Experiences are Richer with Chardonel

April 01, 2021

Days are getting longer and warmer, and green grass is peeking out in spots across the Show-Me State. These welcome changes have wine lovers looking forward to enjoying their favorite Missouri wines in the beauty of the outdoors. As many make the seasonal transition from warming red wines to crisp white wines this April, indulge in Chardonel, the Missouri varietal that makes experiences richer.

Chardonel is a French-American hybrid varietal, the result of a cross between popular Chardonnay and Missouri varietal Seyval Blanc. Chardonel accounts for roughly 7% of Missouri’s grape production, and this varietal is grown on 123 acres across the state.

Chardonel grapes produce a dry, full-bodied white wine. Tasting experiences are richer with Chardonel, as winemakers often ferment this varietal in oak or stainless-steel barrels for unique flavor profiles. Depending on the winemaker’s preferences and goals for the wine being produced, Chardonel can exhibit notes of toasty oak, rich butter or refreshing citrus. Beyond bottling this luscious varietal on its own, Chardonel is often selected by winemakers to enrichen white wine blends.

When selecting a wine for your next gathering or special meal, look to Chardonel. This varietal is the perfect menu matcher and pairs well with nearly every course. Almonds and creamy white cheeses found on springtime charcuterie boards are complemented by rich Chardonel. Entrées like grilled chicken, smoked pork and halibut pair well with this varietal, as do pesto and cream sauces. Satisfy your sweet tooth by pairing Chardonel with shortbread cookies, banana bread or vanilla cake. Want more inspiration for food and Chardonel pairings? Check out our infographic gallery.

Chardonel is also an excellent addition to your favorite recipes and enhances the flavor of a variety of dishes, including butterscotch blondies, sharable fondue and seafood pasta. Winetails like our Moscow Mule variation and the Stargazer wine cocktail are great recipes to incorporate Chardonel into other sipping experiences and appreciate the versatility of this classic varietal.

Whether you choose to enjoy Chardonel on a sun-soaked patio in Missouri wine country, paired with a freshly-cooked meal, or incorporated in a recipe, you’re sure to find that your experiences are richer with every sip of this stunning varietal. During April, celebrate Chardonel Month with Missouri Wines.

Kick Back on the Katy Trail

March 30, 2021

Let your Missouri wine adventures lead you down the historic and scenic Katy Trail. This breathtaking trail is a former rail line and spans nearly 240 miles of the Show-Me State, stretching from Clinton to the St. Louis area.

Many visitors enjoy hiking or biking the Katy Trail and relaxing at various stops along the way. Make sure to save our interactive trip planner so you’ll be ready to kick back on the Katy Trail during your next wine country excursion.

Breaking Down Wine Storage Misconceptions

March 29, 2021

Have you bought or been given a delectable Missouri wine that you’ve been holding on to, waiting for just the right moment to uncork? Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or unwinding on an ordinary evening, enjoying Missouri wine is a treat within itself and should be savored. To make your tasting experience even more delightful, properly storing your prized vino is of the essence.

Not sure how to store your wine collection? Don’t worry, we’re here to break down common misconceptions about wine storage by giving you an easy list of do’s and don’ts to follow. Read on to discover the truth about storing your Missouri wine properly.

DO Chill Out – While chilling wine before serving is a personal preference (check out our handy cheat sheet for chilling), keeping wine bottles stored in a cool area is a recommended practice to ensure that your wine stays safe for future enjoyment. We recommend keeping your bottles in a location where the temperature stays at a constant 45-65oF. These cooler, stable temperatures will inhibit unwanted chemical reactions while allowing your favorite Missouri varietal’s flavor to improve as it waits to be opened. When wine gets exposed to extreme temperatures, the tasting experience can be affected.

DON’T Rely on a Frigid Fridge – It may seem like a good idea to keep your wine in the refrigerator with other beverages, but avoid relying on this space as a long-term storage solution. The temperature inside your household fridge is perfect for keeping regular food items cold, but too cold and dry for properly storing wine long-term. Having wine stored in a chilly fridge for too long inhibits the flavor improving magic that happens in your bottle of wine, and can actually dry out your wine’s cork over time.

DO Store on Sides – Storing your wine bottles upright may save space and allow you to admire the beautiful label gracing your vino, however, this isn’t an ideal solution for long-term storage. Storing bottles upright doesn’t allow for wine to touch the cork and keep it moist, and dried out corks can cause potential issues when it comes time to enjoy your wine. Store wine bottles securely on their side so those corks can be “kissed” by the wine as they wait for their time to shine.

DON’T Tuck atop the Fridge – It may be tempting to squeeze a few wine bottles on top of your refrigerator for safekeeping, but this is not a good storage solution. You might be surprised to learn that the top of your fridge is actually quite warm and vibrates (it may be hard to notice during your normal fridge encounters). The heat and vibration can cause damage to your wine’s chemical components and impact your tasting experience.

DO Embrace the Dark Side – The best place to store your wine is in a dark, cool space. Your best bet is a dry, mild temperature basement or a cupboard under the stairs (as long as it stays at a fairly constant temperature). A dedicated wine chilling fridge or mini fridge is also a great solution for storing your wine bottles. Want to display your favorite wines in your home for guests to marvel? Take some time to find a space in your home to set up a wine rack – make sure it’s in a cool place away from direct sunlight.


DON’T Let the Sun Shine In – We’ll admit we love the Show-Me State sunlight and enjoying our favorite Missouri wines in the sunshine, but we recommend avoiding storing your wine in the sunlight. Keeping your unopened wine in direct sunlight or bright interior lights creates heat inside the bottle and affects your wine’s longevity.

Now that you have these wine storage do’s and don’ts at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to safely store your award-winning Missouri wine. Need to stock up on your favorite varietal or want to explore Missouri’s unique wine country? Check out our interactive map to find unbeatable wine near you!

Springtime Sipping Outdoors

March 25, 2021

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Spring has sprung, the days are longer and temperatures are getting warmer. It’s a great time to enjoy sipping on Missouri wine outdoors!

When planning your next outing to Missouri wine country, consider visiting one of the many wineries that offers outdoor seating. From bistro tables to picnic tables, you can relax outside with your significant other or laugh the day away with your whole crew.

 

Want to pack a picnic? These wineries allow guests to munch on their own food while lounging anywhere from a beautiful lawn, under an arbor, on the deck or even inside a cave! Did you know there are more than 70 Missouri wineries where your furry friend is welcome to tag along? Grab a leash and take them to the vineyard – your pup might even love it more than the dog park.

 

Wine country has 11 unique wine trails that offer pre-planned wine adventures for those who want to explore a variety of stops. Check out our online calendar or take a look at the wine trail’s individual Facebook pages for upcoming events.

 

While you’re out and about in wine country this spring, be sure to snap plenty of pictures. We’d love to see them, just tag us or use #MOWines when posting them on social media!

 

 

 

Raise a Toast to World Ag Day and Missouri Viticulture

March 23, 2021

Familiar with World Ag Day? This special day has been designated to celebrate the contributions that the agriculture industry makes to the globe. Agriculture is an essential part of our economy and our lifestyles, from the food we eat and the wine we enjoy, to the clothes we wear and the fuel that powers our world.

In the United States, the agriculture industry provides an affordable and safe food supply for consumers both domestically and internationally. According to recent studies, a single farm in the United States can feed 166 people. From commodities like corn and soybeans, to natural resources and specialty crops, agricultural products are raised across 2 million farms and marketed around the globe. (American Farm Bureau Federation)

The Show-Me State has deep roots in agriculture and continues to be a major player in national agricultural production. In Missouri, 95,000 farms stretch across nearly 28 million acres of land – that’s two-thirds of our state’s total acreage! The agriculture industry in our state contributes $88 billion to the economy annually, and Missouri ranks in the top 10 for production of many commodities and livestock. (Missouri Department of Agriculture)

Some might be surprised to realize the role that viticulture plays as part of the agriculture industry. Viticulture is the growing of grapevines, which can be used for a variety of purposes including grape products, grape juices and delectable wines. Vineyard managers work to produce bountiful acres of grapes while being stewards of the land and agricultural resources.

Across the United States, viticulture plays a major role in enhancing the economy delivering an annual impact of $220 billion. In Missouri alone, the wine and grape industry has a significant impact on the state economy – more than $3 billion annually, to be exact. Across 126 wineries and 1,700 acres of vineyards, the wine and grape industry supports more than 28,000 jobs. (WineAmerica)

Let’s raise a toast (with Missouri wine of course) to the agriculturists who produce the resources that keep our world fed, clothed and running smoothly. Take a moment to appreciate the hardworking vineyard managers and winemakers who grow and make the award-winning wine that we all love.

Farmers’ Table Ticket Giveaway

March 17, 2021

“What is on the table brings us together. Enjoy the best of what Missouri has to offer.”

Join us at the 2021 Farmers’ Table event and taste your way through seven palate pleasing wine and food pairings along the highly esteemed Hermann Wine Trail. You will have the opportunity to view videos from the local farmers behind the delicious food you are served.

Curious how this trail event works? Here is the run down:

  • All participants must be 21 years of age.
  • Get started your way by picking from any of the seven participating wineries to begin your trail excursion.
  • Grab your souvenir wine glass at the first winery you visit.
  • Head to the other wineries in any order you want.
  • Keep hold of your event ticket and wine glass throughout the day – you will need these at each stop.
  • Upon leaving your last winery, drop off your ticket to enter the drawing for a special Missouri gift basket and one night’s stay in Hermann.
  • Lastly, enjoy yourself and please sip responsibly.

Ready to secure your spot? Tickets are $30 per person and include the souvenir wine glass.

But guess what? We’re giving two lucky winners a pair of tickets to this event! Visit our Facebook, Instagram or both and comment on the Farmers’ Table Wine Trail post on March 27 for a chance to win two tickets. The winners will be randomly selected on March 29 and contacted via private message. Good luck!

Rain or shine, we will see you on April 10th!

This event is made possible by Missouri Commonground and the Hermann Wine Trail.

*BONUS*
There will be a survey attendees can take to be entered into an additional drawing for a swag bag!  

Slam Dunk Your March Madness Plans with Missouri Wines

March 16, 2021

College basketball fans are gearing up for the most exciting weeks of the season – March Madness. Watching our favorite teams move from Selection Sunday to the Final Four, and hopefully on to the NCAA championship game, is a cause for celebration in itself.

While you watch players dribble, drive and dunk their way to the championship, make sure you’re enjoying award-winning Missouri wine. Your favorite varietal pairs perfectly with game day grub – from pizza to sandwiches, cookies to sweet treats, Missouri wine and your favorite dish go together like none other.

Your tournament bracket may be filled out perfectly, but do you need help matching up your wine and food pairings? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at our handy pairing guides for your favorite foods:

(click the infographic to see it in full-screen view)

        

We’ve got plenty more guides in our infographic gallery to help you!

Need some recipe inspiration for gatherings with fellow college basketball lovers? Our blog has a plethora of ideas, from sweet to savory dishes that will delight and easy sippers for a crowd.

Finding Missouri wine nearby is “nothing but net” with our interactive map, which shows retailers near you that sell your favorite award-winning vino. Use this handy tool when planning your game day spread, along with our other resources on chilling, serving and hosting with Missouri wine.

From tip-off to the final buzzer, make sure your March Madness plans are a slam dunk with Missouri wines!

Make Your Day Brighter with the Springtime Sunrise Sipper

March 11, 2021

Make your day even brighter with the cheery and delightfully sweet Springtime Sunrise Sipper. Clean and crisp Seyval Blanc mixes with lemonade, cool mint and fresh berries to remind you of springtime with every sip. With just 6 ingredients and only a few minutes of preparation time, the Springtime Sunrise Sipper can turn your day around! Check out this quick video to see how to recreate this easy, refreshing treat. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geg666WxYmI

 

Springtime Sunrise Sipper Recipe

Ingredients:

½ cup powdered lemonade mix

1 bottle of Seyval Blanc white wine

1 small lemon, sliced

18 fresh strawberries, quartered

1 clamshell of fresh blackberries

Ice (if desired)

Mint Leaves

Directions:

Pour lemonade mix into a medium-sized pitcher or jar. Add Seyval Blanc and stir until lemonade mix is dissolved. Add strawberries and blackberries to mixture, followed by lemon slices (make sure to save 1-2 lemon slices for a garnish!) Gently stir until all fruit and liquids are evenly mixed. Place in refrigerator until slightly chilled. Twirl the mint leaves between the thumb and index finger or muddle in glass to extract oil from the leaves. If desired, add a handful of ice cubes to serving glass. Pour mixture into glass and garnish with a lemon slice. Enjoy!

The Women of Missouri Wineries

March 08, 2021

 

March is designated as Women’s History Month and we want to take this time to recognize those that are laying the foundations today for those who will follow in their footsteps in the years to come. These women serve in many different capacities, each works diligently to uphold the quality and reputation of Missouri’s wines.

(Please note: This information has been compiled from a survey and is by no means a complete list of all the women who work in Missouri wineries.)

Baltimore Bend Vineyard

Sarah Schmidt is an owner of Baltimore Bend Vineyard, and has been instrumental in all aspects of the vineyard and winery's growth over the years. She moved into the head winemaking role 12 years ago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and a certificate in enology from Washington State.

 



 

 

Dale Hollow Winery

Katy Dale is co-owner of Dale Hollow Winery and is essential to every step of the winemaking process: pruning, harvest timing, yeast and oak selection, blending, finishing and packaging. Her mother-in-law, Beth Dale, draws all of the label pictures and Katy builds out the labels.
 

Edg-Clif Vineyards and Winery

From left to right: Girard Keesee, Cyndy Keesee, Rachael Fry, Steffie Littlefield, Stephen Littlefield 

Three dynamic women keep things running smoothly at Edg-Clif Vineyards and Winery. Cyndy Keesee is the winemaker and co-owner of the winery along with her sister, Steffie Littlefield. Steffie has degrees in agriculture, horticulture and economics and utilizes her experience as the vineyard manager. Rachael Fry oversees their craft brewery. The winery is situated on beautiful farmland in the Missouri Ozark hills, a unique property that has been in the family for three generations.

Pictured here is Cyndy Keesee with her daughter, two nieces and two grandnieces who are getting a lesson in winemaking.

 

Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery

Shriti Plimpton is the founder, owner and winemaker at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery. Shriti established the winery and vineyards in 2009. Her focus is on distinctive wines that appeal to a wide range of tastebuds using French-American hybrid and Vitis vinifera clones. She is quite innovative in product development, including developing and bottling Missouri's first piquette and skin-contact wines.

Hemman Winery

While Bonnie leaves the winemaking up to her husband, Doug, once the wine is bottled she takes over. From labeling to paperwork, sales and promotions, she keeps things running smoothly. 

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Rachel Holman (left) is the owner and CEO of Les Bourgeois Vineyards. Prior to acquiring ownership, Rachel served in many capacities at the winery, including Director of Catering and Marketing. She was named the CEO in 2013 and took over strategic planning, financial management, retail operations, production and human resources in addition to wholesale and marketing. Rachel and her husband, Jacob Holman, the head winemaker at the winery, bought the winery with an outside investor in 2019



Noboleis Vineyards 

Pictured left to right: Angie Geis, Christine Newbold, Lou Ann Nolan & Bob Nolan. 

Lou Ann and Bob Nolan are the original dreamers and current part owners of Noboleis Vineyards. Lou Ann gave the winery its name by combining elements of the three family names: Nolan, Newbold and Geis. Their daughters, Christine Newbold and Angie Geis, who are also part owners at the winery, have worn many hats over the years. Currently, Christine has the role of CFO and managers the day-to-day operations, while Angie handles business development. Together, they have turned Lou Ann and Bob’s dream into a thriving winery which celebrated its 10th Anniversary Year in October 2020.

Primitive Olde Crow and Winery

Primitive Olde Crow and Winery has an all-female staff including owner, Lora Anstine. Lora has been a pillar in the community for several years. She owns several businesses in Clinton, as well as other towns in Missouri. She is a confident, hardworking woman who puts her customers and clients first.

 

 

St. James Winery

Kendra Wood serves as the lab manager at St. James Winery. In her current role, she ensures that the wines are at the correct chemical levels and stable before bottling. She also assists the winemakers by preparing bench trials throughout the entire process. Prior to that, Kendra served as the winery's lab assistant. She earned a chemical engineering degree from the Missouri University Science and Technology. 

Top Hat Winery

Missy Lentz is the co-owner of Top Hat Winery. She opened the winery with her husband several years ago. While owning and running a winery requires a lot of time and patience, Missy enjoys meeting new people and introducing them to their Missouri wines.   

Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery

Kathy Dennis and husband, Mike, share in the wine making process. Tyler Ridge is a very small winery and the only one in Greene County. They have been in business since 2012 and have 2.5 acres of vineyards. Their wine is made using only the grapes grown in their vineyards including Cayuga White, Chambourcin, Norton and Vignoles.

Vox Vineyards
Sabrina Dinovo is the Assistant Winemaker and Vineyardist at Vox Vineyards. Sabrina facilitates the cultivation and protection of their rare, American heritage grapes and assists with all aspects of the winemaking. She harvested and produced the 2019 and 2020 vintages at Vox and is eager to experience each new harvest in the years to come.

 

 

 

West Winery

Kayla Hartung has been with West Wineries since 2010. Kayla began helping with events and working in the tasting room; however, with a background in science, she soon moved into the winemaking process. Kayla also manages the flagship West Winery location in downtown Macon. She is one of the many women who work at West Winery.

 

We invite you to visit Missouri wine country and toast to the wonderful women behind Missouri wines.

Wine Chilling, As Easy As 3-2-1!

March 04, 2021

Did you know that chilling your favorite varietal may enhance your tasting experience? Before you open that bottle of award-winning Missouri wine, give its temperature some consideration.

You might be surprised to know that different types of wine have unique ideal serving temperatures. For example, red wines are ideally served at “cellar temperature” or approximately 65 degrees.  White and rosé wines are best served at a temperature around 55 degrees, and the optimal temperature for sparkling wine is closer to 45 degrees. How long should you chill your wine to ensure that it reaches the ideal serving temperature?

A good rule of thumb for chilling wine is to follow our 3-2-1 guideline! Check out the easy to follow graphic below for the approximate time and temperature that your favorite Missouri wine should chill.

In a perfect world, we’d all have plenty of time to chill our favorite wine before serving. In reality, we realize that life happens! Not to fear, we have a few tips and tricks for chilling wine quickly in a pinch – watch the video below and discover our hacks for getting your wine chilled in under 30 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMF1zIgLSXU

Pro tip – Avoid using your refrigerator as a long-term storage solution for the unopened wine that you intend to serve. When left too long, corks can dry out and lead to wine oxidation.

Use these guidelines and tips to make sure your next glass of Missouri wine is chilled to the right temperature for optimal enjoyment. Want to know where to find award-winning wine near you? Let our interactive map be your guide to restaurants and retailers in your area!

 

 

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