Saturday, October 15, 2016

After the Harvest

While September is officially Missouri Wine Month, I particularly like visiting wineries at the end of harvest in October and November. I relish in asking what the harvest looks like each year, though often the folks at the tasting bar say the same thing every time: "Looks great!" Admittedly, it's much more fun to talk to the winemaker or the grower for the real scoop. Like, "the robins ate all the Traminette," or "we're not looking forward to that early frost," and so forth.

In a wise move, the Wine and Grape Board initiated a new rewards program that will hopefully encourage visitation to our state's wonderful wineries. Not all wineries are participating, but there are some new ones that have opened up in the past few years that I haven't visited. I love returning to places I haven't visited in several years to investigate how their wine has changed, whether through the aging process or winemaker experience. I don't necessarily participate in the rewards program (in previous years a passport program)for the swag (though the Missouri Wines logo is really charming and well-executed), but for the experiences and meeting people behind this great agricultural product.

A small cadre of local friends and I are setting out next weekend for a grand tour of the Hwy. 50 wineries to pick up Wenwood Farm Winery's pumpkin wine and maybe White Mule Winery's Norton port, to check in with the German gentleman from Phoenix Winery, and to have a great Missouri winery and fall colors weekend. November is Chambourcin month and several other wineries besides St. James are releasing their Nouveau, but you'll doubtfully find this bright red wine in stores since it's usually produced in limited release. But it's perfect for the Thanksgiving table. If you haven't done so, check out the details of the rewards program here and start traveling!

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