Why Appellation Day Matters in Missouri

June 16, 2017

Why Appellation Day Matters in Missouri

Let’s start with what is an appellation. An appellation is a specifically designated wine region. In the U.S. these are called American Viticulture Areas or AVAs. There are five that are in or touch parts of Missouri. But the day we celebrate as Appellation Day, June 20, marks when the first AVA was named in 1980. That region wasn’t Napa or Sonoma, it was Augusta, Missouri. This means a lot to our local wine industry because it recognizes not only the unique soil, climate and overall terroir of the area, but our rich winemaking history and the impact the wine industry has on the culture of our state.

There is a strong sense of place in an appellation. The wine made from grapes grown there takes on the personality of the region. Norton is the official state grape and the most widely grown varietal in Missouri. However, a Norton wine from Augusta and one from the Ozark Highlands or Hermann AVA taste different when compared side by side, and certainly different than Norton wine from another state or country.

Beyond the flavor of the wine, appellation gives a certain pride to the grape growers and wine makers of the respective areas as well. It’s not an easy feat growing quality grapes and making award-winning wines anywhere, but especially in the demanding climate of the Midwest. The dedicated folks of the Missouri wine industry know some things are worth the work. They take pride in where they cultivate their vineyards and craft their wines.

Celebrate Appellation Day by raising a glass to the winemakers, past and present, who make our local wine industry something to be proud of. Cheers!

7 Multitasking MO Wineries That Also Brew Beer

June 15, 2017

Missouri wine county has something for everyone. No, really! With more than 130 wineries to visit throughout the state, there are countless unique experiences to be had. Wine fans have a wide range of styles and sweetness levels to choose from in the tasting rooms of Missouri, but that’s not all. Most wineries also serve beer, usually sourced from local breweries, and some even brew it themselves. Here are seven must-visit wineries that also brew beer…

7 Multitasking MO Wineries That Also Brew Beer

Arcadian Moon Winery & Brewery in Higginsville is the first brewery in Lafayette Country in nearly a century. They have a variety of beers to enjoy ranging from porter to pale ale and update their offerings seasonally.

Bias Vineyards and Winery in New Haven is also home to Gruhlke’s Microbrewery, named for the “German gnome who shares his secret formulas for great microbrewed beer.” It was the first winery in Missouri and second in the nation to operate as both a winery and brewery.

Cave Vineyard in Ste. Genevieve is home to several beers under the S.I.L.’s moniker which stands for sons-in-law. The family joke is that the sons-in-law of the owner have found a way to fund their hobby.  Currently, they have three brews available by the bottle, but occasionally, they brew up something fun to put on tap.

Charleville Vineyard Winery & Brewery in Ste. Genevieve has seen great success with their brewery, recently opening an additional location for the brewery in St. Louis. They recently brewed batch #1 in St. Louis while batch #1000 brewed in Ste. Genevieve. The views at the winery and brewery location in Ste. Genevieve are hard to beat though.

Crown Valley Winery, Brewery & Distillery in Ste. Genevieve offers a plethora of tasting options. They make a wide range of wines, including sparkling, while their brewmaster produces beer made in a state-of-the-art 15-barrel microbrewery. Their Fizzy Izzy root beer has its own devoted fans as well. 

Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard in Potosi now has Edg-Clif Brewing Company on site offering a selection of six different beers on draft to try or take home in a growler. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle, the wide-open spaces on Edg-Clif’s century farm is perfect for you.

Steele Crest Winery and Microbrewery sits on five acres in Jackson near Cape Girardeau. The winery and newly expanded brewery features ample indoor and outdoor seating. Plus, who can resist wood-fired pizza to go with their wine or beer?


Wineries that are closely partnered with breweries:

7 Multitasking MO Wineries That Also Brew Beer

St. James Winery and Public House Brewery have partnered up to offer award-winning wine and beer as well as delicious food at the Public House Taproom in St. James, next to the winery. The Gardens is a welcoming outdoor space where you can enjoy the best of both worlds (wine and beer), yard games, and fire pits.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport works closely with Broadway Brewery of Columbia which utilizes space at the winery to brew. You can enjoy their beers at the newly expanded tasting room or overlooking the Missouri River at the A-Frame or Bistro.

Whether you’re a wine fan, a beer connoisseur, or you like both, Missouri wine country has plenty to offer. Get out and enjoy!

Bright and Light Fish with Vidal Blanc

June 13, 2017

Bright and Light Fish with Vidal Blanc

The warmer temperatures of summer make heavy, rich foods less appealing. Light, bright dishes with fresh ingredients sound much more appetizing. This recipe is ideal for a simple, delicious main course. The crisp Vidal Blanc adds a wonderful flavor to the sauce and pairs nicely alongside the finished meal. A side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad is perfect.

White Fish with Herbed Vidal Blanc and Lemon Sauce Recipe


1 medium Shallot

1 cup         Missouri Vidal Blanc wine (dry, crisp white wine)

2                Lemons

6 tbsp        Unsalted butter

¼ cup         Capers

1 tsp          Salt

½ tsp         Black pepper

½ cup         Mixed fresh herbs (Examples: parsley, thyme, dill, tarragon, chervil)

4                White fish fillets, approximately 6 oz. each (Examples: cod, tilapia, catfish)         

Bright and Light Fish with Vidal Blanc


Finely chop the shallot and set aside. Juice one of the lemons and slice the other into rounds. Roughly chop the capers and herbs, separately and set aside. Cut butter into small pieced. Once all of your ingredients are prepared, you’re ready to begin.

In a small skillet, combine the shallot, lemon juice and wine over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, capers, a pinch of the salt and pepper and most of the herbs. Once mixed, set aside on low heat to keep warm.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add three tablespoons of the sauce you just made. Season both sides of each fish fillet with the remaining salt and pepper. Arrange the fish and lemon slices in the skillet and sprinkle with half of the remaining herbs. Cook the fish until fillets are golden on one side, approximately four minutes. Turn the fish, sprinkle with the last of the fresh herbs, and cook until done all the way through, approximately three more minutes. Serve the fish with lemon slices and top with the rest of the sauce.

Bright and Light Fish with Vidal Blanc

This is a light but satisfying meal with paired with steamed vegetables or a side salad and of course a glass of Missouri Vidal Blanc wine. Enjoy! 

Missouri’s Own Mobile Bottling Operation

June 08, 2017

Old Woolam Custom Bottling - Bottles lined up on their way to be filled.

Old Woolam Custom Bottling is a fully automated bottling plant that drives right to a winery’s door. Missouri is home to 130+ wineries, ranging from very small operations to large-scale production, and everything in between. Purchasing and running a bottling line is pricey and Old Woolam gives wineries another option.

“I want to make the industry better, wineries better. When you open a good bottle of wine, everyone wins,” said Brent Baker, owner and operator of Old Woolam Custom Bottling. “I want to help improve the local wine industry by giving the smaller wineries the tools to properly and cost effectively bottle their wines.”

When wine goes into the bottle, it’s the culmination of months and sometimes years’ worth of work, and everything has to be just right. According to Brent, “From the bottler’s standpoint it’s all about the sanitation side of things. From the winery’s aspect, it’s about getting the wine into the bottle properly, which in most cases consists of having the wine properly filtered and completely stable, or what we would call ‘bottle ready’.  There is a lot of planning that goes into getting wines ready to bottle.”

Old Woolam Custom Bottling - filling

Brent steams all parts of the filler that the wine will touch at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minuets to ensure a sterile environment for the wine, reaching sterility levels that are very difficult to reach with hand fillers. The automated process the mobile bottling line offers to wineries adds a great deal of care for the wine during the final bottling process. Automated bottle rinsing, sparging (adding nitrogen, an inert gas, to the bottle to limit oxygen) before and after filling, and vacuum corking all work together to reduce oxygen in the wine. Too much oxygen can ruin wine very quickly and irreversibly. Automation also gives the bottles a very consistent finish as it relates to fill level, as well as capsule and label application.

The mobile bottling line travels all over the state and region, providing a valuable service to local wineries and supporting the continued growth and quality of the area’s wine industry. An average day for Old Woolam Custom Bottling results in 600-1,000 cases of wine, but Brent has bottled as many as 1,600 cases in a day. “That makes for a very long day,” he says.

Old Woolam Bottling - Corking and Capsules

When asked what is the best part of operating a unique business like this, Brent exclaims, “The people I get to bottle for!” One of the best things about the Missouri wine industry is the people. You’ll find passion for the art of winemaking everywhere you go. Brent Baker, along with the rest of Missouri’s wine industry, know that some things are worth the work!

Brent Baker of Old Woolam Custom Bottling

Vidal Blanc is Sunshine in a Glass

June 06, 2017

June is Vidal Blanc Month in Missouri wine country! June has been designated as Vidal Blanc Month in Missouri wine country, and there’s plenty to celebrate! Take a sip of sunshine with Missouri Vidal Blanc. This white wine is crisp and refreshing, making it the perfect way to usher in the summer season.

Vidal Blanc is a French-American Hybrid grape and is a favorite with local winemakers because of its hardiness. As any Missourian can attest, the weather in the Show Me State can be a bit demanding with cold winters and hot, humid summers. Vidal Blanc grapes do well in our climate, accounting for 139.4 acres and 8.2% of all the grapes grown in the state.

Vidal Blanc’s versatility is another reason it’s so popular with winemakers and consumers. You’ll find award-winning wines made from Vidal Blanc in many styles ranging from crisp and refreshing dry white wines, to effervescent sparkling wines, to decadent and luscious late harvest dessert wines. We encourage you to take Vidal Blanc Month as an opportunity to seek out this delicious varietal and discover your favorite style.

Vidal Blanc Infographic

Vidal Blanc smells like a fresh summer garden and has refreshing flavors of apple and citrus. It’s delicious on its own, but also pairs well with seasonal favorites like seafood, salad and the fresh flavors of basil and citrus.

Wineries around the state (There are more than 130 now!) will be celebrating Vidal Blanc Month throughout June with wine releases, featured tastings, special events and much more. Head out to Missouri wine country and enjoy some sunshine in a glass! 

Backyard Vine & Wine, LLC

Backyard is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in the Northwest corner of Missouri just outside of Maryville. They broke ground in the spring of 2008, planting the first grapevine after transforming a shallow valley of tangled trees into a beautiful acreage with three ponds intertwining five acres of vines. They offer a variety of wines, with their varietal wines being produced from vines on the property and ranging from sweet to dry. Guests may enjoy their wines outdoors with beautiful country views or in the tasting room built from wood on the property.


Soak in the Sun on a Missouri Winery Patio

June 01, 2017

Soak in the Sun on a Missouri Winery Patio

Missouri wineries are home to some of the most relaxing patios with breathtaking views that range from seemingly endless rows of vineyards, to the Missouri river, to miles of hills and valleys. If you’re looking to get away and enjoy the beauty of the Show Me State, a patio in local wine country is the place to be. Here are some tips for the perfect patio adventure.

Picnic: Many Missouri wineries allow you to bring in food. Picnic on the patio? Yes, please! Be sure to check with the winery first, and while many allow food, none allow outside beverages, unsurprisingly.

Sun protection: You’ll find everything from gazebos, to pavilions, to umbrellas on the patios in Missouri wine country, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be in shade the whole visit. Remember your shades and sunscreen. Red wine is great, red skin… not so much.

BYO-non-breakable glass: The majority of wineries have glassware for you to use, some require a deposit, some don’t, but you can always opt to bring your own wine “glass”. There are double-walled wine glasses that will help keep your vino cold, and even some with lids, which can be handy when sipping outside.

Tunes: If you’re a live music fan, you’re in luck. Several Missouri wineries have live music on the weekends during the summer and fall months. Be sure to check Missouri Wine’s event calendar for dates and times.

Posse: Don’t forget your friends, or family, or co-workers! A day spent unwinding on a winery patio is best enjoyed together.

Patio weather is here and Missouri wine country is waiting!

Celebrate Doughnut Day with Missouri Wines

May 31, 2017

Doughnuts are delicious on their own, but even better with MO wine!

Any reason is a good reason to enjoy a doughnut, but a great reason is National Doughnut Day on Friday, June 2. Head out to your local doughnut shop where it smells amazing and tastes even better to pick up a sweet treat. It was a real sacrifice, but we tasted all the old favorites and new classics to find out which Missouri wine paired best. Use this guide for a decadently delicious doughnut and wine pairing experience!

Pairing doughnuts and Missouri wines!

The delicious doughnuts pictured are from Harold's Doughnuts, a locally-owned shop in Columbia, MO. 

Soundtrack to Summer Sipping

May 25, 2017

Soundtrack to Summer Sipping - Live Music in Missouri Wine Country

There is something about music being performed live that transcends genre. Perhaps it’s the storytelling component or the sense of community when everyone is gathered around to listen. Whatever the reason, it only adds to the wonderful atmosphere you’ll find at Missouri wineries. There are more than 130 wineries in the Show Me State and many of them feature live music.

The best time to find live music at area wineries is weekend afternoons. While some wineries host live music year-round, the number greatly jumps from May to October. So, head on out to wine country and enjoy some tunes while you sip on award-winning wine.

The best places to check for details on the music lineup is our events calendar and winery websites or facebook pages. You can find a list of all the wineries in the state and links to their websites here.

Here’s a list of 35 wineries that feature live music regularly to get you started.

  • 7C's Winery
  • Adam Puchta Winery 
  • Apple Creek Vineyard & Winery
  • Arcadian Moon
  • Augusta Winery
  • Baltimore Bend Vineyard
  • Blumenhof Winery
  • Bushwhacker Bend Winery
  • Cave Hollow West Winery
  • Chaumette Vineyards & Winery
  • Delaney Vineyards
  • Edg-Clif Winery
  • Endless Summer Winery
  • Hemman Winery
  • Hermannhof Winery
  • Jowler Creek Winery
  • Ladoga Ridge Winery
  • Lost Creek Vineyard
  • Montelle Winery
  • Montserrat Vineyards
  • Mount Pleasant Estates
  • Noboleis Vineyards
  • OOVVDA Winery
  • Riverwood Winery
  • Röbller Vineyard
  • Sand Creek Vineyard
  • Serenity Valley Winery
  • Stone Hill Winery
  • The Barrens Winery
  • Tipple Hill Winery
  • Van Till Family Farm Winery
  • Vance Vineyards & Winery
  • Wenwood Farm Winery
  • Weston Wine Company
  • White Mule Winery

Soak in the fresh air, delicious wine and live music in Missouri wine country. What are you waiting for?

[Photo credit: CoffeeWalkStudios

Invite MO Wine to Your Next BBQ

May 23, 2017

Invite Missouri Wine to Your Next BBQThe sun is shining, the grill is going, and the conversation and laughter are the soundtrack… it’s a BBQ, and it’s a great way to spend a summer day! Invite Missouri wine along to your next BBQ; it is a great guest with a lot to add to the fun.

Marinades and MO Wine: A well-made marinade can amp up the flavor of whatever you plan to throw on the grill, whether it’s meat, seafood or veggies. Wine is a great addition to any marinade. Learn how to make a great marinade here

BBQ Sauces Made with MO Wine: For many of us good BBQ is all about the sauce. Are you a fan of the more traditional tomato-based sauces? If so, this Norton Barbecue Sauce recipe is a must-try! It’s easy to make and keeps well, so make a batch to use throughout the summer season. If you prefer the more tangy, mustard-style sauce, try this Vidal Blanc Mustard Barbecue Sauce recipe for a real treat.

MO Wine and BBQ Pairings: There are so many delicious styles of barbecue, and they only get better when paired with the perfect local wine. Here’s a guide to get you started, but remember… the best wine is the wine you like, so try out your own match ups to find your favorite.

  • Spicy BBQ + Concord
  • Sweet or Mustard-y BBQ + Catawba
  • Savory, Rich BBQ + Norton
  • Hamburgers + Chambourcin
  • Hot Dogs + Catawba
  • Brats, Sausage + Traminette
  • Grilled Veggies + Chardonel

Build the Best Sangria for Your BBQ: Sangria is a great summer sipper, you can use this guide to fine tune your ideal sangria recipe that’s sure to please at your next get together.

Happy BBQ season and cheers to warmer weather and good times with great people! 

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