Life gets really, really
busy. In the process of checking off everything on the week’s to-do list, we
sometimes run out of time to spend with friends. This spring, catch up with
your “besties” over a glass of delicious Missouri wine. Before you depart, take
a few moments to visit MissouriWine.org and
sign up for the Missouri Wines Passport Program. Download the smartphone application
to keep track of your wine travels. When you visit a winery, “check in” by
scanning the on-site QR code. Your Missouri Wines Passport keeps track of
wineries visited and points earned; you can redeem those points for great
prizes at most Missouri wineries. For 2013, May 11 is National Wine Tourism Day.
Friendly faces and
spectacular views make wineries the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Snap
fabulous photos from the bluff-top wine garden at Les Bourgeois Winery A-Frame. This picturesque place, located in Rocheport, 15 miles west
of Columbia, overlooks the Missouri River valley from their terraced grounds. Take
your own homemade picnic lunch (no fast-food take-out allowed) or order a snack
tray from the tasting room. Best of all; spend time with friends in a picturesque
Tap your toes to live music while
you relax at Seven Springs Winery, in Linn Creek. A visit to Seven Springs is the perfect addition
to a Lake of the Ozarks trip. Situated between Camdenton and Osage Beach, the
winery provides shuttle-bus transportation, for a modest fee, to and from major
lake area locations. Chat with friends over wine and a light lunch; during
dinnertime, the kitchen serves steaks, pasta and other specialties. In addition
to Missouri wines, Seven Springs pours micro-brews and sangria.
In Camdenton, enjoy a glass
of wine at Golden Rock Winery. In addition to red, white and fruit wines, Golden Rock offers a
full menu of delicious dishes, including pizzas, sandwiches and a Saturday night
prime rib special. Let them make custom labels for your bottle selections.
Savor a long afternoon at Augusta Winery. Drink wine
in the spacious tasting room and on the covered terrace. Weekends bring live
music, providing the perfect soundtrack for a leisurely day. Purchase snacks
from the winery or take your own picnic to compliment your wine selection. The
inviting atmosphere at Augusta makes it a wonderful place to spend time with
Two miles east of Augusta, Montelle Winery sits on a tree-covered hilltop, 400 feet above the Missouri River
bottoms. Take in the splendid view from the massive decks, while spending time
with friends. If you get a bit hungry, the on-site Klondike Café offers just
what you need: a nice menu of salads, sandwiches, wraps and pizzas.
Experience a piece of
Missouri history when you visit the Sainte Genevieve Winery, occupying a 1900s house, featuring Queen Anne décor. Admire the ambiance
of this winery, with 22 varieties of wine from which to choose. With its many
antique shops and cafes, Ste. Genevieve offers an idyllic place to spend a day
– and the winery makes a perfect stop.
For a double treat, visit Charleville Vineyard and Microbrewery, 25 miles southwest of Ste. Genevieve. The rustic winery serves estate bottled wine and handcrafted microbrews. Take a picnic or buy one there, and enjoy the countryside. Make it a triple treat by spending the night (reservations required) in their refurbished 1860s log cabin bed-and-breakfast.
When your travels take you to
beautiful, bustling Kansas City, set aside time to visit Amigoni Urban Winery.
They specialize in handcrafted wines, served in an atmosphere recalling a
bygone area, thanks to its location in a renovated 1909 building, in the
Stockyards District. Order a plate of bread and local cheeses to share with
friends and soak in Amigoni’s wonderful ambiance. In addition to wine,
Boulevard beer is on tap – Boulevard is Kansas City’s hometown micro-brew
Sample award-winning wines
from Missouri, California, Washington State and Oregon at Chandler Hill Vineyards, north of Defiance. You’ll feel as though you’ve been whisked
away to the lush grounds of a Napa Valley vineyard. Sample wines in the
5,000-square-foot tasting room, and grab a seat on the large deck, with
excellent views of the vineyards, a lake and the countryside. The menu includes
sandwiches, soups, salads, and cheese and antipasto specialties. Weekends bring
free, live music for all to enjoy.
In Weston, spend time with
friends while at Pirtle Winery. Housed in an 1867 German Lutheran church, this picturesque place is
a serene backdrop for a leisurely afternoon. Take advantage of the warm spring
weather by sitting in the vine-covered wine-garden and ordering a picnic basket
of warm bread, cheeses, fruit, and summer-sausage. Want to sample something a
bit out of the ordinary? Pirtle is known for their selection of delicious,
estate-bottles meads – wine made from honey.
Mead is available at 7C’s Winery,
located 25 miles northwest of Springfield, in the Ozark Mountain American
Viticulture Area (AVA), the sixth largest viticulture area in the United
States. Enjoy a bottle of 7C’s wine along with a gorgeous view of the