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Lake County: Autistic artists compete to design wine labels

MADISON — When Grand Valley Cellars Winery President Cindy Lindberg was a school psychologist, she dealt with children with autism.

At her winery, she employs 15-year-old Austin, an autistic student at Chardon High School in the kitchen.

In his honor, for his good work, the winery named two of its wines Austin Red and Austin White.

Each year, the winery holds a competition among people with autism to design labels for the wines and donates a dollar from each bottle sold to the Northeast Ohio Autism Group, which issues grants to local groups helping those with autism.

“We get more than 50 local entries, from children and adults,” Lindberg said. “The two winners receive a prize of $100 apiece and the pride of seeing their designs on the labels of our wines.

The deadline for this year’s competition is the end of the month, but entries will be accepted into next week.

Information on the competition may be requested at the NEOG web site or by calling 440-231-0991.

Oh, and, Austin? How does it feel having two fine wines named after you?

“Not a lot of people get to have wines named after them,” he answered. “Especially at my age, when I can’t even drink the wines,” he said, with a big smile.

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