Les Bourgeois Vineyards: Then & Now

March 31, 2022

A home away from home, this winery has continued its growth through the years. 

The beautiful blufftop property overlooking a subtle bend in the Missouri river is tucked right along Interstate-70 west of Columbia, Missouri. Les Bourgeois Vineyards is a familiar place to many locals in mid-Missouri while being a popular attraction to tourists near and far.

Curtis (Doc) and Martha Bourgeois purchased the Rocheport property in 1974 and officially opened as Les Bourgeois Winery in 1985. They settled into the area living in the small A-frame structure, now known as The A-Frame Winegarden, while building a home on the property. They planted vines on the rolling hills and eventually began making wine in the garage of their home.

The opening season in 1985 was a huge success as they sold out of their wines very quickly. Expansion easily approached as they built the Bistro in the 1990s with intention to host weddings, University gatherings, family reunions and more. After outgrowing the wine making facility in their garage, they purchased the Pete’s Café building which housed their production facilities and tasting room. This setup was cozy and worked for many years. In 2011, the winemaking facility and warehouse was built next to the tasting room. Four years later, the Tasting Room expanded and continues to house the tasting bar and retail space.

In 2019, Curtis Bourgeois, son of the founding Doc and Martha, retired after 32 years of ownership. He passed the baton to two leaders who played influential roles at the winery for many years prior. Jacob and Rachel Holman, with the partnership of an outside investor, took ownership of the winery and turned a new leaf while still upholding the culture that the Bourgeois family cultivated for more than 3 decades.

Since then, the new owners purchased two guesthouses and renovated the house built by the Bourgeois family in an effort to present a destination that feels like home. They continue to strive to build a place that feels welcoming, comfortable and altogether, a place for guests to create the most memorable experiences. Their ultimate goal is to perfect the small details that make up big moments.

The property is nestled alongside the Missouri River with easy access to the iconic Katy Trail. Visitors can experience this beautiful piece of the Midwest while enjoying the quality wines grown and produced on property. Wines can be enjoyed at each location on The Blufftop from The Tasting Room to The Bistro and The A-Frame Winegarden. Guesthouses have been perfectly tailored to feel like a piece of home where guests can stay and experience The Blufftop.

Given the continued growth of the Les Bourgeois Vineyards, the overall experience you can receive in Rocheport has outgrown the winery name. With the expansion into distilling, premium wines, lodging and more, it was time for an all-encompassing name to better describe the overall experience.

Recently introduced, The Blufftop at Rocheport(hyperlinked) will showcase all the property has to offer. Visitors now have a trailside vineyard retreat where they can wine, dine, shop, stay and play. Les Bourgeois Vineyards will be sticking around as the well-established brand of their winery and wines.

"We really are a big family here, and it's our hope that every guest who visits us will feel welcome and like this is a destination that feels like home for them," said Owner and CEO, Rachel Holman. "There is more than 35 years of history here on The Blufftop, and we look forward to continuing that legacy of growth and evolution with this brand expansion." 

Keep on the lookout for these exciting experiences with The Blufftop at Rocheport that you won’t want to miss.

Do-Si-Don’t Mind if I Do

March 29, 2022

We are all guilty of stocking up on those irresistible Girl Scout cookies, so it’s time to grab a box (or two) from your stash and pair them with a glass of Missouri wine. Use this handy pairing guide to make the perfect match with your favorite cookies and that once-a-year treat even more irresistible.

Let us know your go-to combination on social media @missouriwines or #MissouriWine

Spring into these Missouri wine country events

March 24, 2022

As the weather gets warmer, more events in Missouri wine country are happening – this list of events is calling out your name. Put these events and festivals on your calendar because you won’t want miss out! Exciting things are happening in Missouri wine country.

March

March 26-27

Hermann Wurstfest - Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A city-wide celebration of the traditional art of German sausage making. There will be multiple sausage competitions, sausage samples & sausage for sale, a wiener dog derby, as well as an appearance from the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Experience authentic German music and dance performances each day. Learn more here.

April

April 9

Hermann Wine Trail: Farmers' Table Wine Trail

Hermann wineries and Missouri CommonGround join together for this unique annual event featuring pairings of Missouri wine and food. Enjoy the best of what Missouri has to offer. Meet the local farmers behind the food as you taste your way through six delectable wine and food pairings along the Hermann Wine Trail. Tickets are $35, which includes a wine glass. Purchase tickets at www.HermannWineTrail.com. Participating wineries: Adam Puchta Winery, Bias Winery, Curling Vine Winery, G. Husmann Wine Company, Hermannhof Winery, and Robller Vineyard and Winery.

Glasgow Wine Walk 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Enjoy wine, food and live music in downtown Glasgow. Enjoy the river views while sipping on wines from Baltimore Bend Winery, Beckett’s Winery, Fahrmeier Family Vineyard, Giggling Grapes Winery, Hummingbird Vineyard & Winery, Twin Meadows Winery, Wenwood Winery and Wildlife Ridge Winery. Purchase your tickets here.

April 10

Fence Stile Vineyards Wine Run 5k at 9 a.m.

Whether you choose to walk or run, it is certain you will enjoy the scenic views and wines of Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery. This event is held in conjunction with the celebration of their 13th anniversary. Click here for more information and to sign up today.

April 22

“Noboleis After Hours” series kick-off event

Visit Noboleis Vineyards for the kickoff to "Noboleis After Hours" every Friday night. Happy hour specials can be enjoyed from 5-8 p.m. For more information, click here.

April 21-30

Augusta Plein Air Art Festival

Bring your friends and family out to watch the artists compete in the 2022 Augusta Plein Air Art Festival as you enjoy wine and live music at Noboleis Vineyards. Artist Quick Paint event is April 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with judging and awards at 4 p.m. Over 100 artists will be scattered around the property, capturing and recreating the scenic views of MO wine country.

April 23

Wine in the Vines 5K at Seven Springs Winery

Run, walk or do both while enjoying the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks! Enjoy wine, food and music from DJ John Marsi and live music from Jason Button – more information here.

April 30

GTO concert at LaChance Vineyards at 6 p.m.

This high-energy 15-piece band will be playing Good Time Oldies from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Follow their Facebook page for more upcoming information.

 

May

May 1

Vineyard Market at Noboleis Vineyards from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop the "Vineyard Market" to find local vendors of all kinds. They will be set up around the hillside and feature lots of products and incredible Missouri made finds. More information on the event here.

May 7

Kentucky Derby Day at Stone Hill Winery

Get dressed up for the races! Wear your favorite festive Derby hat and take part in a hat parade for a chance to win a prize. The hat parade begins at 3 p.m. and free live music is from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m. More information here.

May 7 & 8

Wild Bacon Wine Trail in Hermann

Pair a variety of Missouri award-winning wines and more with smoky, savory and always delicious, bacon. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and can be purchased in advance at www.HermannWineTrail.com. Participating wineries: Adam Puchta Winery, Bias Winery, Curling Vine Winery, G. Husmann Wine Company, Hermannhof Winery, and Robller Vineyard and Winery.

May 14

Warrensburg Come Sip Shop from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit downtown Warrensburg for the Come Sip Shop event where you can enjoy regional wines while exploring the downtown retail stores. Tickets are $25 prior to the event and $30 the day of – register here.

May 21

Slater Wine Festival from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Come enjoy a day full of vendors, food trucks, live music and wine at the Slater Wine Festival. Check out Becketts Winery, Hummingbird Vineyard & Winery, Top Hat Winery and more! Visit here for more information.

Springfest at Stone Hill Winery

Usher in the new season with Springfest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event features a variety of Missouri’s finest vendors featuring items such as food, jewelry, bath works, clothing and wine. Free live music from 1 to 5 p.m. Sip, shop and enjoy the spring views in the vineyard. 

“Garage" Sale at Noboleis from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stock up on some of your favorite Noboleis wines during the Spring Warehouse Garage Sale. Huge case discounts – one day only! More information here.

June

June 11

Mid-MO Strawberry Festival at Serenity Valley Winery from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This event supports donations to veterans to support upcoming Honor Flights. It features music, vendors, food trucks, activities for kids, petting zoo area and a fireworks display. Follow their Facebook for more information.

Stone Hill Winery's 175th Anniversary Celebration

Explore the history while celebrating & reflecting on the establishment of Stone Hill Winery 175 years ago. This event features sparkling wine, barbecue, free live music, tours of cellars and production facilities, wine & history Q&A, and commemorative ceremonies. More information here.

These events were collected by a recent set of surveys. We hope you utilize this list of spring events to explore new parts of Missouri wine country. Tag us in your travels at @missouriwine and #missouriwine on social media.

The lifecycle of a grapevine

March 22, 2022

There is a great deal of unseen preparation that goes into a bottle of award-winning wine. The whole process starts on the vine. The year-round growing cycle is significant to the quality and quantity of the grapes that are harvested each fall, thus effecting the quality and quantity of wine produced from the given crop. Watch this brief overview of the lifecycle of a grapevine to learn a bit about the process of growing grapes.

Discover this wine “pot o’ gold”

March 17, 2022

Missouri is known for its unique award-winning wines and high-quality vineyards and wineries across the state. Each year new wines are awarded different medals at the Missouri Wine Competition. These awards aren’t won from luck. Here’s a preview list of 2021 gold medal wines you won’t want to miss:
Adam Puchta Winery 

Anniversary Port: Beautifully aged for six years with oak to create caramel and vanilla notes. Norton base features fig, plum and black cherry, spice and coffee flavors
Desire: Light-bodied semi-dry white blend with kiwi, lime and green apple notes
Jazz Berry: Sweet red wine with intense raspberry flavor
Judges Heir: Medium-bodied, dry red blend with black licorice, plum, caramel and dark tart cherry flavors
Misty Valley: Semi-sweet white dessert wine with light, fresh and fruity notes

Augusta Winery 

2020 Icewine: Sweet white dessert wine with bold peach, apricot, pineapple, pear, and honey flavors
5 Year Tawny: Aged for over five years in the barrel, this bold dessert wine features flavors and aromas of roasted nuts, dried fruit, butterscotch, and nutmeg
2020 Reserve Vignoles Estate Bottled: Dry white wine with crisp aromas and notes of pineapple, wild strawberries, tropical fruit, and white peach - named best varietal
River Valley White: This sweet white dessert wine is smooth with notes of tropical fruit & citrus, with hints of apricot & peach
2020 Traminette Estate Bottled: This floral semi dry wine has flavors of white peach, citrus, and honeysuckle

Balducci Vineyards 

4310: Rich white dessert wine with notes of pineapple and tropical fruit. It is made from 100% Vignoles grapes and aged new French oak barrels for 30 months - Learn about the label here

Blumenhof Vineyards and Winery 

2020 Rayon d’Or: Semi-sweet, white wine with fresh apple and citrus character                                                                                                      

Canterbury Hill Winery 

2020 King’s Choice: Sweet white wine with a fruit forward bouquet, honey and pineapple

Defiance Ridge Vineyards 

2020 Heath’s Off-Dry Vignoles: This semi-dry white wine has notes of tropical fruit and pineapple - Learn about the label here

Eagles’ Landing 

2018 Beckmeyer Chambourcin: Medium-bodied dry red with bold spiced flavors

Edg-Clif Farms and Vineyard 

2018 Edg-Clif Chambourcin: Medium bodied, rich and spicy red wine aged in American oak
2020 Vidal Blanc: Light bodied and crisp white wine, dry with a clean citrus fruit flavor - named best varietal

KC Wineworks 

2017 Chambourcin: Medium-bodied, dry red wine was barrel aged for earthy, smoky notes, red berries and hints of vanilla

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Mizzou White: Crisp, dry white wine with aromas and flavors of citrus like grapefruit and lemon zest

Moscato: Sweet white wine with notes of peach and citrus

Montelle Winery 

2020 Chambourcin Estate Bottled: Dry red wine with tasting notes of blackberries, cassis, licorice, and a hint of vanilla
2020 Seyval Blanc Estate Bottled: Light, dry white wine featuring notes of tropical fruits, citrus, and gooseberry and a crisp acidity
Napoleon Missouri Brandy: Aged in French oak barrels with notes of dried peach, apricot, toffee, vine flowers like jasmine or honey suckle, cinnamon, and middle east spices
Peachy Brandy: Crisp and full of fresh ripe peach flavor and aromas

Noboleis Vineyards 

2019 Dry Vignoles: Light bodied, off-dry white wine with tropical fruit notes
2020 Two Posts White: Sweet, white wine with notes of honey, apple and melon

Stone Hill Winery 

2017 Chambourcin: Medium-bodied, dry red wine featuring flavors of toffee, black currant and cherry compote, toasty oak and a hint of black pepper - Governor’s Cup winner in 2019
2018 Norton: Full-bodied dry red with notes of black currant, butterscotch and toasted nuts from barrel aging
2018 Ozark Hellbender: Dry red blend with notes of sweet cherry, blueberry and a touch of toasted oak
2019 Chambourcin: Medium-bodied red wine with soft tannins, vibrant black current and cherry aromas and a touch of toasty oak and black pepper - Governor’s Cup Winner for 2021
2019 Cross J Norton: Dry, full-bodied red with notes of plum, jammy fruit and earthy pine
2019 Late Harvest Vignoles: Complex white dessert wine featuring bold honey, peach and floral aromas and flavors
2019 Norton: Robust, dry red wine with a complex mix of fruit, spice and oak - named best varietal and C.V. Riley Award winner in 2021
2019 Ozark Hellbender: Dry, medium-bodied red blend with notes of berries and plum compote, as well as cinnamon and smoky oak - named best red blend
2019 Vignoles:  Rich, full-bodied off-dry white wine with aromas of pineapple, strawberry and lime
2020 Traminette: White, semi-dry floral wine with notes of orange peel, guava and lime - named best varietal
Cream Sherry: Complex sweet dessert wine with rich, nutty flavor and aroma characteristic of traditional sherry from aging in oak barrels
Demi-Sec: Semi-dry sparkling style wine with aromas of fresh melon with a touch of floral and citrus, and with honeysuckle and sweet Meyer lemon flavors on the palate - named best sparkling wine
Dry Rosé: Young and crisp wine with beautiful vibrant color, zesty flavors and fresh fruity aromas
Moscato: Sweet white wine with flavors of peach, orange blossom, and lychee

Share what you find in these gold wines on social by tagging us @missouriwine and #missouriwine. Stay tuned for more award winning wines in July 2022.

Sips & Chips

March 14, 2022

Potato chips are a popular go-to snack, so why not pair them with your go-to Missouri wines? This guide will help you pair your favorite chips with award-winning wines. Remember to sip, bite, sip as you taste your way through this list.

 

Ruffles Original + Sweet Sparkling Wine

A classic crispy chip paired with a sparkling wine turns out to be a dynamic duo.


Kettle Sea Salt + Sweet Vignoles

This pair might come as a surprise, but it’s worth a try. Kettle cooked crunchy chips seasoned with sea salt pair nicely with this sweet Missouri favorite.

cham

Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream + Chambourcin

This rich red wine finishes a bite of the popular cheddar and sour cream chips with ease.

Lays Stax Bacon & Cheddar + Chardonel

Think ‘loaded baked potato’ flavors and you’re well on your way to imagining the complex flavors that will unfold on your tongue with this pair.

Cheetos (Crunchy + Puffs) + Concord

Cheesy goodness from your choice of Cheetos compliment the jammy flavors of Concord with great satisfaction.

Lays Barbecue + Norton

This duo will instantly take your mind to a backyard BBQ with satisfaction guaranteed.

Fritos Honey BBQ Twists + Seyval Blanc or Dry Rosé or Dry Vignoles or Sweet Sparkling

We couldn’t decide on just one wine to pair because they were all too good! Try with one or all and tell us your top choice.

Sun Chips Garden Salsa + Vidal Blanc

This summertime chip should be enjoyed with a chilled glass of crisp and clean Vidal Blanc.

Doritos Nacho Cheese + Norton

These classic Doritos paired with a classic Norton are undeniably delectable.

Funyuns + Dry Rosé

This unique and fun choice of ‘chips’ will not disappoint with a glass of your favorite Dry Rosé.

Salt & Vinegar + Dry Vignoles

You either love them, or you don’t, but you’re sure to like salt and vinegar chips when enjoyed with a glass of Dry Vignoles.

Sour Cream & Onion + Vidal Blanc

The herbal flavors of this favorite chip are nicely complimented by the fresh and crisp taste of Vidal Blanc.

Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili + Catawba

This sweet and spicy duo will have your taste buds happy-dancing on your tongue.

Kettle Cooked Jalapeno + Traminette

This crunchy style Kettle Cooked spicy chip has a perfect match in the fresh and floral flavors of Traminette.

 

Let us know which pairings make it on your must-try list and tag us on social media @missouriwines or #missouriwines.

Trash to Treasure: DIY Upcycled Vase

March 10, 2022

Are you stumped looking for ways to reuse and upcycle those empty wine bottles? Here is a simple 5 step process to turn one of your favorite bottles into an elegant vase hanger with an industrial touch. Watch the how-to video below or follow these instructions.

Materials

1 board (ours measured 15 x 5.5 inches)

3/8-inch x 4-inch carriage bolt

3/8-inch flat washer

3/8-inch hex nut

1-inch split ring hanger

Empty wine bottle

Picture hanging hardware

 

Tools

Tape measure

Pencil

Drill

3/8-inch drill bit

Pliers or 3/8-inch wrench

Phillips screwdriver

 

Instructions

1.Measure and mark the center of board and desired location of mounting the bottle on the board. Drill a hole through the board at this mark.

2.Place the bolt through the board so that the threaded end comes through the front. Add the washer to the bolt and begin threading the nut. Tighten the nut until firm.

3.Thread the split ring hanger onto the bolt until the butt of the bolt is flush with the inside of the ring.

4.Loosen the screw(s) on the split ring hanger and add the wine bottle. Tighten the screws until wine bottle is secure.

5.Add your desired picture hanging hardware on the back. Hang, style and enjoy!

Winemaker’s Way: Shriti Plimpton, Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery

March 09, 2022

For owner and winemaker at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery, the ultimate highlight of the entire winemaking process doesn’t come from putting wine on the shelf. Shriti Plimpton prides herself on the complete experience that her guests gain with time spent on her beautiful 55-acre property near Kansas City.

“We love to be a part of everyone’s celebrations and big life moments,” Plimpton explained. Fence Stile provides a sense of community, a ‘natural home’, for their guests to enjoy beyond the wine rack. This being one of Plimpton’s favorite aspects of her role as winemaker – leading her guests to envelop the atmosphere and the wine together. As winery owner, Plimpton’s duties do not end with the winemaking process.

“I spend a lot of time in the tasting room, and am always tethered to the quality of the wine poured in a glass that leads to someone’s delight, which is worthwhile,” Plimpton shared. Assisting guests in fully experiencing the wine she crafts is most rewarding to her.

Tour guide is another of the many hats worn by Plimpton as she enjoys guiding guests throughout the property, including a tour through the naturally climate-controlled wine caves. Plimpton’s hard work comes full circle when her guests share thoughts like “I never realized how much work goes into the process” or “Wow, Missouri has genuine quality wines to offer.”

Plimpton strives to make quality wine that is expressive of the grape and season and be true to both. Fence Stile prides themselves on sustainable practices in their vineyards. Rather than spraying for weeds that compete with the vines, they use cultivation as a control method between the rows. They also forego the option of irrigating to prompt the strengthening of the vines and their crop. During hot and dry summers, they can only hope that the roots have grown deep into the clay soil to grasp for moisture. Plimpton shared that the intensity and flavor of a wine increases when the grapes have to ‘struggle’ in these ways while still on the vine.

The original vineyards at Fence Stile were planted in 2007 and the winery opened its doors three years later. Plimpton knew the time and dedication it would require to have an established and sustainable business for years to come, but didn’t shy away from the challenge. As she embarked on this adventure later in life than some career winemakers, she found great success through her education with the Viticulture & Enology Science & Technology Alliance (VESTA). Aside from formal education, she found internships and partnerships with fellow vineyards and winemakers to prove most valuable in her learning experience.

Plimpton’s worldly experiences influence her winemaking efforts. She was born in Kenya, raised in India and Canada and has been fortunate to experience both the culture and wine of many European countries. She considers her work to represent a taste of the world, even though she is making Missouri wines and enjoys the opportunity to develop an array of quality wines.

Plimpton sees her passion in the wine space as exploring the endless possibilities with a variety of wine and grape by-products. In February of 2020, her winery released the first Missouri-made Chambourcin Piquette which is made from pomace, the remaining grape skins, pulps, stems and seeds. Read more on this exciting special edition low alcohol wine here. Aside from Plimpton’s creative craft in less traditional wines like Piquette and orange wines, she also had a hand in producing a grape skin scrub using Chambourcin pomace as a partner with The Elms Hotel & Spa in Excelsior Springs. 

“We want to evolve our offerings to address a wider audience and create cocktails and wine styles to extend the experience for our guests,” Plimpton explained. In 2021, Fence Stile added a distillery on the property and plan to release rum, brandy and other spirits this spring.

Looking to the future, Plimpton is eager to continue learning about varietals not commonly grown in the Midwest, such as Crimson Cabernet and Cabernet Dore. She is excited to craft unique blends using traditional Missouri varietals with vinifera varieties that may resonate more commonly with wine consumers. In this way, Plimpton hopes to bridge the gap to meet consumers who are not as familiar with the varietals most popularly grown in the Midwest, but continue to represent the excellence that is found in Missouri wines.

Plimpton has a special way of bringing quality wines to her guests while creating a memorable experience. Friends of Fence Stile who provide genuine feedback on the special times they have shared at the winery provide the most satisfaction to Plimpton. Special people enjoying the wine of her labor prompts a smile at the end of the day.

Interested in learning more about Missouri wines, wineries and winemakers? Follow us on social media @missouriwine.

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