Wine grapes, just planted on a once vacant lot. In the middle of lots of big city reality, writer, commentator, activist, city dweller Mansfield Frazier welcomes you to the Vineyards of Chateau Hough.
Frazier, his wife Brenda, and other urban farmer foodies planted two kinds of hearty German white wine grapes.
“We should get some good winds, some good breezes, some good grapes, and hopefully some good wine,” Frazier said.
What did Frazier know about growing grapes?
“I was an expert at taking the cork out the bottle.”
Frazier’s upscale Hough house is right across the street. There used to be an apartment building here. It got demolished. Frazier’s vineyard idea was a winner in a contest called; “Reimagining Cleveland” where fifty-eight lots would be put to new uses. The city keeps the land and Frazier gets $15,000 towards his project. His wife Brenda never expected this when she married him.
“Well I figured we would probably have a garden in our backyard, which we do, but not a vineyard,” Brenda said.
Will good grapes grow here? Well it is close to the lake that provides some breezes. As for the soil, well it needs some needed treating.
It will be three or four years before these vines produce wine-worthy grapes, then the next part of Frazier’s plan, a winery and restaurant in University Circle with help from foreign investors.
Dionka wynn, Frazier and Brenda’s neighbor is excited about the vineyard.
“That’s gonna be real pretty. I can not wait to see it when it’s finished,” Wynn said.
With wineries cropping up in other big cities, Frazier hopes his vintage idea takes root here.
Frazier is active in helping ex-offenders get jobs. He plans to hire some as his grape growing and winemaking business. Two other smaller vineyards are also starting in the city of Cleveland.