Behind the Label: Divine Vines

March 28, 2024

Wine has held religious implications for centuries. The ancient Greeks are thought of have domesticated grapevines as far back as 4000 BC and used wine in rituals to honor their gods. Ancient Egyptians relied on Renenutet, the goddess of harvest, to ensure a healthy grape crop. Relics found in tombs dating back to 3000 BC show wine was a key component to religious ceremonies. Some wine historians even suggest Christians may have played a role in the preservation and advancement of the art of winemaking, contributing to the expansion of wine production in new parts of the globe. So, it’s not surprising that a few Missouri wineries pay tribute to their own religious beliefs through their wine labels, names or vineyards. 


Cross J Norton – Stone Hill Winery

cross j norton

The ‘Cross J Norton’ is a special wine for the Held family. Former Stone Hill Winery owner, Jim Held, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer nearly 27 years ago. When Jim was told he had two years to live, he began searching for alternative cures along with the traditional treatment plans. He turned to faith to help him through his illness. As a result of this ‘awakening’, Jim named the vineyard surrounding his family home the ‘Cross J Vineyard’. His son Jon says, “The cross [is] for Christ and the J for himself”. Read more about this special wine here


windy wine



Windy Wine Company 

Looking closely at a Windy Wine Company wine label, you may spot a biblical verse wrapped around the graphic. For example, on the Peanut Butter & Jelly label, you can find John 13:34-35 surrounding the peanut and grape clusters. On the deliciously unique Mango Chili Lime, discover Hebrews 13:2. See if you can find their other hidden verses.


Crying Stone Cuvée Blanc - Wild Sun Winery

The beautiful Wild Sun Winery in Hillsboro, Missouri has an outstanding wine that must be noted. To many, their property is extremcrying stoneely special and calming so they decided to incorporate it into this wine. Starting with barrel-fermented dry white wine, winemaker Mark Baehman says he draws inspiration from Luke 19:40. He further ages the wine upon limestone and sandstone harvested from the Wild Sun property. This laboring process gives the wine a velvety softness and minerality that is uniquely Wild Sun.


Whether it is a hidden verse on the bottle or an amazing story among the grapes, Missouri wine has many stories to tell. 


Disclaimer: The Missouri Department of Agriculture is committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of their religious beliefs. Our blog on religious wines is intended to provide information and insights into the unique aspects of this industry. It is important to note that the content shared on this platform is for educational and informational purposes only. We do not discriminate against individuals based on their religious beliefs, and we encourage respectful and constructive discussions among our readers.

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