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Explore Missouri Wine Country

I recently went with my daughter and her fiancé to look over the place they want to have their wedding in Hermann, Missouri. I knew that part of Missouri was known for its vineyards, but I didn’t know how beautiful and charming it would be. It got me thinking about escaping to this cute little town for a time.

Hermann is about an hour west of St. Louis and a short way south of I-70. As we left the highway, the terrain became gently rolling hills and lush vegetation before we arrived at the town on the south side of the Missouri River. The downtown area took me back in time with quaint, old-fashioned architecture and original buildings.

The Katy Trail - Sunrise near Marthasville Photo: Brad S. Wilson

Full of cozy B & B's, hotels, restaurants, bars and shops, it’s a perfect place for a weekend or even week-long getaway with your sweetheart. Or I can envision a special ladies only (or gents only) get together. Besides the wineries and shops, there are walking and biking trails and the big city attractions of St. Louis a reasonable distance away.

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

A popular event in Hermann is the Wine Trail, a wine and food tasting event held five times a year. Tickets must be purchased well in advance and include a souvenir wine glass. You drive a 20-mile circuit, stopping at each of the seven participating wineries including the Stone Hill Winery, which by 1900 was the country’s second largest winery and winner of 8 gold medals at eight world’s fairs. Of course the wineries are open for visits and tastings year around, too.

The story goes that a group of German immigrants from Philadelphia wanted to establish a colony in the west. In 1837 they appointed an agent to purchase land for them, but were less than thrilled when they arrived to find their new town was in the middle of a “howling wilderness.” Never being ones to shirk hard work, the Germans noted the wild grapevines growing in the rocky hills and cultivated their own grapevines. The rest, as they say, is history.

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