This September, I had the privilege of traveling to the heart of the Midwest on a Missouri Wine Country trip! You can follow along with this itinerary, or pick and choose a few stops and create your own! Keep reading below to see my 3-day itinerary of Missouri Wine Country.
We started our trip flying into St. Louis Airport. For this trip, getting a rental car is a good idea because you’ll be driving an hour or so each day. Our first destination was a winery in Leasburg, MO which is about an hour drive Southwest of the city.
The first winery we visited was Belmont Vineyards. This is a great place to get lunch! The owners provided us with amazing hospitality and wonderful food and wine to pair it with. We tasted many different wines including a dry rosé, a white blend, a few red blends, and concord.
Normally, I am not at all wing person, but the dry rub style wings here are a MUST try. The spicy ones were my favorite paired with the Edelweiss. The Edelweiss is a sweeter white blend of Vidal Blanc and Valvin Muscat. The flavors of melon and tropical fruit balanced perfectly with the wings. They also had great pizza, salads, spinach and artichoke dip. Definitely end with the bread pudding if you’re in the mood for dessert!
That same day, we were lucky enough to do a cooperage tour of McGinnis Wood Products, known worldwide for our quality white oak barrels. This tour is typically not open to the public, but if it is something you are very interested in learning about, definitely inquire about a private tour. Their barrel factory was very fascinating, and they are family owned withover 50 years of experience.
St. James Winery
After our first tasting and lunch, we got in the car and drove about 20 minutes to St. James Winery. This winery is the largest producer of grapes in Missouri, about 45% of the entire wine market in MO. They are known for their award winning Dry Vignoles 2017 and their fabulous Norton!
Public house is a great option for dinner on your first night. Owned by St. James winery, it is also a brewery and they serve burgers, pizzas and other bar food. Try the trout fritters, a Missouri classic, paired with either a Cream Ale or St. James Seyval.
Where to Stay:
The Holiday Inn, Rolla MO
Meremac Spring Park.
We started our day walking around the beautiful park and seeing the natural spring cave. There is lots to explore at the scenic park. Learn about the history of the area and the cave, feed the trout, and stroll the many acres of beautiful scenery before you start another day of indulgence!
Meremac Vineyards & Winery
This is a great spot for lunch. Start with a tasting to decide what you’d like to sip on with your lunch. We went with the dry rosé and a Chambourcin. Meremac Vineyards & Winery has fresh salads if your looking for something lighter, but they also have burgers, wraps and fun appetizers. If you’re in the mood for dessert, finish with the Belgian waffles and seasonal toppings!
From Meremac Vineyards, get ready for a little drive to Jefferson City. We did an afternoon tour of the Penitentiary which was very interesting and a little creepy! We walked the old prison grounds and saw the cells and the gas chamber.
You could also continue your drive to Columbia. The University of Missouri is located here, and it offers a lively downtown area with great restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and rooftop bars.
Les Bougolais Vineyards
This is a great place to do another tasting and have dinner. They have a tasting room and a separate event space just down the road. Not only do they have an elegant cuisine selection and award winning wines to pair it with, but they also have the best view of the Missouri River. Be sure to catch this at sunset.
I am a big fan of sparkling wine, and Les Bougolais Vineyards creates two different bottles using the traditional method. The Brut made from Vidal Blanc is dry, crisp, with green apple flavors and high acidity. Their Sparkling Rosé made of St. Vincent grapes is dry with strawberry and citrus on the palet.
A few pairing suggestions: try the tenderloin with a Norton or Syrah or enjoy their Chicken with the Chardonel.
Where to Stay:
The Tiger Hotel, downtown Columbia
Double Tree by Hilton with a rooftop bar, downtown Columbia
Start your morning at one of the great coffee shops in downtown Columbia. Grab your caffeine and prepare for a one hour drive to Hermann, MO. This is a quant German town where there are more Bed and Breakfasts per capita than anywhere else in the US. If you are having a romantic getaway, this would be another great city to stay in!
Adam Puchta Winery
Adam Puchta Winery was established in 1855. Currently, it is being run by the 6th and 7th generations! They have a lot of different events that happen throughout the year, including live music and food events. If it’s a hot day and you’re in the mood to switch up your beverage, try their wine slushies. They are always rotating flavors and made with no mixers, all natural ingredients, and their award winning wines!
For the tasting, be sure to try their award winning Dry Vignoles and Signature Port.
Stone Hill Winery
Our last stop on the wine tour, and perhaps one of the more impressive facilities, Stone Hill Winery offered beautiful views of the city of Hermann. With an interesting history, intriguing under ground barrel cellar, and more award winning wines than any other winery in the state, this winery is not one to miss!
I loved their sparkling wine, also produced using the traditional method. Some other ones to try are their Moscato, 2017 Chambourcin, and compare their different Nortons. All award winners!
Feel free to spend another night out in wine country in Hermann, or drive back to St. Charles (right outside of St. Louis) for one last food and wine pairing experience. Put your new Missouri Wine knowledge to use and order some of your favorite MO wines with dinner at the amazing Annie Gunn’s. If you can’t decide, ask for Sommelier and MO wine expert, Glen Bardgett, to help you pick out the best Missouri wine to go with your final dinner!
There are many more wineries in the state to explore! These are just the ones I was able to visit for a long weekend, so a second trip could definitely be made. For more information on Missouri Wine or if you have questions for planning your wine tasting tour, visit https://missouriwine.org/.
Drink MO wine 🙂 Cheers!