The Flavors of Filia 7

Enjoy your wine at a Gothic Victorian getaway in the countryside

The countryside of Wadsworth is, in a word, enchanting. The historic community is tucked in the southeastern corner of Medina County, and it features lovely architecture, stunning landscapes, and a whole lot of small town charm. One building rises above the landscape, though, possessing all of these qualities as well as a secret.

The wine-red Gothic Victorian predates the Civil War, and its charm and beauty are undeniable.But, unless one spots the wine-red sign out front, you might not guess that the stunning house on Acme hill is actually hiding Filia Cellars within its antique walls.

“Filia is Latin for daughter,” explains Winemaker and Owner Lisa Locklear as she pours a glass of Girls R Meaner, a Gewurtzraminer-Riesling blend with tropical tones. She takes great pride in the variety of products she produces and the personality that each wine’s individual flavors allow it to take on. “And it seemed an appropriate name for the business, considering how deeply rooted my family is in winemaking.”

The family found its start in winemaking 1902, when her great grandfather was reputed to have won a vineyard property adjacent to the family farm from the local vet in a card game. When her father, Gregory Graham, moved to California, he began producing his own wines in Napa Valley. Filia Cellars’ dry reds come from his estate in California, and all other wines are produced from the finest locally sourced fruits. Even the sides of cheese that she serves are sourced from local farmers. The business truly is home-grown, and Locklear celebrates family and community in everything she creates.

“My husband and I have three daughters,” she says. She pours a glass of a wine called Isabella, a dry wine made from a blend of Cab and Cab Franc. “These reds have been grown at my dad’s property in California. These types of wine originally come from Europe. And, of course, this drink is named for one of my daughters.”

She continues to honor the tradition of family with wines Hannah and Callie, a Petit Sirah dry wine and Niagara sweet wine, respectively. She also features a Tempranillo dry wine, Lillian, named for her grandmother and the matriarch of the family.

“I adore making wines,” she explains as she fondly looks over the bottles she set out. “I do a secondary fermentation that converts malic acid into lactic acid, and it gives wines that buttery characteristic. In a red, it softens it, so the wines are very approachable. I was taught to do things correctly by my father, such as sterile filtering the wines prior to bottling. I sterile filter everything so I don’t have to add sorbate, which some people have a sensitivity to. The goal is to interfere as little as possible during the process but still be able to deliver your winemaking style.”

Locklear certainly has her own style. She draws influences from her familial story, and within each bottle is yet another tale. From the origin of names to the artful blends she crafts, each wine is an experience.

“Ohio is big on fruit wines, and of course the big dry reds come from our California family estate. Our goal is to have something for everybody. Whether you prefer sweeter wines, fruit wines, like our Ohio Apple, or full-bodied reds, we have something that you will enjoy.”

No matter your preference, you will adore the milieu of this stunning winery. From it’s eco-friendly Astrapouch wine packaging to the restored interior and charming outdoor porch, there are countless surprises along the way that dazzle the eye and your taste buds. And, as an added bonus, the porch area comes alive during the summer. Entertainment graces the grounds on Friday and Saturday nights, and you can bring a picnic and even your pup to relax beside a bonfire and bask under the stars as you enjoy the flavors of Filia.

“I was riding my bike one summer, and I saw this house. It had been empty, and its exterior was faded. I thought to myself, that’s a total wine house. And the environment truly is beautiful, a perfect place to relax and enjoy.”

For hours and a full list of wines, please visit FiliaCellars.com.