Thursday, September 10, 2015

5 Years of MO Winery Trips & Love

Five years ago on Labor Day Weekend, we headed across the state on a winery trip. This winery hop ended up being the start of something very special. We visited new wineries, drank lots of delicious Missouri wines, and by the end of the trip...we were engaged!

Our love for the Missouri wine industry and each other has grown exponentially from year to year. We may not be married yet, but we are just as in love as always. Every anniversary, we have this amazing winery trip tradition that is just perfect for us. We love wine, trying to new foods, adventure, and spending time together.

We're already planning next year's anniversary winery trip. And who knows... maybe one of the next trips will end in a marriage.  But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's recap the 2015 Labor Day Wine Trip!

We headed out Friday afternoon west on Highway 70. We needed to make haste since we were camping that night and had to set up before dark. However, we couldn't resist stopping at Les Bourgeois Vineyards along the way. We were greeted by Austin, the assistant tasting room manager. He shared his knowledge and passion for Missouri wines as well as info on the new tasting room scheduled to open in October.

We arrived a little after dark and settled in at Weston State Campgrounds eager for a restful night in the great outdoors. In the morning, we packed our picnic basket and headed to Ladoga Ride Winery in Smithville. Leinda gave us a rundown of their wines, and Galen popped in from working in the vineyards to say hello. This couple owns a fantastic winery, make great wines, and offers patrons a relaxing countryside view.

Jowler Creek Winery was hosting a harvest event where volunteers got a chance to be part of the first step of the wine making process.  Elizabeth gave us a warm welcome and a thorough taste.  We're big fans of the new labels!!


If you never got the chance to have a princess party when you were little, you're in luck. Imagine visiting Alice in Wonderland's tearoom, and to make it even better, they serve WINE. Weston Wine Company really commits to its theme with amazing wines named after cuts of diamonds paired with dainty cupcakes.  Erin was a very enthusiastic, fun, and warm hostess.

Located in a historic church in Weston, Pirtle Winery is one of the few wineries in the state to offer a large selection of meads as well as Missouri wines.  We also discovered that a few local restaurants offer Pirtle as an option on their wine menu.  One in particular that we found extremely delectable was Avalon Cafe on Main Street (brunch is our favorite meal of the day)!

We chose to stay in Weston, MO because it has so much to offer, not just Missouri wines!  It also feeds into our other favorite libations, beer and liquor.  When in Weston you can visit the tasting room for the McCormick Distilling (they produce a wide variety of spirits, including Tequila Rose), Weston Brewing Company (try the Cream Ale while enjoying the historic cellars at O'Malley's Pub).


We reunited with Gladys on this visit to LaBella Vineyards and got the chance to interact with the owners of the winery.  Consistent and improving wine, LaBella Vineyards is pushing the state norm with their new contemporary labels.

Nestled between fields of corn, Baltimore Bend Winery offers a large variety of solid wines. The tasting room was packed with people from near and far looking to sample and partake in their wines.  We had (per usual) tons of options and happily found a few that we took home with us.  However, we did have an accident on our way to the next stop and the award winning wine was lost.  Luckily, a gas station nearby supported local and we were able to replace it.


The final stop of our Labor Day Wine Weekend was to Bushwacker Bend Winery located in the tiny fishing town of Glasglow. They had just finished crushing their Cardonel grapes in their basement winemaking room. We endured the heat to enjoy their newly expanded balcony with a fantastic view of the Missouri river.

Cheers to winery trips and to many more anniversaries!  


Michael and Davina

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