Your summer guide to wine country within reach of St. Louis
The summer of 2020 will likely be different from years past for almost everyone. With many international travel bans still in place and COVID cases on the rise in some states, you may be feeling at a loss if your plans have been postponed or canceled.
Luckily, the bi-state area has plenty of wineries and acres upon acres of gorgeous vineyards. So convene with your people (and a designated driver) and head out of the city for a road trip to some of these amazing spots.
Missouri Wine Trail
Itching to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful outdoors? Consider an afternoon at a Missouri winery. Many in the region offer spectacular views from their patios, along with delicious award-winning wine produced from local vineyards. Pack a picnic basket or enjoy a meal from their on-site bistros. Missouri wineries offer something for everyone as several also brew their own beer. Learn more at missouriwine.org and plan your Missouri Wine Country visit today.
Augusta Wine Trail
Experience a piece of Historic Wine Country when you visit one of the wineries that make up the Augusta Wine Trail. The four wineries – Montelle Winery, Augusta Winery, Noboleis Vineyards and Balducci Vineyards – are part of the Augusta American Viticulturural Area (AVA), which designated this grape-growing area as America's first wine district. Celebrating 40 years as a historic area in winemaking, here you will find handcrafted wines made from grapes grown in the fertile soil of Augusta Wine Country. Take a drive down beautiful MO Hwy. 94 to the quaint town of Augusta nestled in the rolling hills of vineyards and visit the inviting tasting rooms of these four wineries for an authentic experience like no other. augustawinetrail.com
This family-owned vineyard on 76 acres of beautiful vistas has been in business for 20 years, and the Balducci family has been in the restaurant industry for 45 years. Balducci has been voted favorite winery for the past 14 years by a local readers poll, and the winery also boasts numerous award-winning wines featuring Missouri-grown grapes. There’s live entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays from April to November, and the bocce ball court is open whenever weather allows. Don’t miss the craft beer options aplenty, along with amazing food like sandwiches, pizzas, salads and finger food like soft pretzels and toasted ravioli. Visit the website for hours and directions.
6601 S. Hwy. 91, Augusta, 636.482.8466, balduccivineyards.com
Situated on 84 acres in the first designated AVA in the country, Noboleis Vineyards offers panoramic views of the historic, rolling hills of Augusta, Missouri. Grab a bottle of one of their award-winning wines grown in the region and produced right on property. Nosh on pizza and appetizers or pack your own picnic basket to enjoy on the lawn or under the tented pavilion. Live music every Saturday and Sunday from April through October adds to the beautiful atmosphere created at Noboleis, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays.
100 Hemsath Road, Augusta, 636.482.4500, noboleisvineyards.com
Located just 30 minutes from South St. Louis County, this family-owned winery offers unique, European-style wines produced with new experimental varieties of grapes, like Crimson Cabernet and Dore, grown at LaChance. The vibrant, medium-bodied 2018 Cabernet Dore offers green, fruity aromas and flavors of papaya-melon relish, wintergreen and holly, while the 2017 Crimson Cabernet boasts savory, toasty aromas of marinated mulberries and beets, chocolate, cherries and smoked nuts. Head to the full on-site restaurant for lunch and dinner, with popular items like pork tenderloin, filet mignon, sea scallops and more. There’s also live music every Friday evening, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons. You can also check out the newly opened second location, LaChance Winery of Kimmswick, in historic Kimmswick.
12237 Peter Moore Lane, De Soto, 636.586.2777, lachancevineyards.com
Chandler Hill Vineyards
Idyllically situated on a hilltop at the entrance to Missouri Wine Country, Chandler Hill is a Midwest winery like no other. From the tasting room to the 5,000-square-foot deck overlooking vineyards, a spring-fed lake, rolling hills and the inspiring Osage Valley teeming with wildlife, Chandler Hill is an enchanting year-round destination. Enjoy meals on-site, wine tastings, special festivities and events, as well as weekly live music and dinner service every Wednesday evening. (There’s a full kitchen, so no outside food and beverages.) Chandler Hill is an ideal spot to host a private party, from weddings to birthdays, accommodating groups from 10 to 300. The family-friendly establishment, open six days a week and closed on Mondays, also allows dogs outside on the deck and in the vineyards.
596 Defiance Road, Defiance, 636.798.2675, chandlerhillvineyards.com
Defiance Ridge Vineyards
Nestled in 42 sprawling acres of vineyards, lush gardens and a tranquil lake just 30 minutes west of St. Louis in the hills of Historic Missouri Wine Country, Defiance Ridge offers vineyard-to-table cuisine, live music and succulent estate wines, as well as exclusive varietals from the West Coast. The winery is open seven days a week year-round. Looking to host your next private event? Defiance Ridge is also the perfect spot for weddings, private parties and corporate outings. The facility offers a spacious layout featuring a wide array of options for guests of all sizes.
2711 S. MO. 94, Defiance, 636.798.2288, defianceridgevineyards.com
Grafton Winery & Brewhaus
Located at the Confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, the Grafton Winery & Brewhaus features two large patios with relaxing river views. Watch the boaters go by while sipping award-winning Grafton winery wines. There’s a full menu and live music every Saturday and Sunday, offering a relaxing and memorable experience. They are the only production winery in Grafton and also make their own microbrews downstairs for the avid beer drinker. The winery is within walking distance from many amazing bed and breakfasts in Grafton if you’re looking to enjoy a fun-filled weekend. And the vineyards are just 3 miles away, boasting a 5,000-square-foot pavilion for weddings and corporate events. Located next to Eckert’s Farm in Grafton, it’s the perfect, quaint wine country experience.
300 W. Main St., Grafton, 618.786.3001, thegraftonwinery.com
Martin Brothers Winery
Located south of Hermann just off the Hermann Wine Trail, Martin Brothers Winery specializes in producing mead – a wine made entirely of honey – and is one of only a handful that specialize in mead worldwide. The Martin Brothers have been honored with numerous awards, including Best Traditional Mead at the World Mead Challenge. Wine flight offerings are new this year, as well as tableside tasting experiences that you can reserve online. A tasting staff member walks you through the process to highlight the unique characters of each wine. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy some mead on the spacious hillside or in the sunflower fields (seasonal). If you’re looking to experience something new this summer, try Martin Brothers mead.
1623 Old Iron Road, Hermann, 573.486.0236, martinbrotherswinery.com
Villa Antonio Winery
Take a quick trip away from busy city life and head to Villa Antonio Winery in Hillsboro, only 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Headed by owners hailing from Italy, Villa Antonio is Italian-inspired and offers guests a chance to explore gorgeous grounds featuring vineyards and a lake. There’s plenty of seating between a large tent, a pavilion, a patio and the lawn, but guests are welcome to bring chairs or a picnic blanket. All wines and beers are crafted on site, and guests can also indulge in classic Italian or American food with items like pastas, burgers, salads and pastries. The winery is open daily with seasonal extended hours, and there’s also live music every weekend.
3660 Linhorst Road, Hillsboro, 636.475.5008, villaantoniowinery.com
Wild Sun Winery & Brewery
Head south from St. Louis to this beautiful 10-acre estate in Hillsboro, with a historic main house built in 1870. With rolling hills and a park-like setting with trees dating back hundreds of years, enjoy a relaxing day with award-winning wines and beers. Co-owners Ed Wagner, a 17-year Anheuser-Busch alum, and Mark Baehmann, a 35-year career winemaker, opened Wild Sun in September 2015. Choose from a variety of wines like cabernet sauvignon, a dry rosé and fan-favorite Radiance, a crisp dry white similar to a sauvignon blanc. Wild Sun launched a beer line in 2019 with current offerings including American Blonde Ale, Sunset Red Ale and Midnight Porter. There’s also live music Friday through Sunday through October. (Check Facebook for lineup.) Order a pizza on site or bring a picnic basket. Open year-round.
4830 Pioneer Road, Hillsboro, 636.797.8686, wildsun.com
Enjoy your stay at McKelvey Vineyards, a historic estate in Franklin County, Missouri. McKelvey Vineyards features a variety of Missouri wines as well as exclusive varietals from the West Coast, farm-to-table fare and live music every weekend. Tour the 1871 stone farmhouse, wander through the vineyards, walk the trails through 62 acres and experience breathtaking sunsets. There are also beautiful patios for all sizes of weddings and special events as well as lodging in Steeple View Manor. Some upcoming events include a vineyard lunch and tour July 18 and Aug. 22, Sunset at McKelvey featuring the music of Savana on Aug. 15, and the Missouri Cheese Festival Sept. 12.
8901 State Hwy. YY, New Haven, 573.459.6123, mckelveyvineyards.com
Edg-Clif Vineyard, Winery, Brewery
Pack a picnic basket and head south to this third-generation, family-owned farm, which boasts an array of award-winning vinos along with a farmhouse brewery and plenty of craft beers. New this year, four vintage farmhouses (all over 100 years old and furnished with family antiques) on the property are now available on Airbnb. The venue also features live music every Saturday through October, the Home Grown Farm Tour Field Dinner Aug. 29 and Grape Friends harvest events in September. Check out the website for details.
10035 Edg-Clif Drive, Potosi, 573.438.4741, edg-clif.com
Crown Valley Winery
Crown Valley, which opened in 2003, is just an hour south of St. Louis and offers gorgeous views of rolling hills and miles of breathtaking vineyards. There’s a wide array of wines, with 27 varieties to choose from, including cabernet sauvignon and chambourcin, along with some unique options like Blackberry Bling and pink sangria. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment every Saturday from April through October. There’s spacious outdoor and indoor seating, and picnic baskets are welcome. There are also several beautiful venues, including a pavilion and the barrel room, perfect for weddings, parties and retreats. In addition, there are lodging options for those wishing to stay overnight.
23589 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.756.9463, crownvalleywinery.com
St. James Winery
Founded in 1970, St. James Winery is Missouri’s largest winery with 185 sprawling acres just a short drive southwest from St. Louis, located conveniently right off I-44. This family-owned operation is internationally awarded and boasts the best-selling Missouri wines. Stop in for complimentary wine tastings daily then relax in The Gardens, a beautifully landscaped outdoor area where live music is performed every Saturday. St. James has also partnered with its neighbor, Public House Brewing Co., offering a full food menu, along with plenty of craft beer options.
540 State Route B, St. James, 800.280.9463, stjameswinery.com
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