Markko Vineyard Founder's Day
April 17, 1968
In 1967 Arnie Esterer, founder of Markko Vineyard, read about
Dr. Konstantin Frank, who was growing vinifera grapes in New York's
Finger Lakes region. That year Arnie spent a week of his vacation working
for Dr. Frank in his vineyard located in Hammondsport, NY.
Arnie purchased his first 130 acres in Conneaut, OH from the Markko
family. He planted the vines he received from Frank in the spring of
1968 on the land where the vineyard and winery are now located.
He also began his partnership with Tim Hubbard, who also was interested in wine and Dr. Frank's goal of promoting "superior quality domestic wines”.
Both Esterer & Hubbard were part of group known as Dr. Frank's "cooperators”. In 1972, Esterer left Union Carbide to work full time
in the vineyard and build the winery.
The grapes they had planted were mostly Chardonnay and Riesling, and the wines Esterer produced that harvest were the first commercial vinifera wines to be produced in Ohio.
The Esterer Family
Andrew, David, Paul & Katherine