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. Meramec Vineyards maintained their own vineyards for years. In 2017, the vineyards, located just three miles from the winery, were sold to a enthusiastic new owner who continues to tenderly care for the plantings of six varieties of grapes: Vignoles, Seyval, Niagara, Norton, Stark Star and Concord. We source our grapes from him. The varieties he doesn’t grow we get from other Missouri growers.
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.
The Concord acreage in our county 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
The grapes are harvested by hand brought to the winery’s 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 2000 cases a year, or about 5,000 gallons.
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.