Sample Wine Country On Missouri’s Wine Trails
BY KATHY CASTEEL
Add a vineyard experience to your daytrip plans with a visit to Missouri wine country. Nearly half of Missouri’s 128 wineries are organized into 10 regional wine trails. Some are big, some are small — there’s bound to be a route tailor-made for your tastes.
Missouri River Wine Trail
The Big Muddy links half a dozen wineries in Columbia’s backyard. Wine trail members include Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, The Cooper’s Oak Winery in Boonville and Higbee, Bushwhacker Bend Winery in Glasgow, Serenity Valley Winery near Millersburg, Canterbury Hill Winery in Holts Summit and Westphalia Vineyards in Westphalia.
Vino Vibe: Find spectacular blufftop views at Les Bourgeois and Canterbury Hill; check out the adjacent A&K Cooperage at Cooper’s Oak; enjoy the riverbank ambience of Bushwhacker Bend; relax lakeside at Serenity Valley; sample no-added-sulfite wines at Westphalia.
Trail Events: Tip O’ The Glass, an Irish celebration in March; Chill Outing, ice cream and toppings paired with wine in July; Sip & Soup, a November wine and soup pairing
Find Out More: www.missouririverwinetrail.com
Hermann Wine Trail
Home to some of the oldest wineries in Missouri, Hermann’s German heritage offers seasonal festivals among closely located wineries with stunning views. Members include Hermann wineries Adam Puchta, Stone Hill, OakGlenn and Hermannhof with the adjacent Dierberg Star Lane tasting room, plus Bias Vineyards & Winery in Berger and Röbller Winery in New Haven.
Vino Vibe: Sample the best Norton in the state at Stone Hill; savor the history at Adam Puchta, America’s oldest continually family owned winery; check out the traditional German Festhalle at Hermannhof and its California tasting room next-door; enjoy the jams late into the night at OakGlenn’s weekend concerts; pack a picnic at Röbller; enjoy a craft beer with your wine at Bias’ pioneering microbrewery.
Trail Events: Chocolate Wine Trail in February; Berries & BarBQ in July; Holiday Fare in November; Say Cheese in December
Find Out More: www.hermannwinetrail.com
Scenic Highway 94 winds through the Missouri Weinstrasse, a 10-mile ramble through the first designated American Viticultural Area. Weinstrasse members include Balducci Vineyards, Augusta Winery and Montelle Winery in Augusta, and Sugar Creek Vineyards & Winery in Defiance.
Vino Vibe: Try Augusta Winery’s award-winning rosé, La Fleur Sauvage; savor the taste of Tuscany at Balducci’s; indulge in fruit brandies and icewine at Montelle; venture onto the Katy Trail at Sugar Creek.
Trail Events: Scavenger Hunt in May; German Marketplace in July; Slow Food in September; Harvest Food Trucks in November
Find Out More: www.moweinstrasse.com
Lake Of The Ozarks Wine Trail
Members of the state’s newest wine trail include Shawnee Bluff Winery and Shawnee Bluff Vineyards in Lake Ozark, Seven Springs Winery in Linn Creek, and Camdenton wineries Golden Rock, Casa De Loco and Sugar Loaf Vineyard.
Vino Vibe: Check out the jaw-dropping views from Shawnee Bluff; leave the driving to Seven Springs with its shuttle service; cast off on a float trip from Casa De Loco; dine on “green” kitchen cuisine at Golden Rock; work up a thirst for waterfront tastings with a kayak adventure on the Lake at Sugar Loaf.
Trail Events: Wine sampling to benefit the food bank in November
Find Out More: www.lakeoftheozarkswinetrail.com
Route Du Vin
The area’s French heritage is on display in the Route Du Vin Wine Trail. Members include Sainte Genevieve Winery, Cave Vineyard, Charleville Winery & Brewing Co. and Chaumette Winery & Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve, plus Twin Oaks Vineyard & Winery and Sand Creek Vineyard in Farmington.
Vino Vibe: Sip wine in the natural cave wine cellar at Cave Vineyard; picnic under the grape arbor in the French Colonial district at Ste. Genevieve Winery; sample handcrafted wines and microbrewed beers in Charleville’s rustic setting; soak up the resort-style amenities at Chaumette; cozy up to the fire pit on the Sand Creek veranda; revel in the panoramic vineyard view from the wraparound “glass house” patio at Twin Oaks.
Trail Events: Souper Wine Weekend in January; a decadent weekend Romancing The Grape in February; Wine Diva Weekend in November
Find Out More: www.rdvwinetrail.com
Mississippi River Hills Wine Trail
The mighty Mississippi rolls through some of the prettiest countryside in the Midwest. Along the river’s route, you’ll find four family-owned wineries: The Barrens Winery in Perryville, Hemman Winery in Brazeau, Apple Creek Vineyard & Winery in Friedheim and Hunter Valley Winery in Cape Girardeau.
Vino Vibe: Drink in the rustic beauty of the Apple Creek landscape; listen to the breeze sing through the treetops at The Barrens; explore the 150-year-old store Hemman Winery calls home; feed the fish lakeside at Hunter Valley.
Trail Events: Taste of Chocolate in February; Taste of Cheese in April; Taste of Wine & Country in July; Lazy Days Along The Wine Trail in August; Taste Of The Holidays in November
Find Out More: www.mississippiriverhillswinetrail.com
Kansas City Wine Trail
Stretching 70 miles from the orchards of Waverly to the heart of Kansas City, this wine trail offers country and city ambience among its nine winery stops: Arcadian Moon Vineyards & Winery in Higginsville, Odessa Country Winery in Odessa, Stonehaus Farms Winery in Lee’s Summit, Amigoni Urban Winery in Kansas City, Albonée Country Inn & Winery in Independence, La Bella Winery in Wellington, Fahrmeier Family Vineyards in Lexington, Terre Beau Winery in Dover and Baltimore Bend Vineyard in Waverly.
Vino Vibe: Enjoy Baltimore Bend’s excellent collection of blends and fruit wines; check out the lake country surrounding Arcadian Moon; find fresh farm products and wine at Fahrmeier; indulge your sweet tooth at Odessa; order up wood-fired pizza on the patio at La Bella; explore Santa Fe Trail history at Terre Beau; taste the best Vignoles in the state at Stonehaus; sample small-lot handcrafted wine in the heart of the city at Amigoni; retreat to the country at Albonée.
Trail Events: There are no special events planned, but the wine trail website offers driving directions for mini tours of clustered wineries and vineyards.
Find Out More: www.kcwineries.com
The Great Northwest Missouri Wine Trail
One of the newest wine trails sweeps over northwest Missouri, taking you to Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery in Platte City, Pirtle Winery in Weston, Riverwood Winery in North Rushville, Windy Wine Co. in Osborn, Ladoga Ridge Winery in Smithville, Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery in Excelsior Springs and Van Till Family Farm & Winery in Rayville.
Vino Vibe: Puzzle over Murder Mystery Dinners at Belvoir; pair a visit to The Elms with a tasting weekend at Fence Stile; check out the creek critters at Missouri’s first green vineyard and winery at Jowler Creek; find respite at Ladoga Ridge; sample the signature meads (honey wine) and fruit wines of Pirtle; get a “taste of place” at Riverwood; relish the “farm to table” experience at Van Till; taste the range of traditional offerings from the century farm of Windy Wine Co.
Trail Events: Events are scheduled for individual wineries.
Find Out More: www.nwmissouriwine.com
Ozark Mountain Wine Trail
This sprawling trail links a loose confederation of nine wineries and a distillery deep in the Missouri Ozarks. Trail members include 7C’s Winery in Walnut Grove, Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery and OOVVDA Winery in Springfield, Whispering Oaks Vineyard & Winery in Seymour, Copper Run Distillery and Lindwedel Wine Garden in Branson, Lewsi Winery in Galena, Williams Creek Winery in Mount Vernon, White Rose Winery in Carthage and Keltoi Vineyard in Oronogo.
Vino Vibe: Sample meads at 7C’s; meditate in the spiritual Irish calm of “Maynooth” at Keltoi; get up a game of bocce balls on the bluff above Table Rock Lake at Lewsi’s small-batch winery; relax in the Lindwedel wine garden at Table Rock; learn about the Viking heritage of OOVVDA; pamper yourself at White Rose’s Irish estate; climb to the highest point in Missouri to sample the Ozarks terroir of Whispering Oaks; find a hometown welcome in Williams Creek; sit a spell in the arbor swing at Tyler Ridge; add some spirits to your tour with a moonshine tasting at Copper Run Distillery
Trail Events: The wineries participate in a passport program. Visit six wineries and receive a stemless glass; a visit to all 10 nets you a tote bag.
Find Out More: www.ozarkmountainwinetrail.org
The Aux Arcs Wine Road Trail
French settlers had a name for the region north of the Arkansas River: Aux Arcs. Today, we call it the Ozarks. Missouri’s smallest wine trail has just three stops in two towns — Traver Home Winery in Willow Springs, and Horst Vineyards and Viandel Vineyard in Mountain View.
Vino Vibe: Chat with the winemaker while sampling wines in the production room at Traver Home; relax on the deck at Horst; raise a toast to the gorgeous Ozarks scenery at Viandel.
Trail Events: Make a purchase at each of the three wineries on the Aux Arcs Wine Road and receive a free souvenir glass at the last stop.
Find Out More: www.auxarcswineroad.com
Learn about Missouri wines at www.missouriwines.org.