The Crystal Cave Gift Shop allows you to take home a piece or two of the most unique attractions on South Bass Island, Heineman Winery and the Crystal Cave. Located less than a mile from the Village of Put-in-Bay, the gift shop sells a variety of treasures, some even come directly from the cave itself!
The Crystal Cave Gift Shop Details
Open daily from mid April to late October from 11am – 7pm and 12pm – 7pm on Sundays, the Crystal Cave Gift Shop has the same hours as the Winery and Cave.
An afternoon spent on the Heineman property is always wonderful and interesting. Take a tour of the Crystal Cave and learn all about this ecological marvel. Then head to the Wine Garden and enjoy a tasting of their award winning wines and cheese plates. After you’ve discovered your new favorite wine, head to the Gift Shop to purchase a bottle.
The Crystal Cave Gift Shops sells bottles of wine from Heineman’s as well as Crystal Cave souvenirs, geodes, crystals, and gems.
The Heineman Winery
Producing wine since 1888, the Heineman Winery is the islands oldest. Founded by German immigrant Gustav Heineman, this winery was able to survive Prohibition due to their unique location and some ingenuity on the part of Gustav’s grandson.
The Lake Erie Islands are ideal for grape growing because of the tempering effects of Lake Erie. This creates a climate far closer to France or Italy than the rest of Ohio. The soil is also perfect for producing superior grapes. By the time Prohibition was enacted, there were 17 other wineries on the island.
Norman Heineman knew he was sitting on a gold mine in the form of the largest geode in the world. The Crystal Cave isn’t actually a cave but a vug, or large cavity within a single rock, and a breathtaking one at that. Discovered by miners in 1897, the geode is is lined with strontium sulfate, a bluish mineral called celestite. The entire cave emits a soft blue light and the crystals protrude from the walls at lengths of up to three feet.
Norman quickly switched from wine making to cave tours and road out Prohibition to safety. The Heineman’s returned to wine business in 1933 but kept giving tours of this amazing discovery. The Crystal Cave is so unique it is even an Atlas Obscura destination!
The price of the tour includes a glass of wine from Heineman’s. This is the only winery on the island to practice “vine to wine,” which means they make wine directly from the 50 acres of vineyard on their property. Specializing in sweet and Iced wine, the favorites here include Pink Catawba and Niagara, a medium sweet white wine.
Folks can buy bottles in the gift shop or online. Please note, they can only ship within Ohio. The bottles are all quite reasonably priced with nothing exceeding $20. Bring a bottle home for dinner or an entire case to enjoy year round. The perfect gift to remind you of your time on Put-in-bay.
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