By PARIS WOLFE
Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens founders Kathleen and Andy Dangelo have thought of everything for the perfect wedding. Their purpose-built, 11,000-square-foot facility on the edge of Chagrin Falls has three thoughtfully curated indoor spaces and six lushly landscaped outdoor spaces for celebrations.The spaces accommodate groups up to 250.
“During our travels to Napa Valley, we fell in love with the seamless incorporation of indoor and outdoor spaces at wineries,” says Kathleen.“We wanted to bring that experience to Northeast Ohio.”
‘Winery’ doesn’t even begin to describe Sapphire Creek, unless you’re thinking Napa Valley meets lush Northeast Ohio landscapes. That’s landscapes plural. The winery is nestled among 15 acres of secluded woods, broken into outdoor “rooms” for gatherings.
Panoramic windows bring outdoors inside creating a seamless transition between the built and natural environments. Coupled with water features and artisanal lighting, the result is an enchanting experience for couples and their families.
The ambiance indoors is both elegant and dramatic, requiring little decorating.
Orchestrating an event can be as effortless or involved as a couple desires. Once the facility has a commitment, the kitchen offers a tasting dinner for eight, just so couples know what to expect on their big day. Food and bar menus might come from the winery’s menu or be customized by executive chef Rick Bennett.
A typical wedding might start with passed hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour, progress through dinner stations and finish with cake, dessert table and even novelties such as a doughnut wall. Cakes and desserts may be brought in from outside vendors, as the winery doesn’t have a pastry chef on staff.
Wine options, of course, include those produced in Napa Valley to the specifications of the Dangelos. Offerings include Brut White and Rose sparkling wines as well as popular varietals. The stunner is a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cocktails may be custom-designed by the bartender – one representing the bride and one representing the bridegroom – should the couple desire.
Planning isn’t complete until Mother Nature is appeased. That is done with an old Southern practice of Burying the Bourbon to assure good weather on the wedding day. It works like this: Exactly one month before the wedding, couples visit Sapphire Creek’s bourbon garden where they bury a full bottle of bourbon – their choice of brand – upside down. The bottle is retrieved on the wedding day for a ceremonial toast. Photographers are encouraged for burying and toasting.
The wedding day starts early in the bridal loft. As the women prepare, mimosas and a light lunch are served. Meanwhile, men prepare in the wine cellar with beer (or wine) and sandwiches. A wedding coordinator is present to assist throughout the day. And photographers are welcome to catch candids or format formal photographs.
Weddings are staged by the Woodlands Pavilion in good weather, then followed with the celebration. As the music winds down and the last drink is consumed, a final, light snack and coffee may be provided.
When the big event is over, there will be beautiful and happy memories for guests and everyone else involved in a wedding or special event at Sapphire Creek Winery and Gardens.
Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens brings Bourbon tradition to Northeast Ohio
By PARIS WOLFE