Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wine Tourism Day


Wine Tourism Day is happening in North America, Saturday May 11 for the first time ever!  Look for wineries, hotels, and restaurants to offer special events and incentives in celebration of wine tourism. Missouri has a lot to celebrate since we have A LOT of wineries (over 100).  The Missouri Wine and Grape Board does an amazing job of promoting the wine and grape industry which provides more than than 14,000 jobs.  Over twenty Missouri wineries will be participating in Wine Tourism Day. You can find them all HERE.  We are going to highlight four that really caught our eyes...

Sip & Dip Saturday
Cave Vineyard, Ste. Genevieve, MO
10AM-6PM, $5 per person

Cave Winery is giving you the chance to discover what Italians have known for ages; biscotti are excellent dunked in wine!

Your $5 Wine Tasting will include 5 samples of wine, a souvenir glass, Cave Vineyard Biscotti, and a taste of la Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life).  Dunking biscotti in wine is a Strussione family tradition, and all biscotti are based on Grandma Stussione's original Almond Biscotti recipe and made in their Winery Loft Bakery.  Feel free to experiment with different combinations of wine and biscotti!  Need another reason to stop by Cave Vineyard?  They really do have a cave on-site and you can drink your wine inside of it!  No joke; and their wine is superb.  We'll be heading down one hot summer day to enjoy some chilled wine in their cool cave. 

Road Trip Missouri - A Wine Tourism Adventure 
Wenwood Farm Winery, Bland, MO
10AM - 6PM, No Charge

Celebrate beautiful Missouri with a beautiful drive.

Wenwood Farm Winery came up with a really fun promotion for Wine Tourism Day, and if we didn't have a wedding to attend that evening, we probably would have ended up there.  Make sure you set your odometer before you head out to Wenwood Farm because they are donating 10 cents per mile to Earth's Classroom, a local non-profit dedicated to celebrating Missouri's history and natural world. The 3 visitors who traveled the farthest will each be mailed a gift certificate ($40, $20, $10).  We think this idea is great because a big part of enjoying Missouri wine tourism is driving. The drive between wineries can be a really special part of your trip.  We love seeing the country side and passing through small and large towns along the way.  Enjoy the drive!

Let's Go Fly A Kite - Wind and Wine 
Serenity Valley Winery, Fulton, Missouri 
10AM - 6PM, $10 Wine Flights ($5 goes to charity)

Let's go fly a kite!

If there are two things Serenity Valley Winery has it's WIND & SPACE.  We were just there last weekend for the Celebrate Spring event, and the land they are located on is just stunning countryside. It seems to go on forever.  They are inviting people to come fly a kite and enjoy their wine.  Pack up your picnic basket and bring the family to relax, sample their wines, and see how long you can keep your kite up.  They will be awarding a prize to the best kite; so get creative!  Wine Flights featuring 3 wines and food paring will be sold for $10, $5 of which goes to charity. 

Vineyard Tour in America's First Wine Region - Augusta Appellation
Augusta Winery, Augusta, MO
11AM - 3PM, $10 per person

Set foot on the ground that was deemed America's First Wine Region!

Vineyard Manager Paul will be taking groups out at 11AM and 1PM from the tasting room location in downtown, historic Augusta to tour one of their vineyards.  This tour will teach you about local varietals, recent growing seasons, and the wine making process.  You will even get to taste the grapes straight from the vine.  These tours will last between 1 to 1.5 hours and drop you off at their Wine and Beer Garden at the conclusion to enjoy live music until 5PM.  This is the event we will be participating in to celebrate Wine Tourism Day.  It worked out well since we have a wedding to attend that evening in Augusta.  We are really looking forward to getting a first-hand look at where the Augusta wine-making process starts.


Celebrate Spring: RECAP

Due to some bad planning on our part, we weren't able to make it to all 7 Missouri River Wine Trail wineries during the Celebrate Spring event, but we did have a great time at the 3 we did make it to. We headed out Sunday afternoon to our first stop at Serenity Valley Winery in Fulton, MO. This was our first time visiting them at their new location in Callaway County, and we were very impressed with their set up. The tasting room is nestled on rolling country hills overlooking the peaceful Serene Lake. We had the pleasure of chatting with owners, Lee and Regina Ruppert, who were very proud and excited about their new location. Serenity Valley served their Spring Blossoms (Green Apple Reisling, Sweet) paired with a refreshing Ensenada Shrimp Cocktail! We have tried this Resiling at multiple wine tasting events, and it's quickly becoming one of our favorites. The shrimp was light and refreshing with a great flavor profile. We also sampled their Velvet Rhaspody (Raspberry Zinfandel) which had recently won a metal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. With hints of chocolate and a smooth velvet finish, this wine made quite an impression on us.

The second winery we went to was Canterbury Hill Winery in Jefferson City. This winery is also new and moved into the building that once held Summit Lake Winery. This is such an amazing building on-top a hill overlooking the capitol city. They paired King’s Choice, a sweet white wine with a seafood salad with crab and shrimp. While we were there we had some of their Artichoke Dip with tortilla chips and banana peppers which was superb! The restaurant was full of people enjoying their Sunday dinner. Their large patio is sure to be a hot spot once the weather gets warmer!

The last Celebrate Spring stop for us was Westphalia Vineyards in Westpahlia, MO, the cutest town we've ever driven through. Did you know....this is the oldest German town West of the Mississippi! (Not, Hermann) Their Norton Tasting room is in an building that was once a hotel and has a charming vintage decor. We had the pleasure of meeting owners, Terry and Mary Neuner and learning all about their wine making process. We are hoping to come out and help them with  their vines this fall. Mary served us some delicious spicy crab dip which was paired with Riesling Sweet. We also sampled some of their dry reds including the Norton Reserve, Cabernet Franc, and a blend of the two, the Prodigal Son. This is one of the few Missouri wineries that can boost about using natural processes that don't include adding sulfites to their wines. You can really taste the natural freshness of their wines.

Celebrate Spring was a very fun event full of great wines and food pairings. We do wish  the wineries would have coordinated about what foods they were serving. All three dishes were tasty, but they were all seafood. We are looking forward to the next Missouri River Wine Trail event, Herb Du Vin taking place June 15-16th, so we can try to visit the other 4 wineries on the trail. CLICK HERE to see the rest of the photos we took!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Celebrate Spring

The rain will eventually stop (we hope!), and then you'll have the whole weekend ahead of you. Need something to do? We highly recommend heading out to Mid-Missouri for Celebrate Spring. This event is put on by the 7 wineries part of the Missouri River Wine Trail (Coopers Oak Winery, Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Westphalia Vineyards, Serenity Valley Winery, Bushwhacker Bend Winery, Coopers Oak Winery-Booneville, & Canterbury Hill Winery & Restaurant). We have gone to a couple of the Missouri River Wine Trail's events and always enjoy ourselves. You can start Celebrate Spring at any of the 7 wineries. There you'll receive your glass and start your epic day of tasting. My favorite part of Missouri River Wine Trail events is that each winery pairs one of their wines with a food dish. It's really eye opening when you taste a wine with food that really enhances the wine. I think that's what really makes this worth it! Pack your picnic basket and head central this Saturday or Sunday from Noon to 5pm  Each winery is no more than 30 minutes away from the next one. Twenty dollars includes you sampling glass and a wine and food pairing at each of the 7 wineries.

Buy your tickets HERE!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mount Pleasant Wine Club Pick Up & Tasting

This Saturday we made the trip out to Augusta, MO to pick up our Mount Pleasant Winery Vintner's Circle wines. We joined this club last summer and have been very pleased with the selection of wines we have received as well as the perks that come with  the wine club membership. If you plan to frequent Mount Pleasant often and are a fan of their wines, we highly suggest you join. It's free to join. They offer 3 options of wines to be shipped (or picked up) quarterly.


Enjoy four shipments per year, two bottles per shipment of our semi-sweet and sweet wines. Wines may include but are not limited to Rhineland, Highland, Ten Bucks, Pink Spumante, Harvest White, Pink Catawba, and Concord. Price is $30-50* per shipment depending on wine selected.


Enjoy four shipments per year, two bottles per shipment of our Estate dry reds and dry to off-dry whites. Wines may include but are not limited to Villagio, Vignoles, Chardonnay, Chardonel, Claret, Merlot, Cabernet, Norton, and Brut Imperial. Price is $40-80* per shipment depending on wine selected.


Enjoy one shipment per year, two bottles per shipment of our award-winning Ports and Dessert Wines. Price is $70-90* per shipment depending on wine selected.

We enjoy the Harvest Selection since we are big fans of Missouri semi-sweet/sweet wines. We choose to pick up or wines every quarter since it gives us an excuse to travel The "Ultimate" Weinstrasse Trail. We have been pleased with all of the wines. Our most recent pick up included Concord and Villagio.

It's the additional perks that really make this wine club a great value. Members enjoy complimentary wine tastings for themselves and up to 3 guests. You receive 20% off wine, food, and merchandise. Mount Pleasant also notifies you first about winery events and invites you to Vintner's Circle member only events. If you're looking to join a wine club, Mount Pleasant has a really great club that you can customize and comes with lots of benefits. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

7th Annual St. Charles Sausage Festival & Wine Tasting

Looking for something to do this weekend? Head to the 9th Annual Builders St. Charles Home Show this weekend (April 5-7) at the St. Charles Convention Center. This is a free event with free parking and a TON of unique exhibitors. We have attended this event many times. Even before we owned a home, this show was extremely interesting to us. It's a great place to get new design or remodeling ideas and see all the hot new trends. Walter Knoll does a fantastic floral presentation yearly that inspires me decorate our house with more fresh flowers and wreaths. This year, I'm eager to see all of the new ways of making a home more "green" and saving money while helping conserve the environment. You will leave this show with a bunch of ideas and a bag full of free goodies!

Oh and of course, you MUST stop by the 7th Annual St. Charles Sausage Festival & Wine Tasting! We must admit, we spend the most time at this section of the show and for good reason! This year you'll find it on the Lower Level near the escalators. Numerous Missouri sausage producers will be sampling their summer sausages, snack sticks, bratswursts, and more! You can buy or order anything you try. These sausuages make great additions to picnic baskets for winery getaways. Speaking of wineries, you will be able to sample Missouri wines from 3 great wineries (Fahrmeier Family Vineyards, Stone Hill Winery, & Westphalia Vineyards). I also look forward to trying to pair the sausage samples with the wines. From my experience Traminette wines and summer sausage are a great match! All of  the tastings are free. The entire Home Show is free. This is clearly a win/win situation. Cheers to Missouri sausage and wine!