We Grow Our Grapes – the Source of Our Wines
There is a saying that wine is made in the vineyard. The wine is only as good or great as the grapes. Our vineyards are located just three miles from the winery where we currently grow six varieties of grapes for our wine: Vignoles, Seyval, Niagara, Norton, Stark Star and Concord. We also custom farm other vineyards the source for Vidal and extra Vignoles when we need it. The varieties we don’t grow we get from other growers. We actually grow more grapes of some varieties than we use and sell these to other wineries.
Our area became an established grape growing area due to prohibition! After that law passed, the Welch Company came out here to get the Italian immigrants (with their old world heritage of grape growing) to grow Concord grapes for them. We still have a five acre Concord block producing grapes for our wines that was planted in 1921!
The Concord acreage in our area has shrunk from its high of over 2000 acres in the late 1960’s when the modern wine industry’s grape varieties came to the fore. Yet even today our county, Phelps, has the most grape acreage in Missouri due to that leg up from prohibition, no less.
Our vineyards are in the Ozark Highlands viticultural area, a designation showing the source of our grapes. We are also in a larger Ozark Mountain viticultural area which extends into Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Making Our Wines
We harvest the grapes, either by hand or with our mechanical picker and bring them from the vineyard to the processing area at the back of our building. There you’ll see our “crush pad” where the grapes are put through the crusher/destemmer and pressed. Inside the building is our multiple-purpose “tank room” where we ferment the grapes into wine, age, bottle and store our finished wines.
Most of our wines are bottled in their first year before the next harvest. Some of our reds we age longer, some in oak.
In Missouri, we are considered a large “small” winery producing around 3000 cases a year, or just under 10,000 gallons. We like that each of our wines are handcrafted and that we get to partake in all aspects of winemaking from the field to the bottle.
Harvest runs from August and into October. The “whites” mature earliest, then the reds. If you visit us during the harvest season you may see some activity on the crush pad.