#grapelife Behind the Vine Blog

1.4.19 New Year, New Excitement, New Routines

This year, I have done things a little different. No crazy resolutions that I will never keep, no beating myself up over the one I haven’t kept. Just moving on into the new year with a new sense of purpose and taking a page out of some of my friend’s books by taking on a word to focus on this year. For me, this year is INTENTIONAL. That means being intentional with my time. Family time is family time. Taking time for myself in the mornings. Being intentional on how I spend my time on things for the winery, especially finding time to keep up with all the demands of social media and the website.

I have thought on this word for a few days. I didn’t make it up any earlier yesterday, but when my alarm clock went off this morning, I was ready to start something new. Long nights at the winery may mean that I won’t do this every day, I may only get this accomplished once or twice a week, and I’m okay with that. I love soaking up those last thirty minutes holding my daughter close and being held by the man of my dreams. You can see why it’s so hard to get out of bed in the darkness. I know, however, if I am able to take time for myself, get a hot shower and a hot cup of coffee in me, attend to a few emails, catch up on the latest FEAST magazine, maybe even journal or read something for fun, then I will be starting my day INTENTIONALLY. I will have more focus for what needs to be done and won’t let the day happen to me. So that’s my goal for this year, to take control of a little bit of time, so that I can get things accomplished and be present in the moments with the people that need me most. How will you be more intentional this year?

Speaking of this year, we are just 28 days away from it being 1 year since we opened our doors. A mind boggling 365 days that has flown by. We have seen some challenges along the way, but I am so proud of the team that we have built and the things we have done. One of those things that has meant so much to me are our family meals. Sunday used to be one of the slowest days for us at the winery. I knew that I wanted to do something that would leave a lasting impression in the community. If you’ve ever been to the South, church is a big deal. Something else that is a big deal is Sunday meals. You knew you were going to eat good after church. I wanted to bring that to our family friendly atmosphere. Our menu changes week to week, but one thing that is for certain, you are going to get a large plate of down home stick to your ribs kind of food. We even end it with a freshly made dessert. Every week. Maybe this week isn’t your family favorite and that’s ok. We have our full menu available every day of the week. The goal is to have a place that is welcoming to everyone, even that messy fussy baby, and the whole family can have a good time and a good meal. We have tons of activities to keep your little ones busy and give mom and dad time to reconnect. When the parents have time to strengthen their relationship, the kids are happier too. I believe that has a trickle down effect into our community. So, come on, give us a try on Sunday. We won’t disappoint. And if you don’t have time to stay and eat, we gladly welcome TO GO orders. If you have a sick neighbor, new mom in your family or friends circle, or someone in need, nothing helps someone more than a home cooked meal. Pick one up for them next Sunday too! If you have a meal suggestion for us, we are in the planning stages for 2019. We would love to hear what meal you love to eat on Sunday! Just email me at events@meramecvineyardswinery.com. I hope this year is great for you. Thanks for making 2018 such an adventure for us! We look forward with excitement in welcoming you in 2019! -Michelle

9.28.18 Birthdays, Barn Sales, & Looking To October

Today a very special boy in our life turns the big 9! One year from being two hands old. When we started this project he was just 7. It is crazy to think of the last 18 months, it has gone by in a blink. Monday marks 8 months since we opened our doors. A lot has changed with the property, but it has changed us too; both, I think, for the better.

This weekend is a big one for us. We were asked to sell Sangrias at the Broken Oak Barn Sale tomorrow and we are excited to meet everyone and see all of the hard work that goes into an event this size. We are humbled and honored to be asked to be a part of this fun day! Stop by & buy a $5 Sangria, we will have Peach Cobbler and Apple Pie! It is sure to make you warm & giddy with fall goodness!

October brings lots of good entertainment to our stage and fun family Sundays & events. One question we have heard since we reopened our doors is “What about Harvest Moon?” YES! We have scheduled the HARVEST MOON FESTIVAL! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 20. This will be an all day event of music & fun! Promotional flyers are pending, but all the details will be released soon!

There has been quite a discussion about what Harvest Moon Festival has been and what it can be; no, we won’t have a hayride. However, what I can promise is a unique and fun event for your whole family. I believe we have designed a fun day where everyone can relax, kids can make memories with their parents, and parents can reconnect over bonfires and good music. That’s really the whole mission behind our Sunday meals too. Life is shared over meals. We believe when we see families playing games, and moms and dads reconnecting over a good meal, maybe a glass of our infused water or a glass of wine, we see those homes being strengthened, and that has a ripple effect into our community. Share a meal with us in house, or order a TO GO family meal on Sunday, take it home, put your jammies on and love your family. Help us give back to a sick neighbor, a college kid missing his mom’s home cooking, a new mom who could use a hand to have food on the table for her family while she takes care of a newborn. If you have someone that needs a home cooked meal to start their week off right, call us. We can have it ready for pick up within 10 minutes.

Now I’m off to the donut shop at 5 am to get my boy some birthday donuts.




Cooler weather. Falling leaves. Apples. Grape harvest. Bonfires. Scarves. Pumpkins. What’s not to love about fall? In the spirit of autumn, we have made some changes to our food and beverage menus that we know will make you feel cozy and right at home.

Join us weekly for a new soup & panini! Next week Old Fashioned Vegetable will be paired with a Classic Grilled Cheese. Substitute a small salad of your choice for a lighter lunch. Either way, it’s a winner. Find the whole menu through March on Facebook or our website.
New Fall Sangrias are getting good feedback! Peach Cobbler, Harvest Spice, Apple Pie and Cranberry Apple. Try them in a flight to try them all & find your fave!
We have designed a new fall sampler which we named Hayride Harvest Sampler. Artisan bread, house made pumpkin butter, sunflower seeds, crisp & sweet apples, apple crisps, hickory smoked cheddar, gouda, and local beef & pork summer sausage round out this board. It is something special! You will feel like you went bumping along on a hayride to a special picnic. Try it soon!
Lastly, our Summer Bliss salad has been replaced by a wonderful autumnal salad, Harvest Apple & Thyme salad. Crisp red romaine, fresh apples, cranberries, Parmesan cheese, and candied walnuts dressed with a scratch dressing made with apples and thyme. It is a beauty!
As always, it is with deep gratitude this newsletter finds you. We would not be here without our loyal customers and we appreciate you more than you know. Please like & share our posts, bring a new friend for us to meet & enjoy our place like it’s your own. Cheers! Joe & Michelle


What was meant to be a weekly blog & newsletter has now become an every 3 week newsletter. Let me fill you in on the last 3 weeks at Meramec Vineyards. Our Shrimp Boil sold out before we opened on the 29th of last month! Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy that Food &  Family Sunday meal. More fall & comforting meals are coming your way! Check our website for the full year of menus so you never miss a good home cooked meal!

Our new labels for Sweet Cat have been sent to TTB for approval. Our new vintage will be out soon!  We are “this” close to having a new “shining” beverage in our tasting room! Many of you have heard us talking about that! We are actively planning new FALL menu items; the chilly and drizzly atmosphere today is definitely inspiring! New FALL sangrias, samplers, salads and desserts will be debuting September 1! Watch our IG and Facebook feeds for sneak peaks & you will be able to help name the menu items!

We have a new Tiki Bar and outdoor stage going up! Come by & check it out! We hope to be serving drinks out there before too long & enjoying the cooler temperatures!
Fall Entertainment is all lined up & we are looking forward to Bonfires & Beer! Speaking of beer, we will have some new offerings coming soon! We will be branching out into offering other local craft beer from all over the state! We are excited to bring St. Louis and Springfield offerings closer to home for your enjoyment! We will still continue to carry Piney River Brewing Co- and especially Andy’s Root Beer! We are open to suggestions on the expanded tap selections- let us know what you want on our Facebook page! Polls are still up & running also on a couple of the selections! Your opinion matters!
We received our manufacturing and distribution license about 3 weeks ago also. We hope to bring your sweet favorites to other locations within a 20 mile radius soon! We are also able to ship now. If you would like wine shipped to you, give us a call or email events@meramecvineyardswinery.com. Last week we attended a wine making class at Mizzou. It was intense, but so informative and we are excited to get our manufacturing area up and going this fall.
Our wine dinner is next Thursday, August 23 at 6pm. If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, you don’t want to miss this spectacular and FUN meal! You will be transported on a two hour Carribean getaway close to home, complete with tropical Missouri Vignoles and beachy piano music courtesy of Mr. William Owen. We are going to have a blast! Cost is $40 per person. Reservations can be made by calling us at 573-265-7847 or by selecting “GOING” on Facebook. Deadline to reserve will be Sunday, August 19th at 8pm. Seats cannot be guaranteed after that time. Check out the full menu below! We hope to see you next week!
On a more personal note, our kids went back to school today. Life is a balance, something we work at every day. We are glad we had extra cuddle time and play time this summer. We are looking forward to more time during the day to catch up on necessary projects, and keep newsletters and websites more updated. Thanks for bearing with us as we get into a good rhythm!
Have a great weekend & we hope to see you soon!


2 am. Most everyone is sleeping. So why am I awake? Life is busy. We are grateful. Late nights mean quiet time to collect my thoughts, review the day, see how we can make things better, improve our guests visits, work on responding to emails, update social media, and make our website more informative, more meaningful, think of new ideas, embrace the silence.

Nearly 6 months into this venture…. Wow! One year ago we had just completed the negotiations into buying and starting on this wild ride. Nearly daily I hear, “What got you started?” I jokingly blame my better half, but really we feel it was a dream and vision placed on our hearts by God. A vision that only He could have pieced together. The whole process has been an interesting one, one that has tested our faith to the limit, but we have persevered and come out so blessed this far. Each twist and turn, each delay, each business contact, I see the work of God. About 6 weeks ago, I ended my nursing career. A career I LOVED! I came on full time at the winery. I believe God has a funny sense of humor and his timing is always perfect, even if in the moment seems like bad luck. Fast forward 6 days after my last day at a local clinic, and BOOM! my husband’s job suddenly ends. New company decided to go a different route. Most people would be terrified. After a brief second of fear that I couldn’t allow, I just had to laugh it off, trusting the process, that this was how it was supposed to work out from the beginning. 10 days later he accepted a position in town. We have not worked in the same town in nearly a decade; we had both previously been commuting different directions, and seeing each other briefly before work and at bedtime. Now the kids & I enjoy seeing DAD (One of his best roles) at lunch, bringing him treats and loving the weekends together, even at the winery, where work is family, and family comes to work. You have probably seen a little girl serving you crackers or water, and a boy sweeping up the floors. They are our future, just like your children. We love that Sundays have become a day you can bring your family and enjoy some time together, unplugged. Really in the moment, with good food and fun games. Back last March, that’s what motivated us to jump on this opportunity, family. A chance to be in business together, sharing a passion and drive and a dream, to make this a family destination, and fun place where families can reconnect, parents can enjoy a nice evening, couples can have a date night, friends can visit, and everyone leaves happy.

Thanks for giving us a chance. The last nearly 6 months have been a magical and inspiring time.

With heartfelt love and appreciation,

Michelle & Joe