Power in diversification

May 31, 2022

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Even prior to Missouri gaining statehood, agriculturalists across the state utilized diversification as a business tactic for success. Incorporating other forms of production ensures fluid income for small businesses as the economy ebbs and flows. The heritage found in Missouri’s wine industry easily mirrors the state’s beef industry. They also complement flavors with beef being a staple in pairings for Missouri-grown wine varietals. As Beef Month is wrapping up, we wanted to share a few diversified wineries that produce beef, as well as market and sell it on their menus and in their tasting rooms.

White Mule Winery – Owensville, Missouri

Charlie and Karen Schlottach have been raising cattle on their century farm in Owensville, Missouri for many years prior to opening White Mule Winery. Their cow-calf beef operation consists of around 200 head of crossbred cattle with an emphasis on steers that are grass-fed and grain finished. The presence of marbling in their meat is a priority, making their Hereford and Black Angus cattle crossbreds a great fit for the hand selected steers they feed out. They also keep their high-quality selection of replacement females from calves produced each year. Their son Gus assists with the family beef business but also runs Lyon Country Meats. His USDA inspected processing plant serves a variety of customers by offering custom processing, as well as retail and wholesale pork and beef products. Gus, who serves as the winemaker at White Mule Winery, brings this quality meat to the winery menu, making pairings easy for date night or family dinners. Every Friday and Saturday night, locals and visitors enjoy their open fire grilled steak. Saturday night’s menu also includes burgers and beef kabobs. Roast beef is served on Sunday along with their famous pan-fried chicken. Beef steaks and burger are available for sale at the winery as well. The Schlottach’s take pride in their family businesses and believe their winery, beef operation and meat processing market all bring the best out of each other. Sustainability has increased by using manure as fertilizer on hay fields and vineyards. This family farm has been able to sustain for many years from utilizing diversified practices. It is evident that Gus sees the same potential, hoping for the farm and White Mule Winery to sustain for years to come.

Windy Wine Company – Osborn, Missouri

The Keesaman family has been raising registered livestock for more than 50 years on their family’s Century Farm. Ken began their herd of Red Angus cattle in the 1970s. It has expanded into a large cow-calf operation with around 400 head. Windy Wine Company has been a newer addition to the family operation but is certainly just as celebrated as their cattle. While attending college, Kraig approached his father, Ken, about returning to the family farm, but adding a new business into the mix. At the time, Kraig was working at a winery and wanted to bring his skill and craft into creating a winery of his own. Although Kraig grew up around beef cattle, he wanted to explore something different and saw winemaking as the challenge he needed. Ken agreed to adding the winery to the family farm, as long as there was a red wine that featured their breed, hence their Norton named Angus Red. The winery sits on land acquired by Kraig’s great grandfather in 1881. Beef sticks and summer sausage are just a couple offerings guests can purchase to enjoy at the winery. Packaged meat can be purchased to prepare at home as well. Kraig hopes to expand the menu to include burgers and other beef-based dishes for guests to enjoy in the future. KK Farms Meats processes all of their products at USDA inspected facilities and are processed under the same name as their private label. Kraig’s brother Kody and his son Kolton work with Ken full-time on their beef operation. They take pride in their beef genetics and sell registered Red Angus breeding stock to other beef producers nationwide. Ken has often delivered a few bottles of Angus Red while delivering bulls to customers. Kraig enjoys how the winery and beef operation work in sync, providing fluidity between different customers and potential opportunities. Sustainability is used as every chance, as it improves each side of their business. Pairing his beef and Missouri wine varietals is easy to do for Kraig. By adding the winery, he hopes to continue the vitality of his family farm for years to come.

Westphalia Winery – Westphalia, Missouri

Terry and Mary Neuner are well-known for their Wagyu cattle and wine. In addition to owning and operating Westphalia Winery, they also operate Maries River Wagyu. The Neuners were some of the first beef producers to raise the breed in the state. Terry has more than 20 years of experience with Wagyu and still craves new experiences and learning more about how to keep improving as a cattleman. Wagyu beef has high marbling characteristics and is viewed as a premium beef product around the world. The Neuners had the foresight to see what this beef breed would become to consumers. Scott Berhorst helps manage the beef operation and vineyard from day to day. Terry and Scott take cattle to market each week to be processed at a USDA inspected facility and generated into packaged beef offerings such as steaks and burger. This premium product is enjoyed by locals and others who seek the high-quality meat produced by the Neuners. It is offered to purchase in their tasting room and also ordered online.  Terry takes pride in producing things the right way and believes it is evident in the quality his businesses produce. Their award-winning wines pair easily with beef but experience one of the best pairings by enjoying it alongside a cut of Maries River Wagyu beef. Read more about the winery here.

Explore the bountiful options of high-quality beef and wine throughout the state of Missouri. Share your findings with us on social media by tagging #missouriwine and @missouriwine.