Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Show Me State Wines

A few months back, we took the opportunity of a longer weekend to knock off two birds with one stone. Our son Munchkin has been agitating (for some unknown reason) to visit St Louis, and, since we hadn't been there as a family, we decided the time was nigh. At the same time, we could continue our 50 states project, visiting a winery in each state - this would be our 6th!

Missouri Wines

Facts from Missouri Wines:
The Missouri wine industry has more than 100 wineries, most near one of the state’s larger metro areas. There are 4 American Viticultural Areas (Missouri
 is actually 
home 
to 
the 
country's 
first 
designated 
AVA) and 9 wine trails.
At the Wine Tourism Conference in Portland, we conferred with Danene Beedle, Marketing Director for the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, on which wineries to visit. Since they had to be as close as possible to St Louis, we finally narrowed it down to 2 wineries, Noboleis and Montelle.

Our first stop, Noboleis, was situated in a gorgeous setting, on and among rolling hills. Open daily, this estate vineyard and winery is near Augusta, about an hour or so outside of St Louis. While the setting is flat-out gorgeous, the tasting room and winery are very simple in design and scope. Along with wine tasting, the winery offers food. Live music is on tap most weekends. They offer about 10 wines from blush to red, made from hybrid grape varietals, with a flavor and quality on par with the other wines we've tasted from Missouri.

Our second stop, Montelle, is actually closer to St Louis by a small bit, but we opted to go to the furthest point and then work our way back (much easier with small children). As simple and small as the Noboleis facilities are, Montelle Winery does things on a much grander scale, with a large tasting room, store, and deli inside, and endless decks with tables and seating wrapping around most of the building. The views are quite breathtaking, a surprise to us - we had never thought of Missouri as having much elevation change before visiting this area. Open daily, Montelle offers as many as 20 wines (made mostly from hybrids, but some vinifera and fruit as well), along with spirits. The one negative is that there are no vineyards to be seen, taking away, in my opinion, a bit of charm that vineyards can impart.

Wine video of Noboleis and Montelle

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