Jet Express Offers Excursions to Lonz Winery, Middle Bass Island

PORT CLINTON, Ohio – The Jet Express high-speed passenger ferry is offering excursions to Middle Bass Island and its historic Lonz Winery grounds this summer.

The excursions are scheduled for June 22, July 20 and Aug. 17.

Each trip will depart from Jet Express’ Port Clinton dock at 5:45 p.m. and arrive at Middle Bass Island at 6:10 p.m. The return passage will depart Middle Bass Island at 9:40 p.m. and arrive at Port Clinton at 10:15 p.m.

To purchase tickets, click HERE.

“Middle Bass Island offers much to travelers and locals, including a beautiful state park, eateries and pubs surrounding the famous Lonz Winery,” said Capt. Kelly Freimark, general manager of Jet Express.

Lonz Winery is steeped in Lake Erie history. In 1926, Peter Lonz and his son, George, merged their winemaking businesses amid the nationwide prohibition of alcohol. The business survived by selling bottles of grape juice with instructions for fermenting the juice at home.

Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, George Lonz rebuilt the complex, and over the years, the site became a familiar landmark for the community. The National Register of Historic Places added the Lonz Winery to its list in 1986.

In July 2000, the state of Ohio purchased 124 acres on Middle Bass Island after the tragic collapse of the original Lonz terrace that year. The purchase included the shell of the Lonz Winery complex, and the state restored much of the building’s façade, but the winery’s upper levels were beyond salvage.

Today, the Lonz Winery grounds include The Island Grind Press House and a coffee and wine bar that offers live entertainment throughout the island season.

Guests can walk the grounds, which include the historic winery, museum and mansion. Afterward, food, beverages and live music will be available to enjoy in the new Prohibition speakeasy. Guests can also relax on the spacious greens or picturesque terrace.

Jet Express also offers regular daily service to Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island, from its docks in Sandusky and Port Clinton.

Pictured at top: The Lonz Winery building and façade is a landmark on Middle Bass Island.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.