jeff explained.

With encouragement from friends and family, the couple pursued their dream in earnest.

Tom Langhals, Janice's uncle, had a farm on Mayberry Road, outside Columbus Grove. He told the couple, "I have an idea. I think this will work."

The Hannemans purchased the property, left their native Glandorf, and moved to the country a year ago.

This past Memorial Day, the Hannemans planted a three-acre vineyard. The plants were dormant at the time; they will produce grapes in a year or two. For now, grapes and juice are purchased from other vineyards and suppliers in Ohio.

The main building, which houses the tasting room, is chicly decorated. There is a private party room that may be rented at any time. The gift shop offers a variety of wine-themed items. If one would care to sip their beverages outdoors, the scenery at SLWC is simply breath taking. The winery's stamped patio overlooks a 17-acre lake, where ducks and herons often visit. The wrought-iron tables and chairs are positioned so one can also view both the vineyard and the authentic-looking covered bridge.

Janice explained the bridge was constructed from an old barn, outside Miller City, which blew down during last year's derecho. The winery is a work in progress. In the future, the couple hopes to be able to host wedding receptions, as well as create a wine trail with other area wineries.