Friday, June 19, 2015

June 20: Augusta AVA Appellation Day!

Every year I write about it, about how Missouri harbors the initial American Viticulture Area, and how great that it was awarded to my favorite part of the state rather than somewhere out in California. Missouri's wine history is long and storied with some interruptions due to anti-immigrant sentiments, which is a sad period in our state's history. Beer fans will agree, considering the impact of anti-German movements during World War I had on beer production in and around St. Louis. It was all very sad and deeply entrenched in the American psyche.

But in the 1980s, when Napa Valley was exploding with great vinifera-based wines, the Augusta region in the Missouri River Hills of the Ozark Highlands was designated as the first AVA. Missouri wineries are releasing their 2012 vintage, the grapes grown during the drought. Supple, highly tannic, and delicious wines characterize this vintage, certainly one for setting aside to see how it ages. Visit Augusta this weekend, follow the maps of the detours around the flooded Highway 94, and make your way to their special events. Live music, games, sparkling grape juice for non-wine drinkers, and the first sunny weekend we've seen in weeks.

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