Dr. Peter Hofherr

A native of Missouri, Dr. Hofherr is currently the Chairman and CEO of St. James Winery. St. James Winery is a Midwest winery located in St. James, Missouri where it farms 185 acres of vineyards and produces 250,000 cases of wine, which it distributes in 25 states as well as the District of Columbia. St. James is the largest winery in Missouri and one of the top 10 largest wineries in the Eastern United States. The winery is one of the most awarded wineries in the Eastern United States.

January 05, 2022

In January we celebrate Norton, Missouri’s state grape. Norton is a full-bodied, dry red wine which has captured the hearts of many wine enthusiasts. This unparalleled product of pride stands out because of its unique flavors, quality and the passion that goes into making Norton wines.

Norton is a native American grape that was discovered in 1835 near Richmond, Virginia. This grape was also widely grown in Arkansas but given the name Cynthiana. Researchers confirmed the two grapes are genetically identical. However, winemakers continue to use both names interchangeably.

In the vineyard, Norton is known for being hardy and disease resistant. Clusters are small to medium sized, with blue and black berries. It is the most popular grape grown throughout the state, accounting for 17.7 percent of vineyard acres. Wineries across the state enjoy growing Norton because it withstands Missouri’s climate and weather challenges and is suited by the range of soils found in the Show Me State.

Missouri’s Governor honors a Norton every year, which is selected during the Missouri wine competition. All Norton entries are tasted side-by-side to distinguish the honor of Best Norton and name of C.V. Riley award winner. The award is presented in the namesake of Charles Valentine Riley, Missouri’s first entomologist. He was appointed in 1868 and was named the “father of biological control” after contributing to the solution that saved the French wine industry from the phylloxera epidemic. He supplied thousands of root stock that helped rebuild and strengthen the vineyards in France.

The C.V. Riley Award is presented every year with pride, just as those winemakers who grow and cultivate it, turn it passionately into the high-quality Norton wines produced throughout the state. This year, Stone Hill Winery took home the C.V. Riley Award for their 2019 Norton. No doubt, it was a competitive lineup this year, as it is every year.

Norton is perfect for pairing, as its flavor profile is so unique. Notes range from fruit forward to spicy and oaky. It pairs well with smoked meats such as beef, venison and lamb. Dark chocolate pairings bring forward the fruit flavor, as well as spiced cake and berries. Bold spices and cheeses allow Norton to shine in a class all its own.

Cheers to our state grape, Norton! New Year celebrations continue beyond sparkling wines in January. Grab a Norton and share with us how you enjoy this unparalleled product of pride. Tag us on social @missouriwine and #mowine.

Wine Terminology

December 28, 2021

Sure, you can sip the sip, but can you talk the talk when it comes to Missouri Wines? Since your glass didn’t come with a glossary, here are some terms to help you learn your way around the tasting room.

Acidity: (n.) The tart or sharp flavors naturally found in wine, which balances the sweet or bitter components.

Aging: (v.) Holding wine in barrels, tubs or bottles under certain conditions after fermentation to develop complex flavors.

Alcohol by volume (ABV): (n.) The amount of alcohol in a wine after fermentation. Noted on the bottle as a percent.

Blend: (n.) A wine created by mixing varietals to create interesting flavors.

Body: (n.) The “weight” of wine on your palate or the perceived thickness of a sip when you drink it. It’s affected by the wine’s alcohol content, sugar levels and dissolved solids. To better understand the difference in body, think about different types of milk and how they feel in your mouth, from skim milk to whole milk.

Brix (°Bx): (n.) The measurement for sugar levels in wine grapes; helps winemakers determine the amount of alcohol wine will have after fermentation.

Decant: (v.) The act of exposing wine to oxygen before drinking it.

Dry: (adj.) A wine that is not sweet.

Fermentation: (n.) The process during which yeast converts natural sugars into alcohol.

Finish: (n.) The lingering impressions, tastes and flavors that remain or evolve after you swallow a sip of wine; aftertaste.

Fortified: (v.) Wines that have additional alcohol added after fermentation.

Mouthfeel: (n.) The physical sensation you feel when the wine is in your mouth, some examples include smooth or velvety.

Nose: (n.) The aromas or smell of a wine, which influence its flavor. In mature or complex wines, it may be referred to as the “bouquet.”

Red wine: (n.) A wine produced from dark-colored grapes. These wines can range in color from purple to deep red.

Residual Sugar: (n.) The natural sugars in wine left over from the grape following fermentation, often abbreviated as RS.

Rosé: (n.) A wine made from red grapes but only fermented with the grape skins for a limited time, which results in its signature pink color. Sometimes called a “blush.”

Sparkling wine: (n.) Wine bottled with enough carbon dioxide to make the drink bubbly or fizzy.

Sweet: (adj.) Wines with residual sugars that make them sweet to taste.

Tannins: (n.) Natural, bitter compounds found in wine, tea and cacao. They can have a drying sensation on the palate. Wines high in tannins are described as “tannic.” Generally, red wines are more tannic than white wines.

Terroir: (n.) The French term for “earth;” used to describe the natural environment where wine grapes were grown, including the soil, the land and the climate. It affects the taste of the wine.

Varietal: (n.) A specific type of grape. Wines made from a specific varietal often share tasting notes common with that type of grape. An example of a Missouri varietal is Norton.

Vintage: (n.) The year the wine grapes were harvested. It’s printed on the bottle.

White Wine: (n.) A pale yellow to golden-colored wine that is often fermented without the grape skins.

Never fear being lost in the complex language of wine. With these terms under your belt, you'll be well on your way to navigating the world of wine.

A guide to varietal pairings

December 22, 2021

Missouri has been producing award-winning wines since the late 1800s. The types of American grapes grown in the state create distinct wines known for unique flavors that can be paired with almost anything. Here’s a guide to Missouri wine varietals and a few key pairing ideas:

Dry Spectrum

Chambourcin sham-bor-san

  • medium-bodied, dry red
  • Pair with: pork loin, burgers, short ribs, red sauce, mushrooms, applesauce, strawberries, figs, brie, camembert, walnuts, cobbler and chocolate cake

Chardonel shar-doe-nel

  • full-bodied dry white
  • Pair with: creamy white cheeses, grilled chicken and fish, mushrooms, almonds, pasta & cream sauce, vanilla cake, banana bread and apple dishes

Norton/Cynthiana nore-tuhn /sin-thee-ana

  • full-bodied dry red
  • Pair with: bold cheeses, smoked lamb, beef and venison, blackened fish, berries, hazelnuts, dark chocolate and spice cake

Seyval Blanc say-vahl-blahnc

  • medium-bodied dry to semi-dry white
  • Pair with: grilled chicken and fish, green vegetables, sushi, white cheeses, pasta & cream sauce, lemon cake & melon

Sweet Spectrum

Catawba ca-taw-ba

  • light-bodied, pink and rose
  • Pair with: spicy cheeses, pork chops, cold cut sandwiches, charcuterie boards and light desserts

Concord con-kord

  • medium-bodied, sweet red
  • Pair with: bold cheeses, barbecued beef, pork chops, orange chicken, candied nuts, and grape pie

Vidal Blanc vee-dahl-blahnc

  • dry to semi-dry & sweet dessert-style white
  • Pair with: grilled chicken and seafood, broccoli & asparagus, sushi, soup, Mozzarella, pasta & cream sauce, citrus, pine nuts & melon

Vignoles veen-yole

  • medium-bodied, dry to sweet & dessert white
  • Pair with: spicy cheeses, spiced curry, Asian or Mexican dishes, buffalo wings, spicy grilled peppers and barbecue, berries and tropical fruits, cheesecake, and Crème Brûlée

Use these great pairing ideas when dining at home, entertaining guests or even during dinner for your date night out. Although these are great ideas, they aren’t exhaustive. There is a Missouri wine for every pairing. Share your pairing ideas with us on social media by tagging #mowine and @missouriwine.

Celebrate with a Sparkling Winter Sangria

December 20, 2021

Who says Sangria can only be enjoyed with warm weather outside? This sparkling winter Sangria is worth celebrating with.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

What you’ll need

¾c apple juice

¼c white rum

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 apple cubed or sliced

1 firm pear sliced thinly

¾c fresh cranberries

2 cinnamon sticks

1c club soda

1 bottle sparkling wine (Stone Hill Blanc de Blancs)


1.Mix apple juice and rum in medium bowl. Whisk in sugar and cinnamon until sugar dissolves and cinnamon is evenly distributed.

2.In a large pitcher, add apple, pear slices, cranberries and cinnamon sticks.

3.Pour in apple juice and rum mixture and stir gently.

4.Add club soda and sparkling wine. Stir gently.

5.Chill and stir before serving.



Try this winter Sangria with your friends and family. Share it with us by tagging @missouriwine or using the hashtag #mowine.

Essential Wine Etiquette

December 16, 2021

Wine etiquette is re-emerging for holiday festivities and New Year gatherings after dormancy during the pandemic. Although wine is still often enjoyed at home, knowing how to implement best wine practices in public is important during both business and personal enjoyment. Here’s a few essential wine tips to sharpen your etiquette:



  • Utilize the 5 S’s of wine (see, swirl, smell, sip, savor) & think about each wine

These essential reminders allow you to thoroughly enjoy the event’s offerings and have discussion points, as well as pairing notes

  • Know how to hold your glass – by the stem or by the base

Refrain altering the ideal temperature of wine by holding glass appropriately

  • Manage mouth marks on glasses (especially with holiday lipstick)

Where you choose to take your first sip, use the same place while enjoying

  • Table placement matters

Your wine glass will go to the right of your water glass once seated

  • Pick the perfect pour

More room allows glass to be swirled, wine to open and exhibit flavors. Host should pour glasses one-third full for reds, one-half full for whites and three-fourths full for sparkling wines


  • Pour intently, holding bottle near the base – offer to guests first, pour with label facing outward

Using the base provides more stability as well as less room for bottle slips and spillage. Twist while ending your pour to reduce unexpected drips

  • Similar to table manners, enjoy portions at speeds similar to those around you

Make sure all have had a chance to try the available wine offerings

  • Cheers! Clink glasses at the bowl to reduce breakage, noise disruptions and germs

This time-aged tradition is paired best with well wishes and good eye contact

  • The host is responsible for filling glasses

Unless it is a unique situation, the host and hostesses should notice when a drink can use a fill


If you are the host…

Make wines approachable! Answer questions, go with the flow and try to stock your stash with wines your guests might enjoy

If you are the guest…

Enjoy what you like. Try new wines. Don’t partake if you do not enjoy. Best way to know is to experience and ask questions


Cheers from Missouri Wines this holiday season! Try gifting your host a Missouri wine at a dinner gathering, purchasing one for an easy, thoughtful gift or even opening a Missouri sparkling in celebration of the New Year. Share your celebrations with us on social by tagging @missouriwine or #mowine.


Wine wrapping hacks for the holidays

December 14, 2021

Missouri wines make great presents year-round, but are perfect for gifting during the holiday season. There is a Missouri wine for everyone to enjoy, even your loved ones that are hard to shop for. Use these five wrapping tips to make gift giving easy this season.




Not your average box brownies

December 07, 2021

Friends and family will be more than impressed when you bring these brownies to your next gathering. Instead of the hassle of a made-from-scratch recipe, pick up your favorite box brownie mix and grab a fruit wine to whip up this quick recipe.

What you’ll need

1 box brownie mix

1 bottle of Missouri fruit wine - we used Hermannhoff Raspberry Rapture




Simply follow the directions on the box. Instead of using water, replace with the same volume of wine. Bake as instructed and voila. You can also make a quick powdered sugar glaze with the extra wine and drizzle over the finished product.

Happy baking! Capture your plated brownies and share with us on social media by tagging @missouriwine or using the hashtag #mowine.


DIY Cork Christmas Garland

December 06, 2021

Reduce your waste, reuse your old corks and recycle them into beautiful holiday decorations. Take your stash of corks and transform them into DIY cork garland in a few easy steps:

What you’ll need

Handheld electric drill with thin drill bit
Fishing line
Wine corks (number varies by length & beads used)
Beads (we used red wood and raw wood colored beads)
Large sewing needle
Jute or fabric for tassels (optional)

Let’s create!

1.Pre-drill holes in corks to allow for easy threading

2.Cut fishing line to desired length

3.Use bead as anchor for end of fishing line by tying a normal double knot around the bead

4.Select bead and cork pattern

5.Use large sewing needle to thread pattern onto fishing line

6.Repeat pattern until fishing line is filled and to desired length of garland

7.Tie off end of garland

8.Cut strips of fabric or jute and assemble into tassels

9.Attach tassels to each end of garland and secure with multiple knots

10.Hang or wrap finished garland as décor!


You can also make garland for any occasion - check out our other TikTok for inspiration! 

Share your DIY cork Christmas garland with us on social by tagging @missouriwine and #mowine. Check out our TikTok Channel for more DIY videos! 

Buy Missouri Grown this Holiday Season

December 02, 2021

Osage River Popcorn Company – Osage Beach, MO

Find a wide variety of tasty popcorn flavors in store and online. The Osage River Popcorn crew pops these savory and sweet popcorn treats daily, offering 21 unique varieties including the featured Osage Mix, French Vanilla and Cinnamon. These products are available by the bag and in popcorn tins.

Adam Puchta Winery – Hermann, MO

Adam Puchta Winery predates Prohibition and its seven generations of ownership dubbed it the longest continuously family-owned winery in the United States. Purchase award-winning wines online or visit the winery in Missouri wine country. The featured wine is the 2015 Estate Norton which can be purchased here(https://adampuchtawine.com/shop-for-wine/). Norton is the Missouri state grape and makes fabulous wines to enjoy alone or pair (https://missouriwine.org/missouri-norton-food-perfect-pair)with a variety of foods.

Stone Hill Winery – Hermann, MO

Ranked one of the oldest and most awarded wineries in the country, Stone Hill Winery offers a wine for everyone. The featured 2019 Chambourcin edged out the competition in the 2021 Missouri Wine Competition winning the title of Governor’s Cup. Find the 2017 Chambourcin and shop their entire lineup online. https://shop.stonehillwinery.com/storefront.aspx

Augusta Winery – Augusta, MO

Overlooking the Missouri River Valley, you will find the scenic town of Augusta, surrounded by the first American Viticultural Area (AVA) and home to Augusta Winery. The featured 2020 Reserve Dry Vignoles is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser as a dry white wine with delicious notes of tropical fruit, pineapple and white peach. Shop the reserve vintage online (https://www.augustawinery.com/wine-store/wine-list.html) or visit the winery in person.

The Berry Nutty Farm – Independence, MO

The Berry Nutty Farm offers several holiday favorites perfect for gifting. The small batch spreads use delicious combinations of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and more. Featured spreads include American Picnic, Bottom of the Barrel, Dueling Berries and Road Trip fruit spreads, but be sure to browse online to find the broad assortment of available products.

Blue Mound Soap Company – Cowgill, MO

Made from local products like goat’s milk, honey and lavender, paired with essential oils, the soaps, lotions and lip balms from Blue Mound Soap Company are guaranteed to please. All products are gentle on the skin and smell great. Shop online for a variety of products and be sure to check out the gift boxes.

Heartfelt Alpaca Creations – Columbia, MO

Founded by four women in central Missouri, Heartfelt Alpaca Creations are dedicated to crafting quality products made from alpaca fibers. To name a few, check out the insoles, hotpads and coasters, throw blankets, neck cozies, dryer balls and more.

Tunetti Natural Soap – Fair Play, MO

When shopping for the men in your life, be sure to look into Tunetti Natural Soap. They offer beard balms, mustache wax and beard oil for the guys. They also craft personal care products that are great for the whole family.

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