Sainte Genevieve, Missouri

Photo: Chaumette Vineyards & Winery
Photo: Chaumette Vineyards & Winery

Your tour of up-and-coming wine regions continues. Recently, you’ve been to the North Fork and the Finger Lakes in New York, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan. You’ve tasted delicious wines, tried surprising blends, and brought more than a few bottles home. Next stop: the Route du Vin in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri.

You were a bit surprised when you first heard that Missouri has wineries. But the west bank of the Mississippi River, full of farmland and rolling hills, is an ideal location to grow grapes. Add a cute, historic town—Sainte Genevieve was the first European settlement west of the longest river in the country—and a national forest and a state park full of trials for a perfect spot to spend a long weekend.

Drive through the center of town, lined with French Colonial buildings, to find Sainte Genevieve Winery. Tour the historic home and taste their Seyval Blanc, which was aged in Missouri oak barrels. Visit Cave Vineyard, where wine barrels are stacked in the cool Saltpeter Cave. Sip their award-winning Chardonel and taste biscotti at the biscotti bar. Be sure to buy some chocolate-cayenne biscotti along with your wine selection. Cleanse your palate—with beer!—at Crown Valley Brewing. Their Serrano Sidekick Ale, Raspberry Wheat Ale, and Good Ole Boys Lager are refreshing breaks from all of the IPAs most breweries are serving right now. Then head to Chaumette Vineyards & Winery for one more wine tasting.

Chaumette sits in a serene, secluded spot outside of town. The tasting room overlooks a fish-stocked lake, the Saline Creek Valley, and, of course, their vines. Compare their oaked and unoaked Chardonels. Try the acidic Vignoles and the crisp Traminette. And fall in love with the Reserve Norton, made with Missouri’s state grape. Stay for an early dinner at the Grapevine Grill Restaurant, where the chef serves Hinkebein Elk Ranch meatballs and apple-cider-and soy-glazed salmon. Then spend the night by a crackling fireplace in one of the winery’s cozy villas. You really shouldn’t be driving at this point anyway.


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