Within one decade, Gervasi Vineyard has evolved from a family dream to a well-known destination for wine lovers, foodies, and couples seeking a romantic escape.
On March 16 the winery resort celebrates its 10th anniversary and the tremendous growth across the 55-acre estate. In the beginning, Gervasi was a small restaurant and winery housed in a restored barn, which has now grown to a large tourism destination featuring over 14 buildings.
As you drive through the arched entrance, there is a sense that you are entering the countryside of old world Tuscany. Part of the allure of Gervasi Vineyard is the story of how it came to be a true destination in Canton, Ohio. The winery resort is unique in its style of classic Italian charm and was created to be “Tuscan by design” based on the family’s Italian heritage.
The Swaldo Family built Gervasi Vineyard as a legacy in the making for the Canton community. Established ten years ago the winery first opened its doors as “Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro” on March 16, 2010. Scott Swaldo, General Manager for GV Destinations, said his family enlisted the talents of an architectural firm (FMD Architects) in Fairlawn, Ohio to help achieve the Tuscan feel for the buildings and grounds.
“We continued to refine the look to evolve to what you see today,” Swaldo said. “The entrance is elaborate by design. It sets the tone–the expectation–and it makes people feel like they have traveled to a getaway destination. Part of the allure is the authenticity that we have incorporated throughout the buildings. The aesthetics are part of our Gervasi brand.”
Swaldo added that feedback from visitors shows they find something new about the Gervasi experience every time they visit.
“We opened with a bang in a time of a slow economy (2010), giving people something to get excited about in their own backyard. Guests bring their visiting family and friends, or their co-workers and business associates back with them to enjoy the Gervasi experience. They trust our commitment to quality and customer service and trust us to celebrate their life milestones with us,” Swaldo said.
The Gervasi estate
Many guests have been coming to Gervasi Vineyard to eat, dine, stay and play since “Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro” opened 10 years ago.
The road through the Gervasi estate begins with the rustic, romantic restaurant, The Bistro, which is housed inside a two-hundred-year-old historic barn, and was the location of the winery when the establishment first opened in 2010.
The Piazza is the lower-level patio facing the spring-fed lake. The Piazza features seasonal outdoor dining for lunch and dinner with stunning views of the lake and the Tuscan-style Pavilion. The venue offers outdoor activities such as bocce and cornhole. Adirondack chairs are positioned around the lake to relax and listen to live music during summer evenings.
Just a little further down the road is The Farmhouse. Originally built in 1830 as a sawmill and dairy farm, The Farmhouse is a 2,200 square foot completely restored and modernized four-bedroom home that comfortably sleeps seven to eight guests.
Across from The Farmhouse is The Still House, which opened in December 2018. Its design was inspired by the St. Gervasio church in Denno, Italy where the family’s grandmother was baptized. It’s a coffeehouse by day and swanky cocktail lounge & bar by night. The Distillery is part of The Still House and opened in January 2019.
Next, The Casa, an upscale boutique hotel, opened May 2019 and features 24 luxury suites with private patios, beautiful courtyard views, king-size beds, and many high end amenities…perfect for overnight getaways.
Following the drive across the one-lane bridge is The Crush House which was added in 2013. This restaurant houses the state-of-the-art-winery, and is a wine bar and eatery in a modern industrial-style building with indoor and balcony seating.
You will also find two exquisite event venues located on the across the parking lot. The Villa Grande and The Conservatory (both built in October 2011) and are used for weddings, anniversaries, meetings and other celebratory life events.
The driving tour is topped off at The Villas. Built in October 2011, Gervasi’s rustic Villas have been named Best Wine Country Hotel by USA Today for two years running. As a AAA Four Diamond hotel and Select Registry member, the accommodations (featuring lakeside views) and service is exceptional.
Driving back over the one lane bridge to the Gervasi arch to exit, guests will feel a sense that they have just taken a tour of a little town in Italy.
Photo Courtesy Gervasi Vineyard