Anniversary Festival

School House Winery quietly opened in February of 2009. We spent the next few months making more wine, spreading the word and gaining support. Then in June we had our grand opening celebration. It was a huge success. We had food, live music and so much more.

The annual celebration is so very important to us. We love celebrating with our customers, family and friends. But it’s more than that. We want to share our newest wines, share our growth and share our passion with all of you. It is our favorite day of the year and we want to share it with you.

This year we are celebrating SEVEN years of business. I honestly can’t believe it! We have grown so much and continue to grow. So here are the details for the year. Please join us if you can. Stop by and listen to music, or grab food and a bottle of wine. We hope to see you there.

Saturday June 11th, 2016

Sammy Sue’s BBQ will be serving food from 3-9pm

REN performing from 4-6pm

Saxy Rob from 5:30-7:30pm

REN trio from 7-9pm


Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, home of Building 6 wines located in Dover, Ohio.

Words and Wine

One of the most intimidating things about wine and tastings is the lingo. There are many ways to describe wine, many aromas and many industry phrases. I’m going to list the five aroma descriptors I use most in wine tastings and what they mean.

  1. Earthy: Some wines have an earthy taste to them and that isn’t a bad thing. I usually find this aroma in dry reds and occasionally dry whites like Pino Grigio or Seyval. Ie. Grass, soil or mushrooms.
  2. Minerality: I get this aroma in mostly dry white wines that don’t have a fruit forward aroma. Ie. Flint or slate
  3. Floral: If you smell a wine and it has an aroma of perfume or flowers, I consider those floral aromas. You can pick up different floral notes in red wines and white wines. Reds usually have Rose, Violet and Lavender aromas and whites usually have Citrus Blossom, Lilly and Honey Suckle aromas; however, some whites can have notes of Rose, etc.
  4. Fruity: Even though wine is traditionally made with only grapes (excluding fruit wines, of course) you can get a lot of fruit aromas out of wine. White wines are known for citrus fruits like oranges, lemons or grapefruits. Reds have aromas of raspberries, cherries or blueberries.
  5. Oaky: I use this word to describe anything with a wood aroma, which comes from making wine in either a wood barrel or using wood chips. These aromas are spice, tobacco or cedar.

What descriptors do you use in explaining your wine? There are so many ways to express what you are smelling and tasting. Next time you go to a wine tasting, try some of these out.

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, home of Building 6 wines located in Dover, Ohio.

Uncorked With Courtney: Why video is so important.

So here’s the deal… Google REALLY likes video. You know who else likes video? Basically everyone.

So most of you know that I do a weekly vlog called Uncorked with Courtney. And every week I talk about either something happening at the winery or something happening in the world or, if I really don’t know what to talk about, something random. And I end each video with a wine of the week (occasionally, not our wine).

It’s a very fun and comfortable thing for me to add to our marketing plan. But that isn’t the only reason I do it. Using video in marketing is also a great way to educate or tell a story.

People value education. Facts. Knowing. And in the wine world, not knowing can be scary. What wine should I take to a dinner party? What wine should I drink? What should I eat with certain wines? There are a lot of questions.

And we all love stories!

My goal is to make my friends, family and our customers more comfortable with the idea of wine and to tell them our stories. (I hope it’s working!) And at the same time, I’m boosting our rankings on Google, getting our business name out there and having a blast. It’s basically a win-win win-win.

So, if you want to see my Uncorked videos, click here.

If you have any questions (seriously, any questions) about wine, email me here.

If you have any questions about video shooting, editing or more info about why it is so important in the digital world, email me at the same place.

Now go out and make some awesome videos about your business!

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, home of Building 6 wines located in Dover, Ohio. 

Welcome to School House Winery: Why good staff is so important.

My hope when you walk though SHW’s front door is that you are greeted with a smile and a welcome. A first impression is so important in this industry and having great staff creates a lasting impression. The wine is important too.

Before I get started, I want to make a mention that our staff is amazing. They work hard every day and always stay positive! Keep up the good work Jennifer, Dave, Tina, Cindy, Lori, Maranda, Yolanda, Sarah, Miles, Kaitlin and soon to be Alex!

Last week, while on our family vacation, we took a day trip to Savannah, GA. We did a little shopping and enjoyed the beauty of the historic town. While shopping on River Street, we stumbled across a honey store called Savannah Bee Company with a Mead tasting bar tucked inside. Mead is made mostly with honey instead of grapes or hops, but you can blend it with almost anything. It’s a very unique beverage.

We walked in and decided to try some mead. There was one employee behind the bar, a younger guy with a full beard who looked like he genuinely loved his job. We stepped up with a few other couples and got started. All of a sudden this employee turned on his customer service, like a flick of a switch, the show was on. He walked us through 6 meads, telling us stories for each one. Explaining each mead and why it is unique. Discussing the notes and ingredients added to each one. Creating a whole experience for us.

I visit a lot of wineries, sadly some of which I haven’t really liked. Sometimes it’s the atmosphere, or the wine, but it always ruins the whole experience. I believe that good, welcoming and knowledgeable staff can flip that situation around instantly.

The point here is that this guy loved his job, was knowledgable in his field and had a great welcoming personality. The first thing we discussed after leaving was how much fun we had. The mead was great. Smooth, yummy, refreshing, but if the employee was not as welcoming, we would have had a totally different experience. But instead we will talk about this great store and suggest it to anyone who says, “I’m visiting Savannah, what should I do?”

Good staff can be hard to find, but we are lucky to have great employees creating experiences every day! Our wine isn’t bad either.

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, producer of Building 6 Wines located in Dover, Ohio. 

My Favorite Things to Eat at SHW

I might be a little bias, but we have some amazing food at School House Winery. And if you are thinking, “I didn’t realize they served food at School House Winery,” you should stop out for your next lunch or dinner!

I’m going to tell you my favorite things to eat at SHW.

cheese plate

  1. Meat and cheese plate: You can’t go wrong with a meat and cheese plate and a glass of wine. Cheese pairs nicely with any type of wine.

meatball sub

2.  Meatball Sub: Yum, Yum, Yum! This sub is seriously so good. Topped with Mid’s sauce, how can you go wrong? I like eating this sub with The Principal or Bully Red.

chicken pizza

3. Chicken, Cheese and Garlic pizza: This is our newest pizza and easily the customer favorite. We make it as a traditional white pizza with oil as the “sauce”. Ruslin Hills White with this pizza makes for a perfect combination!

Veggie Pizza

4. And finally. My all time favorite. Veggie pizza: This pizza starts with some Mid’s sauce. The veggies are then piled on. Banana peppers, black and green olives, roasted red peppers and topped with cheese. If you are a pepperoni fan, ask to add pepperoni.  I’ll drink mostly anything with this pizza, but Bully Red is my favorite combination.

I think it’s time for lunch! Suddenly, I’m starving.

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, home of Building 6 Wines located in Dover, Ohio.

Baking with Wine

I love baking. When I was a wee one, we used to bake with my Grandpa every Christmas (and many other times). He would go all out, cutout cookies, popcorn balls, and anything else you could think of. Thankfully that hobby has carried over to my life as an adult. Last year when I started officially working for the winery, I tried a red velvet wine cake mom sent me. It was pretty dense, but amazing.

File Mar 14, 12 36 01 PM


Red Velvet Wine Cake

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this cake, so this is the only photo I have. The original recipe I found on, but click here for a similar recipe from

I’ll have to make it again and take more pictures!



Here are 4 other recipes I want to try soon!

Mini Cheesecakes with wine gelées

I’ve never made cheesecake, but these little cheesecakes look so yummy. Use our Detention (Muscat), Teacher’s Pet (Blush wine) and The Principal (Merlot) for some tasty combinations. Check out the  recipe on



Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes and Raspberry Chambord Buttercream

These cupcakes look amazing. I can’t wait to try them! The Principal, our Merlot, would taste great in these. Check out the recipe on Wine Dine Wander.

photo from


Cannoli with White Wine & Almond Butter

Yum! I’ve never attempted  cannoli, but this makes me want to try it. Make these yummy cookies with Detention for a sweeter cookie/filling or use our Ruslin Hills White for a softer taste. Morsels and Moonshine has the recipe.


photo from


And finally…



Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze

A fun take on a traditional cake! Use our Merlot for a glaze that would compliment this chocolate cake wonderfully! has this sweet recipe.


photo from

I need to get baking! If I try any of these, I’ll be sure to post a blog with pictures!


Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, Home of Building 6 Wines located in Dover, Ohio.

Wine Cocktails for Everyone!


In about three weeks, the whole family is taking a week to relax together and spend some much needed time in the sun. So even though it’s still winter, my brain is saying spring and spring means fruity cocktails and fun in the sun. Or maybe that’s summer… Anyway, I have compiled a list of wine cocktails from various sites (Cosmopolitan, Sutter Home and others) I might want to try on vacation. I have changed the names and am using School House Winery’s Building 6 Wines specifically, of course. Check out my top 5 (I tried to pick one for each family member over 21)

  • Pirate Detention: Andrew’s drink
    • 4oz of Building 6 Detention (Moscato)
    • 2oz white rum
    • 2oz mango juice
    • 1 lime
    • serve over ice, squeeze lime on top
  • Principal’s Sippy Cup: Mom’s drink
    • 1 1/2 oz of Building 6 The Principal (Merlot)
    • 1oz Bourbon
    • 4 cherries
    • a lemon slice
    • pour mixture over muddled fruit
  • Teacher’s Julep: Danielle’s drink
    • 4oz of Building 6 Teacher’s Pet (blush wine)
    • 1oz apple juice
    • 10 mint leaves
    • shake and serve over mint leaves
  • Student Eraser: Dave’s drink
    • 1oz of Building 6 Eraser (American Vidal Blanc)
    • 1oz Vodka
    • 1oz lemon juice
    • 1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
    • shake and serve over ice
  • The Bookworm: Willy’s drink
    • 2oz of Building 6 Bookworm (Apple Reisling)
    • 1oz of King’s Ginger Liqueur
    • 2oz Cranberry juice (or Building 6 Cranberry wine)
    • 2oz lemonade
    • shake and serve over ice
  • Detention Crush: Bonus! My drink!
    • 3oz of Building 6 Detention (Moscato)
    • 2oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
    • 3oz club soda
    • shake and serve on ice

There you have it. Try them out and let me know what you think. Hopefully we can try some on vacation!

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, Home of Building 6 Wines located in Dover, Ohio. 

The 6 Different Types of Wineries


As I mentioned in my vlog, I attended the annual wine conference in Dubin, Ohio a few weeks back. I really can’t believe how much I learned in a span of a few short days. One thing I always ‘knew’ but didn’t really think about was the 6 basic types of wineries.

  1. Vineyard Winery: this is your traditional winery. They have acres of land where they grow their own grapes, harvest those grapes, crush them and turn them into wine. Wines grown and made at the same winery are called Estate Wines. Typically you can sell Estate Wines for a few dollars more a bottle because it’s completely (from sprout to bottle) produced by one winery.
  2. Farm Winery: on a farm winery, everything is basically the same as a vineyard, but the owners live on the property and probably grow other crops along side the grapes. There are a few perks to living on the same property as your winery, but you can never really escape your work.
  3. Urban Winery: urban wineries are a growing  phenomenon. These wineries are housed in a downtown setting and have all grapes or juices shipped in (typically they don’t grow their own grapes). Once the wine maker gets the grapes or juices from vineyards, they begin the wine making process. These are usually in store front shops.
  4. Kit Wine Winery: kit wines are the pre packaged boxes that contain all materials and instructions needed to create a batch of wine (juice concentrate, yeast, flavor packets, etc.). A lot of kit wine wineries offer wine making classes or other special events where you can make and store your wine on their property. When the wine is done, you bottle it and take it home with you. Some offer beer making along with wine making.
  5. Destination Winery: destination wineries are usually in a country setting and offer an outstanding view, relaxing setting, and more with their wine. Some destination wineries also have a bed and breakfast on the property so you can enjoy the view and wine all weekend.
  6. Venue Winery: a venue winery usually has a large room for weddings or events. Some venue wineries have a large area for outdoor concerts or festivals. They do produce quality wine, but people also know these venue wineries for the large event space.

So there you have it, the 6 different types of wineries. Some wineries can fall under a few different categories, i.e. the winery has a vineyard and a large venue space, but these are the basic types of wineries. Think about the wineries in your area. Comment with the types of wineries you see.

Courtney is an employee of School House Winery, home of Building 6 Wines, located in Dover, Ohio. 

A History Lesson


If you haven’t visited School House Winery, it has the schoolhouse theme for a reason. The winery functions in a historic one-room schoolhouse built in 1886. Sit up in your chairs and listen close, it’s time for a history lesson.

In 1885 two acres of the John Franz farm was purchased for $94 by the Dover Township Board of Education for the purpose of building a school. John Franz stipulated that if the  building ever ceased to be used as a school, it was to be sold back to himself or his family for the new appraised value of the building plus the $94.

Anyway, once the property was purchased, the construction of the schoolhouse began. The brick for the foundation was crafted from the property and was molded and fired on site. Construction took less than a year. In 1886 Oak Grove #6 was opened and classes began. There were anywhere from 30 to 40 students attending grades 1st through 8th. The schoolhouse was heated by two pot-bellied stoves.

They had class at Oak Grove School until 1941. Once the school closed its doors, the pupils were transferred to Wooster Highway School.

After a few transfers of hands, my parents Dave and Jennifer Jagunic bought the property in hopes of starting a winery. This was 2007. In February of 2009, after a lot of hard work and patience, we had a small gathering of family and friends at the schoolhouse. While celebrating, a man walked in with a $20 bill and asked for two bottles of our best wine. We all stopped and stared at Dave. He handed the guy two bottles of Teacher’s Pet and completed the sale. After the guy walked out Dave said, “I guess we are open!” We all cheered.

The rest is history, our history.

Courtney Keiser is an employee of School House Winery located in Dover, Ohio.


A Year Already?!?!


Holy cow. I’m creeping close to my one year mark here at School House Winery. Time flies when you’re having wine.

It all started in April when my parents Jennifer and Dave asked me to -officially- join their team. The winery has been a part of my life since the doors opened in 2009, but I was more than excited to begin my full time journey in marketing and sales for the winery.

Excited and also nervous. Working for the family business came with a whole new set of concerns. Would I perform to my parent’s liking? Would I increase sales enough to hold my position? Would I get to drink wine everyday? All of these thoughts and more circled through my mind. And I have to say, this year has been amazing! And no, I don’t drink wine everyday, sadly.

My first goal was to increase our wholesale business. I reached out to a handful of local markets and drive-throughs. I was shocked to find a huge support for Ohio Wines. People are all about supporting local and it makes my heart smile. I was able to get School House Winery’s Building 6 wine into 7 new businesses in 2015. Again, shocked at the support I was receiving and loving the little community I just joined.

Now to increase evening sales… According to some, we are a little too far from home. So my challenge: get people in the door. I assume this is a struggle for many local businesses especially during the “slow times”. Creating a unique experience for the customer goes a long way and generates that positive word of mouth we are always hoping to achieve. What is always more fun with wine? Crafting, of course. I was already hosting a monthly wine glass painting event, but I wanted to break into another market, the DIY scene. Since then, we’ve had paper crafting, finger knitting and this month, charm making events. All of which are a blast to host (hopefully a blast to attend as well).

There is so much more to my first year, but I’ll save that for next week.

The wine industry is ever changing, but always fun. There are 261 (I believe) Ohio Wineries and we all do something a little different, all trying to find what works best for us. But one thing is the same, we all make lovely wines!