Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20, 1980: Appellation Day for Augusta, Missouri

Missouri's wine and grape industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past thirty years, perhaps even surpassing our prominence in the business during the 1800s--but probably not. Today, Missouri wineries are producing lovely, supple, and diverse wines, award winning numbers worthy of collection and aging. We've past the stage of being one of the largest producers of Concord grapes for jam (but you can still buy truly delicious Concords from roadsides around St. James every August), and we now grow what may be the best Norton grapes in the country (in my opinion).

On June 20, 1980, Augusta Missouri, nestled on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley, was recognized as the first U.S. Wine District, or American Viticultural Area #1, because of its unique soil, climate, historical significance, and quality of wines produced from grapes grown in vineyards that date to the 1800’s. While New York and California both were huge producers of grapes and wine at the same period, Augusta reigned supreme for their palatable wines. And so, in 1980, Augusta Missouri put America on the map for their wine production. Tomorrow, Augusta Winery will be hosting an Appellation Festival to celebrate this historic event. If you're looking for remarkably great Missouri wines (including Norton port!) head to this terrific region and start tasting...

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