The Vineyards of Chateau Hough began in May 2010 when community volunteers and local institutions came together to transform three-quarters of an inner-city acre on Cleveland’s northeast side. The goal, says Mansfield Frazier, was not to become a farmer, but to create wealth, opportunities, and jobs. Mr. Frazier knows the importance of second chances and new opportunities. A former prison inmate himself, Mansfield pioneered this project to help reintegrate, train, and employ incarcerated men and women - connecting them to the community and giving them ownership in its renewal.
Though the Hough neighborhood had a prestigious, beginning, many associate the area with rising class tensions from the 50’s, which culminated in race riots and fires in 1966. Twenty-five percent of the neighborhood’s structures were destroyed in the fires, scarring the area’s streets and marring its image for decades.
Mansfield often quotes Majora Carter saying “I believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one.” For Mansfield, restoring vitality to Hough begins with those in that need personal restoration as well. “Grapes turn into wine. The profit margin on wine means I can hire more people. It’s about business, urban renewel... people renewal. I never planned to become a horticulturalist, but that’s what it takes.” Mansfield’s master plan is in full swing with the complete transformation of an abandoned house into an off-the-grid, one-of-a-kind urban biocellar. Just a few feet below groundlevel, the space is protected from extreme temperatures and produces high-margin consumables like shitake mushrooms year-round. Next is a vacant library into an underground winery.