This quintet of nearby Missouri wineries – all of which are employing social distancing measures – offers a perfect solution for metro area daytrippers looking to enjoy some fresh air and vino.
Cedar Lake Cellars continues to celebrate its 10th anniversary, having reopened May 8. The 400-acre establishment, which welcomes guests from Friday through Sunday, is practicing customary coronaviral precautions, including what it amusingly has dubbed “Swan Distancing”: what the winery’s website defines as maintaining the usual precautionary 6 feet not only among guests – but also between guests and Cedar Lake Cellars’ wild swans and cygnets.
Cedar Lake Cellars, 11008 Schreckengast Road, Wright City, 636-745-9500, cedarlakecellars.com
Chandler Hill Vineyards sprawls across a picturesque rural ridge and, in the words of its website, boasts a “magnificent 4,500-square-foot terrace.” The establishment’s name pays homage to Joseph Chandler, who owned the property (adjoining a familial home of legendary American frontiersman Daniel Boone) till his death in 1952 at the age of 98, according to the website. Chandler Hill Vineyards welcomes guests from Tuesday through Sunday.
Chandler Hill Vinyards, 596 Defiance Road, Defiance, 636-798-2675, chandlerhillvinyards.com
Chaumette Vineyards & Winery occupies 310 acres roughly 23 miles southwest of the oldest extant settlement west of the Mississippi. Self-characterized on its landing page as “the premier midwest winery destination,” the oenophilic oasis comes from 1961 Ladue Horton Watkins High School grad Hank Johnson and his wife, Jackie. It welcomes guests from Wednesday through Sunday and urges them to savor the culinary expertise of Rob Beasley, executive chef at the Grapevine Grill, which USA Today, in 2017, named one of the 10 best winery restaurants nationwide.
Chaumette Vineyards & Winery, 24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573-747-1000, chaumette.com
Montelle Winery welcomes guests throughout the week. It effectively opened in 1970 in what its website designates as “the first viticultural area in the United States.” In addition to its wines, Montelle Winery – the self-characterized “first winery in Missouri with a distillery” – also tempts visitors with a quartet of house-made brandies: apple, cherry and peach, as well as grappa, the Italianate spirit made from the lees of grapes after pressing to make wine.
Montelle Winery, 201 Montelle Drive, Augusta,
Stone Hill Winery proudly makes this mind-boggling statement on its website: “Established in 1847, and well before there was a Napa Valley wine industry, Stone Hill grew to be the second largest winery in the United States! … By the 1870s, the winery was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year.” That website includes a gallery of some breathtaking vintage photos and illustrations from Stone Hill Winery’s history. Today comprising seven vineyards on 190 acres, it welcomes guests weeklong (although its Vintage Restaurant closes on Tuesday and Wednesday).
Stone Hill Winery, 1110 Stone Hill Highway, Hermann, 573-486-2221, stonehillwinery.com
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