Missouri is known for its beautiful landscapes, and one of the best ways to experience them is by visiting the state’s wineries. With over 130 wineries and 11 unique wine trails, Missouri offers plenty of options for wine enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the scenic countryside, taste award-winning wines, and learn about the history of winemaking in the state.
Missouri’s wine industry has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century when German immigrants settled in the region and brought their winemaking traditions with them. Today, Missouri is the second-largest wine-producing state in the Midwest and is home to some of the best wineries in the country. From small family-owned vineyards to large estates, the state’s wineries offer a wide range of experiences for visitors.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a fun weekend getaway, Missouri’s wineries are worth exploring. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. In this article, we will highlight some of the best wineries in Missouri that are worth adding to your itinerary.
Exploring Missouri’s Wine History
Missouri has a rich history when it comes to wine production. In fact, before Napa Valley became famous, Missouri River Valley was the capital of the American wine industry. By the late 1800s, Missouri was producing as much wine as any other state, anchored by the third-largest winery in the world in the town of Hermann. A whopping 2,000,000 gallons of wine were produced per year!
One of the most famous wineries in Missouri is Stone Hill Winery, which produced about 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year by 1870, making it the third-largest producer of wine in the world and the second-largest producer in the U.S. Stone Hill’s wines were becoming world-renowned and won eight gold medals at various World’s Fairs, including in Vienna in 1873.
Augusta, located just west of St. Louis, is a popular destination for wine lovers. It boasts the title of being America’s first designated wine district. The area is known for producing some of the best Norton wines in the world, a grape variety that is native to Missouri.
Hermann is another important wine region in Missouri. The town was founded by German settlers in the mid-1800s, and many of the wineries in the area still have strong ties to their German heritage. Hermannhof Winery remains a namesake for everything Hermann. Incorporated into the vineyard is a farm, a bed & breakfast, a tasting room, and an associated restaurant and distillery. Situated right in town, Hermannhof is the perfect spot to stop for both a history lesson and exposure to some of Missouri’s finest wines.
The Missouri River Valley is home to many wineries, and it is the perfect place to explore the state’s wine history. The area is known for producing a wide variety of wines, including Chardonel, Vignoles, and Traminette. Defiance, Augusta, and St. Genevieve are some of the towns in the area that have a strong wine culture.
The Ozark Highlands region is also home to many wineries. The area is known for producing wines that are unique to Missouri, including the Norton grape. Some of the wineries in the area offer tours and tastings, making it a great place to explore Missouri’s wine history.
Weston, located just north of Kansas City, is another important wine region in Missouri. The town is home to several wineries, including Pirtle Winery, which is known for its port-style wines.
Top Wineries in Missouri
Missouri is home to a thriving wine industry with many exceptional wineries offering unique experiences for wine enthusiasts. In this section, we’ll explore some of the top wineries in Missouri.
Stone Hill Winery
Stone Hill Winery is the oldest winery in Missouri and resides in the picturesque Hermann Wine Country. Their award-winning wines, historic charm, and scenic views make it a popular destination for wine aficionados.
Address: 1110 Stone Hill Hwy, Hermann, MO 65041, United States
St. James Winery
Located in St. James, the St. James Winery is one of Missouri’s largest wineries, producing a wide variety of wines, ranging from sweet to dry. Visitors can enjoy a tasting room experience, tours, and various events held throughout the year.
Address: 540 State Rte B, St James, MO 65559, United States
Set atop the beautiful Osage Ridge, Montelle Winery boasts stunning views of Missouri’s countryside. This winery is known for its quality wines, live music, and delicious dining options at its on-site restaurant.
Address: 201 Montelle Dr, Augusta, MO 63332, United States
Pirtle Winery is situated in the historic town of Weston, offering a cozy, intimate experience for wine lovers. Here, visitors can taste a selection of unique wines, including the winery’s signature meads.
Address: 502 Spring St, Weston, MO 64098, United States
Located in Dutzow, Blumenhof Winery is the ‘Most Awarded All-Missouri Winery,’ specializing in Missouri wines made exclusively from locally-grown grapes. It’s an ideal destination to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the scenic views of the surrounding vineyards.
Address: 13699 South, MO-94, Dutzow, MO 63342, United States
Nestled in the heart of Augusta, Augusta Winery features a diverse range of high-quality, award-winning wines. It is well-known for its friendly atmosphere, vibrant events, and inviting tasting room.
Address: 5601 High St, Augusta, MO 63332, United States
Wenwood Farm Winery
Wenwood Farm Winery, located in the Ozark Highlands, promises a delightful rural experience. This family-operated winery offers a variety of wines crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
Address: 1132 Brick Church Road, County Road 406, Bland, MO 65014, United States
Mount Pleasant Estates
Mount Pleasant Estates is a charming winery in Augusta, featuring a spacious tasting room that offers complimentary tastings of their current-release wines. The winery’s serene atmosphere and impressive views make it an ideal destination for relaxation and enjoyment.
Address: 5634 High St, Augusta, MO 63332, United States
Villa Antonio Winery
Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Villa Antonio Winery offers a mix of gorgeous scenery, flavorful wines, and warm hospitality. This boutique winery features a beautifully landscaped outdoor patio, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine while admiring the stunning views.
Address: 3660 Linhorst Rd, Hillsboro, MO 63050, United States
The Cave Vineyard, located in the picturesque town of Ste. Genevieve offers a unique wine-tasting experience within its natural cave setting. Visitors can explore the history and geology of the area while sampling the winery’s selection of excellent wines.
Address: 21124 Cave Rd, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670, United States
Defiance Ridge Vineyards
Defiance Ridge Vineyards, with its breathtaking views and extensive wine list, provides an unforgettable experience for visitors. In addition to wine tastings, the vineyard hosts various events, including live music and food pairings.
Address: 2711 S Missouri 94, Defiance, MO 63341, United States
Sugar Creek Winery
Nestled in the hills of Augusta, Sugar Creek Winery is known for its distinctive wine offerings and charming ambiance. This family-owned winery is a must-visit for those seeking an authentic, welcoming, and enjoyable wine experience.
Address: 125 Boone Country Ln, Defiance, MO 63341, United States
Crown Valley Winery
Crown Valley Winery, located in the heart of Missouri’s wine country, offers an expansive selection of wines and breathtaking vistas from its observation deck. This winery is a popular spot for events and live music.
Address: 23589 State Rte WW, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670, United States
A few steps away from the historic downtown area of Hermann, Hermannhof Winery provides visitors with an authentic Missouri wine experience. It offers a lineup of award-winning wines and a delightful tasting room experience.
Address: 330 E 1st St, Hermann, MO 65041, United States
Located in the scenic hills of Ste. Genevieve, Chaumette Winery combines exceptional wines with stunning views and luxurious accommodations. Visitors to this winery can enjoy not only the wine tastings but also the on-site spa and various dining options.
Address: 24345 State Rte WW, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670, United States
Wine Tasting Experiences
Missouri is home to over 130 wineries, and each of them offers a unique wine-tasting experience. Visitors can enjoy a variety of grape varieties, including Chambourcin, Norton, Vignoles, Cabernet Sauvignon, Seyval, and Chardonel, among others.
Most wineries in Missouri offer tours that take visitors through the vineyards and the winemaking process. The tours offer an opportunity to learn about the different grape varieties and how they are grown and harvested. Visitors can also learn about the different winemaking techniques used in Missouri and how they affect the taste and quality of the wine.
After the tour, visitors can head to the tasting room, where they can sample different wines and learn about their unique characteristics. Most wineries offer a variety of tasting options, from a simple glass of wine to a full-tasting flight.
Visitors can also purchase a bottle of their favorite wine and enjoy it on the winery’s grounds. Many wineries have beautiful outdoor spaces where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery while sipping on a glass of wine.
One of the most popular grape varieties in Missouri is the Norton grape. This native grape is known for its bold, full-bodied flavor and is often used to make dry red wines. Visitors can sample Norton wines at many Missouri wineries and experience the unique taste of this local grape.
Another grape variety that is popular in Missouri is Vignoles. This grape is used to make a variety of wines, from dry to sweet, and is known for its floral and fruity flavors. Visitors can sample Vignoles wines at many Missouri wineries and experience the unique taste of this local grape.
Unique Features of Missouri Wineries
Missouri wineries offer unique features that make them stand out from other wineries. Here are some of the features that visitors can expect to find:
- Live Music: Many wineries in Missouri offer live music events, providing a fun atmosphere for visitors to enjoy while sipping on their favorite wines.
- Unique Settings: Some wineries in Missouri are located in unique settings, such as a cave or a historic building. These settings provide a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors.
- Cozy Fireplaces: During the colder months, some wineries have cozy fireplaces where visitors can warm up while enjoying a glass of wine.
- Weddings and Parties: Many wineries in Missouri offer wedding and party packages, making them a popular destination for special events.
- Gift Shops: Visitors can take home a piece of Missouri wine country by visiting the gift shops at wineries, which offer wine-related merchandise and souvenirs.
- Beautiful Grounds: Missouri wineries often boast beautiful grounds, with picturesque views of the surrounding landscape.
- Pavilions: Some wineries have pavilions where visitors can relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the shade.
- Lodging: Some wineries offer lodging options, such as bed and breakfasts or cabins, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the wine country experience.
- Vines: Visitors can see the grapes up close by taking a stroll through the vineyards at many Missouri wineries.
- Environmental Consciousness: Many wineries in Missouri are environmentally conscious, using sustainable farming practices and reducing their carbon footprint.
- Downtown Locations: Some wineries are located in downtown areas, making them easily accessible and providing a unique experience for visitors.
- Wine Flights: Visitors can try a variety of wines by ordering a wine flight, which typically includes several small glasses of different wines.
- Blackberry Wines: Missouri is known for its blackberry wines, which are made from the state’s abundant blackberry bushes.
- Unique Experiences: Some wineries offer unique experiences, such as hiking trails or tours of their wine cellars.
- Katy Trail: The Katy Trail, a popular hiking and biking trail in Missouri, passes by several wineries, making them a convenient stop for trail-goers.
- Climate: Missouri’s climate is ideal for growing grapes, with warm summers and mild winters.
- Cellar Tours: Visitors can learn about the wine-making process by taking a tour of the winery’s cellar.
- Holiday-Themed Events: Many wineries in Missouri offer holiday-themed events, such as Christmas markets or Halloween parties, providing fun and festive experiences for visitors.
Planning Your Visit
When planning a visit to the best wineries in Missouri, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable and engaging experience.
First, visitors should plan ahead and do their research. Many wineries require reservations and have limited capacity, so it’s important to check the winery’s website or call ahead to book a spot. It’s also a good idea to research the different wineries in Missouri to find the ones that offer the types of wines and experiences that interest you the most.
When visiting Missouri wineries, it’s helpful to be knowledgeable about the wine-making process and the different types of wines. Many wineries offer tours and tastings that provide a deeper understanding of the wines and the winemaking process. Visitors can also ask questions and engage with the winery staff to learn more about the wines and the history of the winery.
For those looking to make a weekend out of their winery visit, there are several accommodations available in the areas surrounding the wineries. From charming bed and breakfasts to luxurious villas, there are options for every budget and taste.
Some of the best wineries in Missouri are located in the Hillsboro and Dutzow areas, while others can be found in Branson and St. Genevieve. Visitors should consider the location of the wineries they want to visit and plan their trip accordingly.
Dining and Winery Delicacies
Missouri wineries are not only known for their exquisite wines but also for their amazing food offerings. Visitors can indulge in a range of delicacies including sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and more while enjoying the beautiful views of the vineyards.
One of the best places to dine is the Vintage Restaurant at Stone Hill Winery, which serves a variety of dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant offers a range of dishes such as pork chops, salmon, and chicken, paired perfectly with Stone Hill’s award-winning wines. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of sweet treats such as cheesecake, ice cream, and apple pie.
Another popular spot is the Grapevine Grill Restaurant at Adam Puchta Winery, which offers a range of delicious sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. The restaurant also features a deli where visitors can purchase a variety of Missouri-grown grapes, cheeses, and other snacks to enjoy while sipping on Adam Puchta’s signature wines.
Montelle Winery’s scenic location makes it a perfect spot for lunch or dinner. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Missouri River while indulging in a range of delicacies such as shrimp scampi, steak, and pasta. The winery also offers a variety of sweet treats such as chocolate truffles and cheesecake.
Variety of Wines in Missouri
Missouri is home to a variety of wineries that produce a diverse range of wines. From sweet to dry, red to white, and everything in between, there is something for everyone to enjoy. One of the unique aspects of Missouri wineries is their use of Missouri-grown grapes, which gives their wines a distinct and authentic taste.
One of the most popular grape varieties in Missouri is Norton, a native grape that produces a full-bodied red wine with rich fruit flavors and a spicy finish. This grape is unique to Missouri and is often used in blends to add depth and complexity to other wines.
Another popular grape variety in Missouri is Cabernet Sauvignon, a red grape that is known for its bold and complex flavors. Missouri wineries often blend Cabernet Sauvignon with other grape varieties to create unique and flavorful wines.
Seyval is another grape variety that is commonly used in Missouri wineries. This white grape produces a crisp and refreshing wine with citrus and floral notes. It is often used to make sparkling wines and blends well with other grape varieties like Chardonel.
Chardonel is a hybrid grape that is a cross between Chardonnay and Seyval. It produces a medium-bodied white wine with a fruity aroma and a smooth finish. It is a popular grape variety in Missouri and is often used in blends with other grape varieties to create unique and flavorful wines.
Overall, Missouri wineries offer a diverse range of wines that showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of Missouri-grown grapes. Whether you are a fan of sweet or dry wines, red or white, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Missouri wineries.