Tony Debevc


Tony Debevc entered the wine business since 1971 but comes from a grape growing family whose roots date back to 1916.

He is a graduate of the Ohio State University and is a member of the AGR fraternity. He and his parents established one of the first new wineries in northern Ohio since the days of Prohibition. In the early years of the winery, he was mentored by the iconic Philip Wagner of the Boordy Vineyards in Maryland.

He was a founding director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association and elected as the first chair of the fledgling American Association of Vintners which ultimately grew to become WineAmerica. He was appointed to serve on the very first Ohio Grape Industries Committee.

He submitted the federal application which created the Grand River Valley Appellation. He is an innovative viticultural leader and was among the first to use wind machines to protect against winter damage and every row tiling, both of which allowed for the expansion into varietals once thought impossible to grow in Ohio. He now controls the largest plantings of winegrape vineyards in the state.

His vision was instrumental in ththe formation of the Grand River Valley Winegrowers group and of the Winegrowers of Ohio lobbying effort. He worked with many other industry pioneers and grew his small winery into a nationally recognized leader in the east.

His 1992 Grand River Riesling shocked the staid San Francisco Chronicle wine competition and its head judge Anthony Dias Blue when it was awarded Best White Wine of the Competition

He is an avid aviator and serves on several community economic development committees. He established, with his son, the states first in-winery microbrewery. He has been married 37 years and is the father of two successful young adults.

Ashlee Hayes