Easy Cheesy Squash Gratin

September 10, 2020

Get the most out of your remaining summer garden with this easy, cheesy squash gratin. Zucchini and yellow squash strips, along with tomatoes and plenty of cheese, are cooked in Missouri wine and fresh green onions until bubbly golden goodness ensues.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4 people

Ingredients:

2 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
3 green onions, bulbs and green tender parts finely sliced into rounds
1/3 cup Vidal Blanc white wine
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Coarse salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and slice the squash and zucchini lengthwise using a mandoline or Y-peeler. The vegetables should look like long, thin strips. Place slices on a single layer on baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, coat the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with the Swiss cheese. Let the strips rest and absorb the oil for about 5 minutes.

  

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced green onions and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until reduced, or about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of a 9-inch round baking dish or pie plate.

Take one zucchini strip and roll it tightly, and place it in the center of the baking dish or plate. Take one squash strip and roll it tightly around the rolled zucchini strip. Continue to wrap the vegetable strips around each other, alternating between the zucchini and squash until a wheel shape forms in the baking dish (see photo).

Tuck the tomato slices between the vegetable layers, and sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese and the feta cheese on top of the vegetables. Season the  dish with desired amounts of salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Enjoy this dish as a side at your next gathering, and share your results with us using #MoWine!

 

Fall Events in Missouri Wine Country

September 10, 2020

The leaves are starting to change, the weather is getting cooler and fall wine country events are on the calendar. Bring a friend, family member or come solo to experience all that these events have to offer. Below is a list of events you won't want to miss this season.

Adam Puchta Winery

APW has live music every Saturday and Sunday in September and October. Listen along on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A Mulled Wine release will take place on September 18! This special wine is aptly named Mull It Over. Start the celebration with happy hour from 4-6:00 p.m. followed by their limited-edition wine release party until 8:00 p.m. The 1855 Cellar Bistro will be open until 8:00 p.m. Don’t miss live music by Bryan Copeland.

September 25 from 6-10:00 p.m. is the beloved 10th Annual Doe Camp cancer fundraiser. Twice Baked band will perform live and there will be raffles, auction, vendors, food and more - all to beat cancer.

Grill Your Own Steak Night and Fish Fry is coming to APW on October 2 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with live music by Steve Leslie. This night will kick off Adam Puchta’s month-long celebration of their 165-year anniversary. They will start the celebration with a special, limited-edition wine release available while supplies last.

Augusta Winery

Show off your favorite costume, play games and sip on festive wine cocktails at Augusta Winery’s 10th Annual Hallo-Wine celebration on Saturday, October 31, from 1-5:00 p.m. This event is family-friendly so please keep the costumes PG-rated.

Shop your favorite vendors and small businesses while you sip on some Hot Apple Pie or a glass of your favorite Augusta wine and enjoy the season's last live music performance during Doe's Day Out on Saturday, November 14, from 1-4:00 p.m.

Some call it Black Friday, Augusta Winery calls it Wine Friday! Enjoy specials on cases, merchandise, winter rentals, private tasting certificates and more to celebrate the un-official kickoff of the holiday season on Friday, November 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Dale Hollow Winery

Join Dale Hollow Winery in commemorating their 5-year anniversary! They will be celebrating this milestone in their favorite way possible - with wine, music and food.

Chuck Wagon will have food available beginning at noon. Jackson Fischer will take the stage at 2:00 p.m. There will be freebies of some sort to commemorate the day and say thank you to all of our loyal customers.

Harvest & Harmony event will take place on Saturday, October 10. Enjoy live music from 2-5:00 p.m. and a food truck from 12-5:00 p.m.

Edg-Clif Vineyard, Winery and Brewery

For their grape friends, Edg-Clif is hosting Grape Harvesting events every weekend from September 5 to 27. Swing by between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and enjoy a hotdog lunch, live music from 1-4:00 p.m. and opportunities to learn more about their winemaking process and "experience the crush!"

Are you part of the Hand Picked Wine Club? There will be a VIP harvesting experience event on September 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This includes a catered lunch, live music and complimentary bottle of wine for club members.

Also for the Hand Picked Wine Club, the Annual Chili Cook-Off is happening October 24 from 1-4:00 p.m. Complete with prizes, the day’s events include hayrides, live music and s’mores at the Fire Pit. Club Members also get a free wine tasting and bottle of wine to take home.

*Annual fee to be a member of the Hand Picked Wine Club.

Hemman Winery

Hemman Winery’s annual Grape Stomping Contest will take place the first weekend of October. Teams of two will battle to become the newest member of the Purple Foot Club. Sign up here.

Hummingbird Vineyard and Winery

Who doesn’t love live music? Sit back, relax and listen to Becky Denton and Travis Feutz on Saturday, September 12, from 5-9:00 p.m. and Ron Ochsner on Saturday, October 3, from 5-8:00 p.m.

Jowler Creek Winery

Hop on a hay wagon and ride around the vineyard and property while tasting Jowler Creek’s wines. You’ll learn about both the wines and you’ll learn about the history of Jowler Creek along the way! Hayrides are happenin’ every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September 25 to November 1.

Tickets for the Winetasting Hayrides are $15/person (each rider MUST have a purchased ticket) and include the hayride, a tasting of 5 wines and a souvenir wine glass.

LaChance Vineyards

Bask in the beauty of 15 Missouri artists’ work on Sunday, September 20, at LaChance Vineyard’s Kimmswick location art show.

It’s that time again, time for a Hallowine celebration! Enjoy live music by Scottie Kemp at the Kimmswick location on Saturday, October 10.

Head over to LaChance Vineyard’s DeSoto location on Friday, October 16, for the 6th Annual Hallowine celebration featuring music by SweetWater Holler.

Lost Creek Vineyard

Friday, September 18, from 7-8:30 p.m. join Lost Creek’s very own vintner, Larry Frichtel, together with Martin Weber, master distiller at Edelbrand Pure Distilling, for an evening of tasting, talking grapes and learning what goes on behind the scenes before it goes in the bottle. These local tastemakers are creating award-winning wines and spirits from Lost Creek Vineyard’s bounty. Starting on the porch and ending in the vineyard, enjoy aperitifs with appetizers, wines paired with local nosh, and fruit brandy with espresso and chocolate. Attendance will be limited to 30 people with socially responsible precautions in place for a relaxed evening to linger and savor. The event will be held rain or shine, using their big, beautiful tent if necessary. An Evening with Our Tastemakers event is $25 person with advanced reservations required.

Mount Pleasant Estates

Enjoy the great outdoors with concerts every Saturday and Sunday featuring a wide variety of music to appeal to everyone's tastes.

Noboleis Vineyards

Noboleis Vineyards offer live music every Saturday and Sunday from 12-4:00 p.m through October!

If you are a Wine Club member, you’ve got two more events to look forward to this year. Coming up on September 12 is the Sensory 301: Sensory Deprivation event! Wine Club manager, Bryan will be showing members how a loss of sight can affect how we taste and smell. Each sense plays a key role in how we interpret taste. The final event of the year for club members is always a Wine Club dinner. Noboleis Vineyards will prepare a special dinner with a local chef and pair the courses with their wines. This event is scheduled for November 7.

Peaceful Bend Vineyard

Peaceful Bend is hosting live music on Saturday afternoons from 2-5:00 p.m. in their outdoor wine garden.  There is no cover charge to attend.

They will also be featuring an outdoor concert by Ashtyn Barbaree on Friday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets will be available online for the concert by September 11.

Lastly, Peaceful Bend is hosting their monthly open mics on the second Wednesday of every month beginning at 6:00 p.m.  All are welcome to perform, or just come to listen to others showcase their talent.  No charge nor reservations needed to attend.

Their fall menu will roll out on September 19, so be sure to stop by and sample all the new items from their menu (or stick with one of their tried-and-true favorites!)

Serenity Valley Winery

Volks in the Valley will be held on the beautiful grounds of Serenity Valley Winery September 11-13. Volkswagen lovers and those interested in VWs are welcome to stop by and visit with the winery owners. There is a lot of space at the winery and plenty of room to spread out.  This is a great opportunity to bring together the Serenity Valley Winery family for another great camping experience in the middle of the state. C Rock City will perform live on Saturday night and wine and beer tastings will again be available. They will have yard and board games available at the site.

Enjoy an unforgettable night of Goat Yoga on Friday, September 11, at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

Camping is available on site for $20.00 for one night or $30.00 for both nights.

Stone Hill Winery

Stone Hill Winery hosts live music every Saturday from now until the end of October at no charge to you.

 

7 Reasons to Visit Missouri Wine Country

September 03, 2020

September is Missouri Wine Month, and a perfect opportunity to explore Missouri’s unique wine country. We’ve got seven reasons why you need to visit Missouri wine country this month – or any time of year!

 

1. Palate-Pleasing Wines for All

Missouri’s award-winning wine lineup is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you prefer sweet or dry wines (or something in the middle,) there’s a Missouri wine you’ll love. If you have a penchant for fruit wines or meads, there’s plenty of wineries that offer them. Searching for slushes or craving a canned concoction? Missouri wine country offers vino in a variety of vessels. From standard varietals like Norton and Vignoles, to proprietary blends and dessert wines, the options are endless. Learn more about Missouri’s grape varietals here.

2. Unbeatable Views and Seating

Wineries across the state offer spacious seating and unbeatable atmosphere for guests to enjoy fresh air, clear skies and great company. Sip delectable wines among expansive gardens, along the bluffs of the Missouri River, or amid scenic views of foliage and vineyards. Even from cozy indoor seating areas, guests can enjoy Missouri wine country’s breathtaking scenery on crisp fall days. Our amenity listings for all 125+ Missouri wineries can help you plan your next excursion to take in the sights and sips at the winery of your choice.

3. Experiences That Excite

Where else can you play disc golf, enjoy wine in a cave or take in scenic views? Only in Missouri wine country. Besides award-winning wines, Missouri’s wineries offer attractions and opportunities that excite and amaze. Pools, chess boards, boat access and more await you in Missouri wine country. Looking for some behind-the-scenes action or education on how your favorite varietal gets from vine to wine? Many wineries offer exclusive tours and educational events to expand your wine wisdom.

4. Events, Festivals, and Trails, Oh My!

Whether you’re looking for an evening out of the house or a weekend-long excursion, there’s always something to do in Missouri wine country. Check out one of our 11 wine trails to discover a pre-planned wine adventure. Do festivals, fairs or live music fit your style? Many wineries offer these events and much more – check out the event calendar on our website, or follow your favorite winery on social media to learn more. Stop in for a crush festival during harvest season, or sip and shop during a holiday event in Missouri wine country.

5. Staycation Escapes

Need a break from the daily grind, but don’t want to travel far? Missouri wine country offers ample accommodations to fit your needs. Enjoy the personal touches and proximity to nearby wineries by sipping and staying local. Picturesque cottages, villas and bed-and-breakfast facilities welcome visitors for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. For those on the adventurous side, treehouse abodes, camping facilities and spooky stays may be just what you’re looking for. To learn more about lodging options in Missouri wine country, make sure to take a look at your copy of the latest Missouri Winery Guide.

6. Pals and Paws Welcome

Missouri wine country is the perfect getaway for pals and pets alike. Missouri wineries are a great place to gather with friends and enjoy award-winning wine together. Celebrate friendships new and old, and meet other Missouri wine fans on your next visit to a winery in the state. Missouri wineries are also a great place to interact with Missouri wines’ furry fans – a number of wineries are pet-friendly, and some locations even have their own resident pets. Where else can you enjoy your favorite wine with your two- and four-legged friends? Pet-friendly wineries are denoted with a paw icon in our Missouri Winery Guide.

7. Patronage Perks with MVP

Did you know that you can earn rewards for exploring Missouri wine country? With the Missouri Winery Visitors Program (MVP,) you have the opportunity to earn points for your patronage of participating wineries. Those points can be redeemed for exclusive rewards, experiences and sweepstakes entries available only to MVP members. Learn more and sign up to be an MVP before your next excursion to wine country.

 

Now is the perfect time to get out and visit Missouri wineries. Take a trip to a winery near you, or one that’s been on your Missouri wine country bucket list, and make unforgettable memories. Make sure to share your adventures on social media using #MOWines and keep sipping local!

Celebrating Missouri Wine Month

September 01, 2020

Harvest, outdoor events and special promotions… it must be Missouri Wine Month!

September is a very special month in Missouri. The weather is great and there is so much to do to celebrate Missouri Wine Month. We also enjoy using this time to showcase the amazing impact Missouri wines have on the economy.

The local wine industry is consistently on the rise in so many ways. A 2017 study found that the annual economic impact of wine and grapes on the state is $3.2 billion. The industry supports more than 28,000 full-time jobs and sells 1.16 million gallons of wine every year. With 1,700 acres of grapes and 425 growers, harvest is a very exciting time in the vineyards of Missouri. Winemakers and vineyard managers work tirelessly to produce delicious options for everyone.

From dry to sweet, bottled to canned, indoor to outdoor seating and so much in between, Missouri wine country has endless options for everyone. Whether you’re planning on a day trip or looking for a weekend getaway, Missouri wineries have you covered. Lodge nearby or stay a winery-owned bed and breakfast. You’ll want to have your camera ready as there are stunning photo ops everywhere. From vineyards to valleys, riverfront to bluff tops, you’ll surely capture something breathtaking.

Why is September such a great time to visit wine country? There are so many fun things to do! Whether you’re exploring with your significant other, family or a group of friends you have the options of live music, festivals with food trucks, wine trail events, group winery tours and more.

We invite you to celebrate Missouri Wine Month by attending fabulous events offered by our wonderful wineries and wine trails. We also invite you to show your support of this special time with a custom Facebook profile frame. Choose between three options from now until September 30th. Just go to update profile picture, add frame and search “Missouri Wines” to find your Missouri Wine Month frame.

Keep an eye on our social media platforms throughout the month for compelling blogs, Missouri wine swag giveaways and exciting new food and wine pairings.

More Time to be an "MVP": Program Extended Through 2021

August 28, 2020

Do you enjoy visiting wineries across the state of the Missouri? Would you like to be rewarded for supporting the state’s wine industry?

If you answered yes, then the Missouri Winery Visitors Program (MVP) is for you! By patronizing Missouri wineries, MVP members receive tickets that can be entered into an online member portal for points; these points are redeemable for exclusive rewards and experiences. Members from across the country have logged over 100,000 visits to Missouri wine country and have taken advantage of MVP rewards, experiences and sweepstakes in exchange for their exploration of Missouri’s wine country.

Back by popular demand, MVP has been extended through December 31, 2021! With this extension, you have an opportunity to reap benefits from membership in this loyalty program, and current MVP members have even more time to earn and redeem their points!

How do I earn and redeem points?

It’s as simple as stopping into your favorite Missouri winery, receiving a ticket from the tasting room before your departure, and entering that ticket into the MVP member portal.  Once those points accumulate, you can redeem them for accessories or experiences that fit your taste. To learn more about earning, entering and redeeming points, head to our MVP FAQ.

What types of rewards are available?

As an exclusive reward for our most loyal Missouri wine fans, MVP members who earn 50,000 points will have the opportunity to redeem them for a spectacular evening filled with delectable food and award-winning Missouri wines. The MVP Cellar Master Celebration brings wine enthusiasts, industry professionals, and special guests together at the gorgeous Hermann Hill for an unforgettable night. The Cellar Master Celebration, scheduled for April 23, 2021, will be a night you don’t want to miss – start saving those points now!

Besides the ultimate wine enthusiast’s celebration, rewards available through the MVP program range from wearables, to drinkware and wine accessories. Members can also redeem tickets for exclusive tasting experiences, accommodations, and events at participating wineries. We are continuing to update the MVP reward lineup and will announce new products in future MVP newsletters.

Not an MVP member yet?

Now is the perfect time to sign up and get rewarded for your adventures in Missouri wine country. Relax on your favorite winery’s patio, or take a day trip to explore a new wine trail. Sign up for MVP today!

Ready to explore Missouri wine country? There are more than 100 wineries across the state that participate in MVP, and many wineries offer spacious indoor and outdoor seating choices for your sipping pleasure – use our interactive map to find a winery near you!

Harvesting - It's Worth the Work

August 27, 2020

When is the right time to harvest?

In general, the prime time for the annual grape harvest falls in the months of August, September and October. The best way to test for maturity of a grape is by tasting them. If the grapes are sweet and flavorful, they are ready to be picked. Winemakers will ensure the varietal flavors show through.

Another way to determine if grapes are ready to be picked is by examining their color. This is, of course, dependent on the type of grape that is grown. Red grape varieties will turn from green to red as they ripen, while the stems and grape seeds turn brown.

Grapes should be picked on a dry day, as wet grapes do not keep as well. Once harvested, they can be stored for several weeks at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity level.

Is hand-harvesting better than machine-harvesting? We’ve got the rundown on the man versus the machine debate.

    

Hand-harvesting means that only hand tools such as knives and shears are used. Once cut, the grapes go into a collection basket and are transported to the winery.

Machine harvesters travel through the vineyard with rods that gently shake the grapes off the vine and catch them in a large reservoir. Machine harvesting was introduced in the 1960s and has become one of the most important advancements in the wine industry.

But, is one method better than the other? At the end of the day, the best technique depends on the winemaker’s goals and circumstances.

Because delicate grapes can be prone to breakage during machine harvesting, many vineyard managers will hand-pick their most valuable grapes. Some wine styles such as late-harvest or ice wine demand manual labor.

What else is measured at harvest time? Brix.

Brix is a way to measure the potential alcohol content of a wine before it is made. This is done by determining the sugar level in grapes. While each gram of sugar that is fermented will result in about one-half gram of alcohol, different techniques used by the winemaker will determine the final alcohol content.

Brix levels are collected in the vineyard before harvest to determine whether the grapes are ready to be picked. Winemakers use a device called a refractometer to crush single grapes from different sections of the vineyard to see which section of grapes are ripening first.

Once the grapes have been pressed, brix levels are collected once again to determine the final sugar content and potential alcohol level of the wine.

Though harvesting grapes takes a lot of time, patience and a tremendous amount of labor, you’ll find that winemakers agree on one thing – it’s always worth the work.

 

 

Unveiling the New Missouri Winery Guide

August 26, 2020

Adventures in Missouri wine country await! Before you embark on your next adventure, why not let Missouri Wines help you navigate our state’s unique wine industry? Check out our latest Missouri Winery Guide, a tool to guide you through scenic and serene wine country.

What can you uncover in the new Missouri Winery Guide? Here’s a smattering of information your guide can provide:

  • A glimpse into Missouri’s extensive wine history and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)
  • Facts and figures outlining the significant economic impact of Missouri’s wine industry
  • Sensory and pairing notes for the award-winning grape varietals of Missouri
  • Overviews of Missouri’s 11 wine trails
  • Winery location and amenity listings to help you plan your excursions in Missouri wine country

Searching for a location to host your next gathering? The newest edition of the Missouri Winery Guide designates wineries with event space on-site. While you’re perusing the pages of the new guide, make sure to take a look at our new 
map, too! With this guide, you have all the tools you need to plan your next visit to Missouri wine country.

How can you get your hands on the latest edition of our trusty guide? Copies are available at a Missouri winery, welcome center, or CVB near you. You can also request a copy of the Missouri Winery Guide, and we’ll have it mailed to you.

It’s a great time to visit Missouri wineries and enjoy our state’s renowned wines. As you’ll see in the pages of the new winery guide, wineries across Missouri have a variety of seating options and outdoor areas to host patrons comfortably. Enjoy fresh air, open space, and the wines you love at a winery near you.

Let the new Missouri Winery Guide be your guide, and we’ll see you in wine country.

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