Located along city streets and winding country roads, on perches overlooking running rivers and set amid peaceful valleys, a relaxing experience and great Missouri wine is never far away. Here’s a look at seven spots to enjoy a taste of Missouri.
1: St. James Winery is just off of historic Route 66 (Interstate 44) in St. James. Missouri’s top producer makes some 500,000 gallons of estate-bottled wines each year. In April 2014, their Friendship School White earned Grand Champion honors at the Pacific Rim Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif.
2: In Westphalia, a little more than an hour north of St. James winery, The Norton Room at the Westphalia Inn is known for its Norton Reserve, an award-winning dry red wine made from the official state grape of Missouri.
3: At Baltimore Bend Vineyard, five miles west of the Missouri River town of Waverly, selections include the exquisite 2010 Norton Reserve and the 2010 Chambourcin, along with the popular Just Peachy, which is made with, you guessed it, peaches.
4: In northeast Missouri, plan a trip to downtown Macon and a stop at West Winery, where the casual atmosphere welcomes wine aficionados and novices alike. West offers a good selection of grape wines, along with wines made from pears, apples and plums.
5: Augusta Winery is within the first designated American Viticulture Area (AVA) in the country; yes, before the one in Napa, Calif. Their tasting and sales area is open year-round, with the added pleasure of an outdoor patio when the weather is right.
6: Hermann is perhaps Missouri’s best known wine region. Just three miles west of downtown is Adam Puchta Winery. Established in 1855, Adam Puchta is the oldest continuously owned and operated family winery in the U.S.
7: Ste. Genevieve is an area noted for fine wineries. Fifteen miles south of the city, you find the cozy tasting room at Cave Vineyard Winery. The tasting room is situated atop a cave that has seating for visitors, offering a unique winery experience.
So, seven should be just enough to wet your whistle; a mere sampling of Missouri’s 125-plus wineries. (We can't give an exact total, because the number grows almost monthly.) Remember, operating dates and times vary by location and by season, so it’s a good idea to verify hours before visiting. Learn more at VisitMO.com.