Saturday, May 12, 2018

Winery Fun

My friend Denise had a milestone birthday this week.  She chose to have a party at one of her favorite wineries, where we enjoyed a great afternoon of friends, food, wine, and music.

You didn't know that Missouri was a wine hotbed?  It is. According to the Missouri Wines website there are 36 wineries within 50 miles of my house. Add another ten miles to that and there are 53. The country's first wine region is actually just west of St. Louis. The rolling hills and temperatures  reminded the mid-19th century Rhine River valley German immigrants of home, and the soil was perfect for growing grapes. They planted vineyards and created a vibrant wine culture. All of the wineries had to shut down during Prohibition, but they began to reopen again in the 1960s.

Now, Wikipedia says:
The area along Route 94 between Defiance and Marthasville has so many wineries that the highway has been nicknamed the Missouri Weinstrasse (wine route). It runs parallel to much of the Katy Trail, built in former railway right-of-way. This area has the highest concentration of wineries in the state. Many of these sit high up on south-facing bluffs above the river.
Shortly before lunch Hubby Tony and I loaded up the car and headed west.  Once we got off the interstate, Highway 94 was a scenic two lane drive.  Each winery we passed had a sign along the road.  The well-known ones were quite predominant; smaller locations had 'blink and you'd miss them' signage. Our destination was Blumenhof Vinyards and Winery in Dutzow.

Denise and her husband had arrived early and nabbed tables right in front of the band stage. They provided sandwiches, non-alcoholic drinks, and cake.  Everyone else brought a side dish. Before we ate we took turns guarding the tables and visiting the tasting room. There were bottles purchased for the birthday girl and for general consumption. I'm not a big wine drinker, but the weather (which went from not quite spring to summer overnight felt more like mid-July than mid-May, and white wine/lemonade slush was the perfect drink for the heat.

Five years ago today: Ma, Mommy, Mom, Mum