Arnulf “Arnie” Esterer

May 8, 1932 – October 28, 2020

** This page is new and we will be updating regularly. We have thousands of pictures and lots of video/audio recordings that we are reviewing for additions to this page. So check back often for updates ! **

News Articles on Arnie’s passing (Oct, 2020) (Oct, 2020)

Video – Arnie Esterer Celebration of Life (@brieannabua) – October 31, 2020

Arnie Esterer with Tim Hubbard (1923-2000) planted their first vines in 1968. By 1972, Esterer had left his engineering position at Union Carbide to become a full-time winemaker.

Arnie and Tim built the winery in 1972 in Conneaut, Ohio located in northeast Ohio. Known locally as the godfather of Ashtabula County wine-making, Arnie Esterer began his tutelage under the late Dr. Konstantin Frank, a well-known viticulturist and winery owner who promoted the vinifera varieties in the Finger Lakes area in New York and other areas along the East Coast throughout the 1960s and into the early 1980s. Under Dr. Frank’s direction, the winery became the first in Ohio to successfully grow European vinifera grapes.

Kent State video – “Arnie Esterer – The godfather of Ashtabula County Ohio wine-making”

Arnie Pouring Wine

Arnie Talking about the Lake Erie Region Wine-making

2011 Best of the County Awards Show (Ashtabula County, Ohio) —- Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Arnie Esterer

1997, Arnulf Esterer Receives the American Wine Society Award of Merit

Gene Spaziani (right), then president of the American Wine Society, presents the organization’s annual award of merit to Arnulf Esterer (left) at the American Wine Society’s national conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. The Award of Merit, the organization’s highest honor, recognizes substantial and meritorious contributions to the wine industry.


Ohio Wine Producers Hall of Fame 2005 Inductee, Arnie Esterer; Winemaker and Owner of Markko Vineyards

Kent State – Ohio Winery Collection – Markko Vineyard (Open Access Kent State)

Photo features Arnie Esterer and the late Linda Frisbie (1940-2015), veteran wine taster and employee at Markko Vineyard for over 40 years.

Photo from Greg Johns. Markko harvest pressing with John Maness, Arnie, Andy and Joseph Kirk, and Rod Becker.

Early 1980’s winery photo of Arnulf Esterer posed next to the winery sign that hangs near the location’s front entrance.
Arnie served in the Navy during the mid 1950’s working as a Courier for Naval Intelligence. He spoke four languages.
Markko Tradition: Blessing of the Vines Annual Celebration
Arnie at Rennick Meat Market in the Ashtabula Harbor… a favorite of his!
Markko Annual Fish Fry
Arnie checking sugar levels during harvest
Arnie and Greg Johns