The hub of the wine industry in the eighteen hundreds became centered on the town of Hermann, Missouri, first settled in 1837. The city of Hermann takes its name from Hermann the Cherusker, who beat back three Roman legions in the Battle of Teutoburger in 9 AD. To Germans, he is a symbol of strength. Historical Hermann is one of those places you visit where "time has seemed to stand still". It is full of quaint, red brick buildings, several personalized bed and breakfast inns and numerous other shops and museums. The town has all the amenities to make a visit there a great experience. Hermann is the heart of Missouri wine country with its wineries producing nearly 70,000 gallons of wine per year, 1/3 of the state total.
There is a broad array of events often planned within these wine growing zones. Wine tasting, winery openings, wine and dinner theatres, wine release parties, and winery anniversary celebrations abound. I also discovered that most of these events feature "live entertainment" to make the discovery tours even more enjoyable. As in many other places in the country, the October Fest celebrations always seem to cap off a great wine growing season, making a Missouri October wine tour extra special. Because of Prohibition in the 1920's, the Missouri wine industry nearly disappeared, but since the early 1960's the industry is once again flourishing.
In 2009, Stone Hill Winery received the Governor's Cup Award. That competition featured over 220 different Missouri wines. Gold medals awarded totaled 42 with 54 Silver and 64 Bronze medals also awarded. The most important grapes are the Norton, Chancellor Noir, Cayuga, Catawba, Niagara and Concord. New French hybrids that are also gaining in reputation include Vidal, Seyval, Vigroles and Chardonel.
Missouri is often affectionately called "The Show Me State". My investigation of Missouri's Wine Country ended up "showing me" that they have carved out a nice niche in wine producing. Remember, store your wine properly, serve it at the right temperature and enjoy it immensely.