September 12, 2023
Every stroke of Beth Dale’s paintbrush tells a story as she creates the artwork that graces Dale Hollow Winery’s wine labels. In the case of the 2023 People’s Choice award-winning label — Dale Hollow Winery’s Catawba — Beth’s brush told of the pink hues of Catawba grapes, the light feeling of a sweet rosé and the Dale family tradition of feeding hummingbirds passing through mid-Missouri. Most importantly, every bottle of Dale Hollow wines tells the story of a family working together to offer patrons a sip of Stover, Missouri.
“We want our labels to tell a story. All wineries have some kind of story, and ours is about a family making wine in a small community we have lived in and loved going back multiple generations (to the 1800s),” Jesse Dale says.
Dale Hollow started on a whim with a casual conversation between brothers Jesse and Asher Dale in a garden. Both brothers had struck out after college but were looking to return to Missouri to start families and put down roots of their own. Their quaint hometown seemed the perfect place — as their grandfather said, “Why would you want to live anywhere else?”
So, a decade ago, the Dale brothers, with the support of their partners, Katy and Ana, and parents, Kenny and Beth, planted 1,000 grape vines on five acres of land, which the duo’s grandparents had purchased in the 1950s. The siblings returning home to the quaint countryside to work side-by-side was Beth’s dream and the inspiration for the name.
“When Asher and I were kids, probably age 5-8, Mom told us she wanted us to live as close as possible, and we could all be in one place and have a little wooden sign at the end of the driveway that says, ‘Dale Hollow,’’ Jesse recalls.
Since breaking the ground to plant their very first grapevine, Dale Hollow Winery has been a family affair. Katy’s ability to smell and taste subtle notes and flavors during the finishing and blending process, combined with Asher’s knack for chemistry, makes them a dynamic wine-making duo. Kenny manages the 3,000-vine, 10-acre vineyard. Both retired from their respective careers, he and Beth often welcome guests to the winery and tell them the story of Dale Hollow. This works great for new visitors to the winery and the Dale family. Jesse, Katy, Asher and Ana juggle working full-time and raising young families with the winery. Yet, the entire family makes every decision at Dale Hollow.
“We are a family winery from start to finish, and it’s evident in the entire vine-to-wine process. We all planted the first vines together, we pick and prune together and try to make business decisions as a family,” Jesse says.
Even the artwork for the labels is a family decision. While Beth is the resident artist, the Dale family provides her inspiration. In the case of the winning Catawba label, her daughter-in-law Katy saw Beth’s original hummingbird painting hanging on the wall and knew it would be the perfect choice. So, the pair worked together to highlight Beth’s artwork. Beth puts the family’s ideas to paper with strokes of a brush, and Katy digitizes the original artwork with strokes on a keyboard before they collaborate on the final logo design and choosing the perfect paper to print it on. When the label was finished, the family agreed it reflected their estate-crafted Catawba.
“Our Catawba showcases the classic flavors of this native, sweet rosé: red berries and watermelon candy. It’s fruit-forward and has a medium body with a crisp finish,” Katy says.
While the Dale family loves the fact the label features the natural beauty of Missouri wildlife, especially the adored hummingbird — one of the only birds that don’t eat grapes — they’re delighted Missouri wine enthusiasts chose the label for the award.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Beth says. “We tell anyone who comes to the winery that we couldn’t do what we do and share our passion without the loyalty of our customers. We feel like winning a People’s Choice is a testament to that loyalty, and we can’t thank them all enough.”
Jesse adds that the family gives credit to Beth’s artistry. “She found an outlet for her talent that people can enjoy on wine that we all make together.”
Regardless of awards and accolades, the Dale family’s commitment to Missouri wines can be simply summed up by saying they’re passionate. They’re passionate about the vineyard sitting on family land, the wine they create, the experience patrons have in the tasting room, and sharing the story of Missouri wines with others.
“We like to visit with people and tell them the story firsthand in the tasting room where you can sit on the patio and overlook the vineyards that are so dear to us,” Jesse says. “We love that people enjoy the labels and the story, and when you are looking for wine for a special occasion, a gift or simply to enjoy at the end of the day, please remember your local wineries who work tirelessly year-round to get wine from the vine to the bottle.”