Friday, March 16, 2012

Flashback: Anniversary Missouri Wine Trail

For our second anniversary JC and I went to Hermann, Missouri to experience the wine trails in this part of the country.  We had heard really wonderful things about this wine trail from many of our friends and acquaintances, so we had wanted to make the trip for a while.  Our anniversary seemed like a perfect time for this trip.
 I let JC decide everything for this trip, when we left, where we stayed and what we did on the trip.  I had just started my new job a month before, so I was a little overwhelmed with getting settled in and starting a new career. 

 We stayed in Hermann at a small bed and breakfast in an old farm.  A retired couple operated the bed and breakfast and were very accommodating.  We had the suite attached to the house, so we had more privacy than a normal room would provide.  I had never stayed in a bed and breakfast before, and was looking forward to this opportunity, but wanted to make sure we had our own privacy.  Since we were only in Hermann for a little less than a day we spent very little time in our room.  We did attend the delicious breakfast the owners made for everyone staying at the B & B.  During breakfast we learned that many people who stay at the winery are bikers.  A lengthy trail is very close to the B & B so people are able to hop on their bikes and hit the trails easily. 

 Our first stop on the wine trail was at OakGlenn Winery just outside of Hermann.  This winery is situated on a hill overlooking the Missouri River.  The winery has a beautiful patio to allow patrons to take in the view while sipping on wine, which is exactly what we did.  Their wines were okay, but definitely not my favorite on the trail. 

 The next stop was a little further outside of Hermann at Bias Winery.  Getting to the winery was interesting as we had to travel through the woods on gravel and dirt roads, over train tracks to get to the building.  There wasn’t a view of the river at this winery but there was a chili festival going on with music and artists painting, drawing and selling their work.  The tasting room at Bias is very small and the wine selection wasn’t huge either, but JC and I both enjoyed their wines.  Bias also had home brewed beer on tape. 

 After Bias we arrived at Adam Puchta Winery on the West side of Hermann.  This winery was set up for large crowds.  The tasting room was in a small barn when you walked into the winery area.  After tasting, people were encouraged to go into the shop and purchase their bottles of wine, cheeses and other souvenirs.  The winery had a large, grassy sitting area for people to set up picnics and gather.  We had brought along some snacks and  indulged in our treats in the picnic area. 

 Finally, we ended our wine trail at Stone Hill Winery.  This winery is on a hill looking over the town of Hermann.  The building is beautiful, an old historic farm house.  To reach the tasting room we had to navigate through the entire first floor of the house.  Many of Stone Hill’s wines are sold commercially at stores like CVS and County Market.  I would recommend stopping at Stone Hill just to check out the building – it really was gorgeous. 

 JC and I both enjoyed the weekend getaway, but after reviewing our time decided that we prefer the Southern Illinois Wine Trails.  The Missouri Wine Trail is more commercialized so the experience isn’t as intimate.  We both prefer talking with the wine makers and learning about the wines and what inspired the maker to create it.  A great marketing tool that the Missouri Wine Trail has come up with is a Wine Trail Passport.  People are given this passport and get a stamp at each winery.  Then they can go home and enter their points they’ve gathered from visiting each winery at the Wine Trail website and be eligible for prizes. 

 The town of Hermann was extremely quaint and cute.  There are many antique shops along the downtown area and many historic buildings.  The weekend we spent in Hermann a Civil War reenactment was being held just outside the downtown winery, which meant there were horses walking along the streets where we were exploring.  It was a really fun experience, which I would recommend to other wine lovers.    

To check out all of the wineries on the Hermann Wine Trail check out this website:

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