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Courtesy of Stone Hill Winery
Stone Hill Winery Vineyards in Hermann
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Cobbler and wine pairing
Stone Hill pairs berry Linzer bars and its Vignoles during Berries & BarBQ
One of the most popular ways to visit wine country is via a wine trail, and Missouri has several. The trails offer a user-friendly way to explore wine areas, with tips on top sights and attractions in each area. Most wine trails sponsor special themed events throughout the year.
Patty Held in Hermann is the state’s wine trail diva. After hearing a presentation about wine trails at a national marketing conference several years ago, she came back charged up and ready to roll. She spearheaded the Hermann Wine Trail, and her presentations on the topic at industry conferences have helped launch several wine trails in Missouri and other states.
“What’s really nice about the state’s wine trails,” Patty says, “is that they expose visitors to the wineries in our wine regions. We show them how versatile Missouri wines are by pairing the wines with foods. The wine trails have resulted in increased visits to the wineries throughout the year because people have such a good time during the trail events that they come back on their own.”
Most of the trails have some sort of passport program, by which visitors get their passports stamped at each winery and can enter prize drawings.
One of the most organized wine trails in Missouri is the Hermann Wine Trail, which encompasses seven family-owned wineries in Hermann, Berger, and New Haven. The website boasts that these wineries are the heart and soul of Missouri Wine Country, producing about one-third of the state’s total wine production. They are situated along the Missouri River, in what is called Missouri’s Rhineland. The German influence is strong, and the history is deep. The trail organizes four main events each year, plus a bike ride. One is the Berries & BarBQ tour in July, where each winery pairs one of its wines with a special berry dish. Participants go from winery to winery, tasting and experimenting. You can buy tickets for events at the Hermann Wine Trail website for $30 per person, which includes a souvenir wine glass. Other events are the Chocolate Wine Trail in February, the Holiday Fare Wine Trail in November, and Say Cheese trail in December.
For the holiday trail, each winery pairs a festive dish with a wine, creating a memorable way to usher in the holiday season. The chocolate trail ties in with Valentine’s Day; the wineries pair their wines with chocolate dishes.
Detailed information about each event can be found on the web site closer to the time. The trails tend to sell out, so be sure to book early.