What better way to celebrate Missouri Wine Month than by popping open some bottles of MO wine and reminiscing about some of the amazing wineries we have visiting this year, as well as more wineries we are still hoping to experience before the year is up. So far our Missouri Wine Passport has 74 stamps in it, and we still have are hopes set at reaching 100 by the end of the year. We have visited many wineries for the first time this year.
One of my favorite was Bushwacker Bend Winery in Glasgow in a milling town over looking the Missouri River. We had such a pleasant time chatting with the owners, touring their wine-making facility and sipping their splendid Chardonell on the deck watching the river flow.
Speaking of views, this was the first year I got to experience the overwhelming beauty of Vance Vineyard & Winery in Fredricktown. After 30 minutes of country road, you pull up to what looks like a large display house with a perfect pond, landscaping, and patio. Inside the area is massive and open, perfect for a wedding or party. The grand bar samples their large variety of wines, and you can't help but thinking, "I wish I lived here!"
Ladoga Ridge Winery is a family owned establishment that was first started by Galen and Leinda Haddock. Located in Smithville, MO, Ladoga Ridge Winery offers visitors the feel of a winery in the countryside with the convenience of being quite close to civilization! Find yourself impressed by one of their many wines that are made, on site, by Galen himself. Time and time again during our visit we were assured that the utmost care is taken with the crafting of every single bottle of wine that Ladoga Ridge Winery produces, and it showed. Every wine that we tasted was a perfect representation of its varietal. They even had some blends and fruit wines that were very tasty.
We were disappointed that in Northeast Missouri there are only a few wineries, but the few that we encountered were well worth the drive, especially West Winery in Macon, MO. Located in the heart of downtown Macon, West Winery offers its visitors quite an experience through their wine list. In addition to tasting their many Chambourcin options (which are all very good and give you an idea of how this particular varietal can be transformed from dry to semi-sweet) one is able to tour their wine production facility while enjoying a glass. West Winery is Missouri's first "urban" winery where they produce their wine completely in an urban setting. Visitors are able to enjoy a glass in the tasting room or stroll over to the wine making area of the establishment and join in the fun and magic of the grape to wine adventure.