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By Cathy Callopy
The wine house was constructed by a local carpenter. Previous to 1870, James Dinsmore was making wine and cider on his property, but it was then that he chose to construct a building specifically for making his libations. The cellar is where the work was completed. The upper floor was occasionally used for visiting servants, to hang hams, and to house tenants. Opposite this building, on the hillside below the graveyard, Dinsmore had a four-acre vineyard where he raised primarily Catawba grapes. He sold cuttings from the vines in Cincinnati and he made wine with the grapes. Although some of the wine was consumed by the family, Dinsmore also used it to pay his tenants and day laborers, and he sold it in Cincinnati. The vineyard was protected from animal and human predators by planting osage orange trees along the outside, creating a thorny barrier. There was also a limestone wall that ran from the edge of the back gallery of the main house all the way up the hill to the graveyard to keep animals from wreaking havoc on the vines. The path between the wine house and the old vineyard leads up the hill to the family graveyard.