Winery Visit Suggestions for St. Louis & Kansas City?
In a few weeks we'll be driving out west and will have a day or so layover each in St. Louis and Kansas City. I'd like to visit a few wineries in each area and would welcome suggestions. In the Kansas City area we have one must -- Holy-Field Winery in Basehor -- because it's owned by a close friend's uncle. Other than that, we're open. What are our best choices? (Nice or interesting settings/views/ambience get points, along with good wines.) Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
You might stop here for lunch and a tasting it is along your route and the view is amazing from The Bistro, I like their wines and the food was good.
I would give Holy-Fields a call and ask about other wineries. The only other one I am aware of in the city is
There is a tasting room at The Legends (on your way to Holy-Field) for Wildwood a lot of their wines are made from elderberries, sounds odd, but worth trying. They do make some grape wines. I think Holy Field has a pretty good Norton, always enjoy visiting there. I would also agree with the tour of Blvd Brewing, but you need to make reservations in advance.
Thanks -- Les Bourgeois looks like an excellent idea for lunch along the way. And thanks for you other ideas as well. We are in Pittsburgh now for a nephew's wedding tomorrow. We'll be heading out Sunday and have made plans to spend Monday and Tuesday nights in Augusta -- from which we'll also travel to Hermann. Wednesday morning we'll head to KC, and this sounds like a perfect lunch stop.
I authored a special "Wine Wheel" for the state of Missouri. I would concentrate on the whites. The reds are interesting but I think the whites are very Alsatian and the most interesting. Go to my website and email me your info. and I can mail you a Wine Wheel® for exploring the world of non-Vinifera wines. The link of http://www.missouriwine.org/default.htm will also get you going in the right direction.
Mount Pleasant Winery has done a good job with their Port over the years, also made from the Norton grape (vitis aestivalis). Mount Pleasant is in Augusta (where the first American AVA was established), a short ways east of Hermann, Missouri, where most of the Missouri wineries are.
The usual disclaimer applies: It's not like Oporto port, but it's a good job, and has won a few international awards over the years. It used to be Missouri's only world-class wine.
Some of the Vignoles (white wine) from the area is OK. Ranges from dry to sweet.
That's pretty country where those vineyards are, high up on the hills overlooking the Missouri River. I used to take my convertible out on the backroads around there when I was a wild young girl in my 20s -- and got into a manageable amount of trouble.
Great history there, too. Missouri's vitis labrusca rootstock, resistant to phylloxera, was used in the 1870s as the grafting base for France's vitis vinifera varieties after those vineyards were wiped out by phylloxera.
Here's a link to a recent New York Times article on Missouri wine country:
“A Rhineland Village on the Missouri”
There are some 70 wineries in Missouri, but who you should visit all depends upon what kind of wines you like . . . and how far OUTSIDE of St. Louis and/or Kansas City you feel like driving.
Your best bet is to look at http://www.missouriwine.org/default.htm -- and click on "Wine Trails" for a map of where the wineries are located. Under "Wineries" are links to the individual wineries themselves. Also, you can go to http://www.missouriwinecountry.com/ (a more tourist/travel oriented site) and click on "Regions" for maps, etc.
One of the best wineries in Missouri is Stone HIll (not to be confused with Stony HIll in California). I think they produce the best Norton in the US, and they have solid quality across the board. The winery itself is in Hermann, which isn't TOO far from St. Louis, but they also (apparently) have a tasting room just off I-70 . . . http://www.StoneHillWinery.com/
Only a slight detour from a wine tour -- In St. Louis, definitely take the tour of the Anheiser-Busch brewery just S/W of downtown and the stadium. Surprisingly informative and fun -- the tour leaders know their schtick -- and free samples at the end. Go there while you can -- this St. Louis institution appears that it might be an entirely different brewery in the near future.