Put-in-Bay Gazette - Cheers to the Man That Forever Changed the Island Wine Industry!

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Cheers to the Man That Forever Changed the Island Wine Industry!

Edward Paul Heineman, 65, passed away September 1st, 2023 at his island home with loved ones by his side. He was born September 21st, 1957, son of the late Louis and Barbara (Traverso) Heineman. Ed Heineman was a fourth generation Put-in-Bay grape cultivator and wine producer through great-grandfathers Gustav Heineman and Stefano Traverso, who both also operated island caves as attractions. Edward was a fifth-generation island grape cultivator through great-great grandfathers, Johann Francis Anton and Franz Anton Fuchs. Ed was the recipient of a scholarship from the George F. Lonz Foundation when he graduated from Put-in-Bay High School in 1975, and earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture from Ohio State University. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors he became a successful viticulturist and enologist producing countless award-winning wines. Ed’s dedication to the family business led to the expansion of the Heineman winery menu to include up to 26 varieties of wine and grape juice. Said Christy Eckstein, executive director of Ohio Grape Industries Committee: “The commitment and dedication to Ohio’s grape and wine industry that Ed Heineman and the entire Heineman Family have provided to the Buckeye State is invaluable. The Ohio grape and wine industry has lost a legend.”He was a member of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, Ohio State University Alumni Association, the Lake Erie Islands Browns Backers, the PIBYC and the Put-in-Bay High School Alumni Foundation. Ed was a longtime supporter of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy donating wine, merchandise for events and supporting its programs over the years as well as hosting the Wild Bird Seed Sale and many annual meetings. Ed was a member of the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society and donated wine for its fundraiser auctions, plus provided a venue for its annual auction. When Edward was not immersed in the art of winemaking he was fishing in Lake Erie and the Florida coastal waters or playing softball at the local ball diamond. He was passionate about his Ohio sports teams including the OSU Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, and Guardians. Ed was warm-hearted and generous. His winery freezer was always stocked with popsicles and ice cream for the younger visitors and he frequently rescued animals in need of a loving home. He dedicated his life to making others smile and will be missed dearly.

Ed Heineman is survived by his beloved wife, Michele, son Dustin (Kira Hubner) Heineman, daughter Ava Heineman, step-daughter Desiraye (John Reyes) Pulizzi; grandson, Eli Heineman and step-granddaughters Elora and Kate Hubner; sisters Terese (Dr. John) Baker, Angela Martens, twin Victoria Roggenbeck, and Elizabeth (Michael McIntyre) Heineman. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Samuel Heineman. He is also survived by his in-laws, John (Bridget) Dodge and Tuong (Hoi) Doan, numerous cousins and extended family.

Visitation was held on Monday, September 11th, at the Mother of Sorrow’s Cornerstone Room. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Nick Cunningham. Interment followed in Maple Leaf Cemetery. Fellowship with family and friends followed at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. Memorial contributions may be given to Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, The Gustav Heineman Scholarship, or other favorite island non-profit organizations.


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