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. Of more than 25 choices, here’s a look at seven spots to enjoy a taste of Missouri – just to whet your whistle.
1: For 2014, St. James Winery is included in the Top 15 Wineries on the annual list of the 100 Top Wineries in the World by the World Association of Wine and Spirits Writers and Journalists. Located just off of historic Route 66 (Interstate 44) in the town of St. James, this is Missouri’s top producer. This Midwest winery has shown it can compete with some of Napa Valley’s best. In April 2014, their Friendship School White earned Grand Champion honors at the Pacific Rim Wine Competition in San Bernardino, CA.
2: In Westphalia, 15 miles southeast of Jefferson City, The Norton Room at the Westphalia Inn is known for its award-winning dry red wine: Norton Reserve. (The Norton grape is the official state grape of Missouri.) The Inn serves family-style dinners of pan-fried chicken, local country ham and German pot roast.
3: At Baltimore Bend Vineyard, five miles west of the Missouri River town of Waverly, selections include the exquisite Norton Reserve and 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 centered within the first designated American Viticulture Area (AVA) in the country; yes, before the one in Napa, CA. Their tasting and sales area is open year-round, with the added pleasure of an outdoor patio when the weather is right.
6: Four Missouri wineries are located in Hermann, 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 Missouri 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.
Seven Missouri wineries should be just enough to get you started; a mere sampling of Missouri’s more than 125 wineries. (We can't give an exact total, because the number grows almost monthly.) With so many choices, everyone has an opinion on the best winery in Missouri. Remember, operating dates and times vary by location and by season, so it’s a good idea to verify hours before visiting. Learn more about Missouri wineries at VisitMO.com’s winery page. Go to our Facebook page and tell which one you think is the best winery in Missouri.