In Cleveland, an urban vineyard helps revitalize one of the city’s most infamous neighborhoods.
Hough, a neighborhood situated along the midtown corridor on the east side of the city, is a place famous for its social problems. But there’s hope. A 3000 square meters area where foreclosure homes, a vacant library, a long-shut corner store and crack houses used to be, has been transformed into an urban vineyard by Cleveland’s neighborhood winery Chateau Hough. The vineyard grows Frontenac, a red grape from Minnesota, and Traminette, a floral white wine developed in upstate New York.
Chateau Hough was established in 2010 and funded by both the city of Cleveland and investor Mansfield Frazier, the owner of the vineyard. With the initiative Frazier hopes to give the value of real estate in the neighborhood, including his own house right opposite the vinery, an impulse.
This neighborhood vineyard goes hand in hand with the growing demand for locally produced food — not only vegetables and fruits, but also micro beer breweries and locally distilled spirits. In the case of Hough, the transition from wasteland to vineyard is also meant to upscale the run-down neighborhood. Sure they could have grown anything there, but a winery delivers a stronger message of an area’s value in poor neighborhoods like Hough. The fact that the vineyard employs former inmates who often face difficulties in finding a job after their inprisonment is just another plus for this project.