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When German settlers established the town of Hermann, Missouri in 1837, earlier settlers had already claimed the lowlands and prairies.
Viticulture: Cultivation of grape vines
Oenology: Study of wines
Sommelier: Wine steward
Tannin: Bitter organic substance found in the skins and stems of grapes
The Germans were left with the sloping hills and bluffs, land that was only good for one crop: grapes. Their hard work and determination led to Missouri's reputation as prime wine country. Missouri now has over 30 wineries in six different regions, many of them award-winning.
Augusta Region: The Weinstrasse is the two-lane road starting from St. Charles County and winding along the Missouri River. Among the four family-owned wineries along this road is the award-winning Augusta Winery, located in the scenic town of Augusta on the bluffs overlooking the river.
Hermann Region: In the Hermann region, located in the northern hills of the Ozark Plateau, one can tour the underground cellars at Stone Hill, Missouri's largest and oldest winery.
For something different, try one of these French-American hybrid wines that have become so popular in Missouri:
Grapes being harvested
Most Missouri wineries are open year-round. At almost any time of the year, visitors to the wineries will see some aspect of the winemaking process: from the vine-pruning in winter, to the selection of new vine shoots in spring, and finally to the crushing and fermentation in autumn.
If for no other reason, a trip to one of the wineries is a perfect excuse for a drive through the Missouri countryside.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff