Carillon Brewing debuts wine with Dayton roots

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An old tradition inspired Carillon Park’s newest attraction here. Tuesday, the museum’s brewery bottled and debuted its first wine. Much like everything else at Carillon, the new drink comes with a history lesson.

Carillon Park president and CEO Brady Kress explained to visitors Dayton’s unexpected connection to the wine business Tuesday. He said most of what is now Dayton Country Club was once a massive vineyard and winery.

Kress’s ancestors are among those who made wine in the Miami Valley’s rolling hills and now Kress counts himself as a fifth generation winemaker.

Carillon Brewing Company’s first vintage came from Concord grapes harvested in October 2016 and fermented in Oak barrels.

Tuesday, an assembly line of historical interpreters and museum guests transferred the red Concord wine from barrels to more than 1,200 bottles by hand.

Museum staff replicated the process used by winemakers in the 19th century, including a wooden cork press and sealing wax heated over a real wood-burning fireplace.

Visitors like self-proclaimed history buff Margot Merz appreciated the historical authenticity.

She said, “I think they do a wonderful job of making history kind of come alive and be relatable to people. It’s not just, you know, things in glass cases, but you can actually see the processes that were involved and interpreters who can tell you exactly what was going on and why they did it this way or not that way.”

The bottles sell for $10 at Carillon Park. Kress said depending on the wine’s popularity, the museum will likely continuing making and bottling the beverage. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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