Among my favorite towns in the Ozarks are the two culturally distinctive historic locations of Hermann and Ste. Genevieve. The historic fabric is alive in well in these two towns, one steeped in German tradition and the other in French Colonial heritage. When offered the opportunity to stay in a bed and breakfast gratis the Missouri Wine and Grape Board as a reward for visiting almost 100 Missouri wineries, I investigated the options in both of these places, opting for St. Gemme Beauvais in downtown Ste. Genevieve, walking distance to historic sites, restaurants, coffeshops and a fantastic museum. (The only offering in Hermann was Adam Puchta Winery which is located a drive away from downtown with her coffeeshops, bookstores and museums).
The 50 degree sunny weekend couldn't have been better suited for being in town, for visiting nearby wineries on Saturday and the stunning pine woodlands on Sunday. Gratefully, friends from nearby places joined us for the weekend, for wine at The Old Brick, a fantastic little restaurant/old school bar located in the place of the first brick building west of the Mississippi River. Wine offerings by the glass consisted of sweeter wines here, but on the top shelf on display at the stately old dark stained wooded bar were bottles of Chaumette's 2009 Norton. The visible surprise of our bartender upon ordering the Norton conjured thoughts that perhaps guests to the Old Brick don't really order it very often.
We took dinner both nights at a terrific little cafe, the Big Field, which only recently began offering nightly supper. This window lined room is well appointed, and the menu includes Creole staples such as their fantastic gumbo, among the best I've had since leaving Louisiana. Wines by the glass include California basics, and no Missouri wines (which was pretty surprising, actually). Nice staff, great service, and a diverse and interesting menu. Around the corner is Station 2 Cafe, a coffeeshop with a vibe (and coffee) that rivals our great coffeeshops in New Orleans. Located in a former fire station, Nomex and other fire gear line the walls.
For my wine getaway weekend, the best wine I had in the course of three days was splitting the bottle of Chaumette Norton at The Old Brick. I grabbed a few bottles for my rack, but they won't be ready to drink for a few years...