Fred and Judy Robinson have an understandable rapport with those who stop in at their Cherry Road Winery in Massillon.
“We were like a lot of the couples who visit our winery. We used to visit other wineries throughout the state and anywhere else we traveled,” said Judy Robinson. “We thought if we could bring that sort of experience to the west side of Massillon, we wanted to do it.”
Fred Robinson makes the wine for the winery, while Judy Robinson handles the business end, she said. Wines are made from mostly California grapes, but the couple has planted a vineyard that in a couple of years will provide the Robinsons’ their “juice.”
“He already was making wine at home and the property has been in my family for years,” she explained, noting that atmosphere of the production facility and tasting room is more industrial than many wineries.
“We operate in a converted welding shop,” she explained, noting that the business has been in operation since November of 2016.
“We’re one large room, and we’re looking to expand to a patio,” said Robinson, who recalled that she and her husband had planned to build a larger facility around the corner from their location at 27th Street NW. The intersecting street is Cherry Road. Hence the name of the winery. “We were going to build our tasting room on Cherry Road. But, our customers enjoy the location where we’re at, and we kind of listened to our customers. We kept the name. My husband describes it as being ‘just off Cherry Road.’ ”
Cherry Road Winery, which doesn’t serve food but encourages visitors to bring their munchies for special occasions, is open to the public Thursday through Saturday, with live music on the latter weekend night. “Depending upon who is playing the music, we recommend reservations on Saturday nights,” Robinson said.
Special events—such as “Trivia Night” with John Kiste—are scheduled on other nights, and groups can rent the winery, as well, Robinson said.
In accordance to its “We Love Local” theme, the winery offers wines that are named to remind visitors of Massillon-area history. “Three Bridges,” for example, is a semi-dry red blend named for the Cherry, Lincoln and Tremont viaducts. “Towpath Trail,” named for the bike trail that follows the Ohio & Erie Canal, is a clear, crisp and dry chardonnay—“just like the weather for a great day on the trail,” the winery website says.
The Robinsons true to their love for the community, also are great supporters of other area establishments, even mentioning restaurants and other local wineries on its website.
“There’s a lot of camaraderie in the wine industry in general,” said Robinson. “All the local wineries support each other. We send customers to them, and they send customers to us.”
Cherry Road Winery is located at 1133 27th Street NW, Massillon.
What to order:
• Hail Mary: a light merlot with a hint of black raspberry named after both the football pass and the St. Mary’s church that dominates the Massillon skyline
• The Jewell: a cabernet sauvignon named after the car manufactured in Massillon early in the 1900s
• The Rezzie: a semi-dry white wine named after Massillon’s reservoir and made from Riesling grapes.
What we love:
The names, specifically a two-bottle offering—”Only Happy,” a sweet red, and “In Ohio,” a sweet white—which placed on the table together say “Only Happy In Ohio.” And, yes, the first letters of those four words are “O-H-I-O.”