More than vines and wines

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Randy L. McKee

Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Breitenbach Wine Cellars in Dover, the gateway to Amish Country, where you can spend a day, weekend or more exploring everything the area has to offer.

“My mom and dad, Duke and Cynthia Bixler, started Breitenbach Wine Cellars 42 years ago,” Anita Davis said. “In the beginning, they were producing about 1,500 gallons of four to five different wines. Today, Breitenbach Cellars produces 40 different types of wine and more than 150,000 gallons each year.”

Being one of the first wineries to produce fruit wines, Breitenbach is well known for the sweet drink and has won many international medals and awards. They have since expanded to include dry reds like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah.

And wine isn’t all that Breitenbach offers both locals and visitors. Shop for wines, cheeses and specialty food items, candles, gifts, home décor, and even antiques at the store right on the winery grounds. After shopping, tasting and touring, you can relax with a wood-fired pizza, salad and a glass of wine on the patio at Café Breitenbach. Guests also enjoy the ambience of the fire pits, waterfall, live music, drinks and dinner at Dusk Wine and Fire Bar, open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

“We’ve got your girls’ weekend, staycation, couple’s getaway, wedding celebration or work event covered,” Davis said. “And three years ago, my father purchased the home across the street from the winery and completely renovated it. The Guest House at Breitenbach is ready to welcome your group.”

Built in 1890, the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath Guest House sleeps eight and is tucked away in a private tunnel of trees right in the heart of the Breitenbach grounds. Each room has been completely and lovingly renovated and furnished with upscale antiques and furnishings, Amish hand-loomed rugs, inviting country-style bedding, and gleaming hardwood floors.

Breitenbach also can host all your events right on the beautiful grounds in the expansive Toolshed, the perfect venue for weddings, family celebrations, corporate gatherings and reunions. Seating up to 350 guests, the Toolshed also is available for community events and fundraisers.

“We love to give back, and we offer our facilities to serve the needs of this community,” Davis said. “The Toolshed is a beautiful addition to everything else happening here, and we are happy to host your next family, business or charity event where your guests will be immersed in the natural beauty of Breitenbach.”

Breitenbach Wine Cellar is conveniently located near the shops, restaurants and additional overnight accommodations available in the town of Dover, making it the perfect spot for any event. And don’t miss the guided tours of Breitenbach’s Winemakers Barn, where visitors experience the crushing, pressing, fermentation and bottling process up close.

Breitenbach hosts events throughout the year that celebrate its 40 different types of wines and showcase all the seasonal happenings in Amish Country.

For example, in the fall you’ll find the Halloween Woodland Hike and pumpkin succulent classes, New Year’s Eve in the Toolshed and other wintertime events, and in spring, Breitenbach Wine Cellars hosts the annual Dandelion Festival celebrating the signature Dandelion Wine the first weekend in May. The family-friendly event includes cellar tours, wine sampling, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. Vendors showcase their dandelion-themed products including soaps, pottery, jewelry, crafts, and food items made from dandelions, like coffees, jellies and jams and, of course, the sweet dandelion wine.

“Breitenbach today remains a true family business,” Davis said. “My sister, Jennifer Kohler and I both work here. Her husband, Scott, is our winemaker, and all of our children are involved. This is our legacy, and we’re proud to share it with the people of this community and visitors from all over.” 

Breitenbach Wine Cellars is located at 5934 Old Route 39 NW in Dover. Store and tasting hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call 330-343-3603 or check the website at for Guest House reservations, Toolshed information, dining menus and a complete schedule of events.