15 Wineries to Visit This Summer in Missouri
Missouri wines have a character and history all their own, just waiting to be discovered at the plethora of wineries dotting the state’s rural nooks and rolling hills. The Missouri wine business dates back to the arrival of German and Italian immigrants in the mid-1800s. While “wine country” often calls to mind coastal regions like the Napa Valley and southern California, Missouri was the second-most-prominent wine-producing states in the country before Prohibition dealt a blow to the industry.
Now, Missouri wine continues to grow rapidly, garnering national and international acclaim, and is currently home to four American Viticultural Areas. We love everything about these 15 Missouri vineyards, from the delicious state-grown grapes, like those found in the full-bodied Norton and the spicy Chambourcin, to the serene landscape and dedicated staff.
Stone Hill Winery
Stone Hill is one of the oldest and most-awarded wineries in Missouri, established in 1847, before the advent of the Napa Valley wine industry in California. In fact, Stone Hill was once the second largest winery in the country, and has produced world renowned wines. Try their take on the full-bodied Norton, Missouri’s official state grape, and experience the commended winery tour that takes place every hour.
Location: Hermann, MO
Red Moose Vineyard
Visiting Red Moose Vineyard, nestled in the rolling hills of the Ozarks Highland, feels like dropping by the home of a friend or neighbor. In recent years, several of its wines received medals at the Missouri Wine Competition, like the “Four Corners,” a dry red that marries Red Moose’s estate-grown Norton and Chambourcin grapes. Bring a picnic basket or enjoy light fare and snacks at the winery during your tasting, and take home a bottle of “Fruition” for a good cause—the proceeds benefit rotating local and national nonprofit organizations.
Location: Salem, Missouri
Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Married couple Katie Nott and Clyde Gill have operated Peaceful Bend since 1998, utilizing their years of expertise in the beverage-and-wine industry. Located just outside Steelville, the winery crafts complex blends named after various creeks and rivers winding through the surrounding area. In 2016, a fire destroyed the facility, but fortunately, this winery rebuilt and relaunched in 2018 and has expanded the business to include craft beer and an eatery.
Location: Steelville, Missouri
Chandler Hill Vineyards
Situated on a hilltop at the entrance to Missouri Wine Country, Chandler Hill’s legacy dates back to the 1870s, when a freed slave named Joseph Chandler settled on the land. Today, the winery proudly leans into its history through a display of relics and artifacts. Thanks to the energetic atmosphere, a weekend outing at Chandler Hill feels like a party—enjoy live music on the deck overlooking the countryside and cure your hunger with the restaurant’s delectable bistro fare, like the apple and brie flatbread or the artisan cheese plate. The winery offers yoga on select weekends and a Sunday brunch buffet complete with a bloody mary bar.
Location: Defiance, Missouri
Adam Puchta Winery
Adam Puchta Winery has been owned and operated by the same family since 1855, making it the oldest family farm winery in all of Missouri. Knowledgeable employees offer tastings in a rustic old barn, and, unlike at most other wineries, they pair wine with food, offering crackers and chocolate as palate cleansers between glasses. As another bonus, the $5 sampling fee includes eight samples instead of the usual five, and dessert wine tastings are available to add for just $1 apiece. The calendar is stacked with special events all year round to enjoy at the extensive outdoor seating area with a glass of wine in hand.
Location: Hermann, Missouri
Chaumette Vineyards and Winery
For a special event or a longer sojourn, Chaumette offers a “wine-resort destination” with private villas, an elegant pool, a full-service restaurant and tasteful event venues. The villas, which can accommodate large parties, encompass spacious rooms and grand baths on the winery’s sublime property. The warmer temperatures that characterize the Saline Creek River Valley distinguish Chaumette’s wines from those produced in other parts of the state. Like most of the wineries on this list, Chaumette emphasizes drier varieties, like the Chambourcin and the Chardonel, two popular hybrids.
Location: Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Augusta Winery is the quaint, intimate sister to Montelle Winery. The friendly staff knows Augusta’s award-winning wines inside and out, and they all enjoy sharing their expertise as they talk you through your tasting lineup. Pick up a bottle or a glass at the tasting room, then stroll up the block to the seating area to enjoy locally produced cheese and sausages while sitting under a leafy, vine-laced trellis. Visitors rave about the dry wines (try the crisp rosé!) and modest prices by the bottle.
Location: Augusta, Missouri
The Balducci experience highlights the Balducci family’s Italian roots. In 1906, their forebears left Italy for the United States, and ever since, the Balduccis have made a name for themselves in the wine and beverage industry, applying their artistry to the winery’s food and drink options. Come for live music on the weekends and try the deep dish pizza and the wide selection of wines.
Location: Augusta, Missouri
Noboleis’ extensive portfolio contains more than 22 wines running the gamut of taste—from dry to sweet and from chewy reds to crisp whites. Patrons can sample limited offerings in addition to the classic menu, like the sweet port, dessert wines and Estate Reserve wines. Outside food is welcome, or you can snack on the signature pizzas and lighter appetizers at the tasting room.
Location: Augusta, Missouri
Boenker Hill Vineyards & Winery
Boenker Hill is hailed as a hidden gem in Bridgeton, Missouri, with a butterfly garden, manicured grounds spanning 34 acres and a two-state hilltop view. The Boenker family farm has raised crops on the land since the 1800s. Just five miles west from Lambert Field and easily accessible from both St. Louis and St. Charles, the winery hosts live music throughout the summer and offers wine slushies to beat the oppressive humidity.
Location: Bridgeton, Missouri
After catching live music at Augusta, wind your way up the tree-shaded lane to its sister winery Montelle, perched atop a hill with a stunning panoramic view of the river valley below. The first winery in the state with a distillery, Montelle boasts a sweet and tangy lineup of fruit wines and flavored brandy. Consider arriving early on the weekends to snag a table, as its expansive deck with a view of the Missouri River Valley teems with families grooving to live music.
Location: Augusta, Missouri
Cedar Lake Cellars
Cedar Lake exudes a fairy tale-like magic, with its 370 acres, classic red barn and two glistening lakes in the heart of Warren County. Cedar Lake markets itself as an ideal event space for weddings, corporate events and more. Outside food is prohibited, unlike more picnic-friendly wineries, as are folks under 21 years old. Its weekend lunches, dinners and Sunday brunches are welcome excuses to treat yourself. For an upscale sit-down dinner, visit the Dining Room and Tasting Bar. For a more casual bite, visit the Smokehouse has barbecue favorites provided by St. Louis’ own Sugarfire Smoke House.
Location: Wright City, Missouri
Villa Antonio Winery
Located just a few miles off the highway in Hillsboro, Villa Antonio, like Balducci Vineyards, celebrates its founders’ Italian heritage. Antonio and Fernanda Polesel craft their wines by hand in the northern Italian tradition and serve wood-fired pizza and Italian desserts out of the in-house kitchen, infusing the Villa Antonio experience with the taste and charm of old Italy. Visitors can commune over a bottle of a wine and wood-fired pizza or relax and listen to the sounds of live music.
Location: Hillsboro, Missouri
Famed for its detailed, quality-oriented philosophy and its bucolic ambiance, Pirtle is housed in a former Lutheran Evangelical Church built by German immigrants in 1867. Explore the new indoor space, including a wine bar with ample seating, or head outside to the vine-covered wine garden adjacent to the winery. Fans of sweeter, juicier varieties should try a wine slushy or fruit wines, with unexpected flavors like apple and blueberry.
Location: Weston, Missouri
St. James Winery
St. James has helped to catapult the Missouri wine business back onto the national stage: Its sustainable wines are sold in 16 states, and in the last four years, its wines have won numerous contests in the U.S., including two consecutive Missouri Governor’s Cups and seven international wine competitions. The famed Velvet Red and Velvet White have been St. James staples since the 1960s. It’s also worth noting that a tasting is free up to six samples, with samples of spreads and jams available and a full restaurant for a heartier meal.
Location: St. James, Missouri
Editor’s note: This article updates the original version, published on May 30, 2018. As a bonus, check out one more Missouri winery we’ve fallen in love with since then.
Dale Hollow Winery
Dale Hollow opened for its first full tasting room season in 2017, and its has already won notable accolades for its wines. The Concord wine took home the 2019 Missouri Governor’s Cup prize for best sweet red. Planted on land that has belonged in the Dale family since the 1950s, this homey winery’s mantra is “Wine is personal.” Visit Dale Hollow for a low-key afternoon enjoying sips and local cheeses, jams and sausages in the tasting room or porch.
Location: Stover, Missouri
Featured image courtesy of Trent Erwin.