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Courtesy Rolling Meadow
Rolling Meadow Vineyard and Winery
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Courtesy Rolling Meadow
Ed Staude of Rolling Meadow
It could be the teacher in him or that he grew up on a nearly century-old Michigan family vineyard that gives Missouri winemaker and vintner Ed Staude his unique ability to keep the art and science of wine approachable.
Whatever the reason, Rolling Meadows Vineyard & Winery, operated by Ed and Claudia Staude, is a delightfully unexpected stop before reaching Missouri’s more established wine trails.
Rolling Meadows, aptly located on Eden Trail just west of Warrenton, is a working winery where wine lovers and casual enthusiasts alike can experience the craft of winemaking.
In every season, you can usually find Ed tending the tasting room or working the vines. Guests enjoy a rare opportunity to watch a true winemaker at work: pruning, trimming, bottling, harvesting, and crushing.
But Ed is never too busy to visit.
“Although I’m not a talker by nature,” he admits. “My wife is the more conversational of the two of us.”
Still, drop by Rolling Meadows, and you’ll find Ed behind the table pouring and sharing the craft of his wines or leading enthusiastic patrons out into the vines or the barrel room for a quick tour.
“People are always curious about the process,” he says. “We meet lots of folks who say they’d like to try this when they retire.”
But it’s not as easy as it looks, Ed says.
“Vineyard tending is ‘gentleman’s farming,’ and I suppose that sounds easy, but when our guests learn that each RMV vine is hand-tended and touched at minimum four times per year, you see people do the math and recognize the amount of work it takes to make that glass of wine so memorable.”
Rolling Meadows produces four distinct varietals: two whites, including Niagara, a sweet variety, and Seyval Blanc, a French hybrid; and two reds, including a sweet Concord and a venerable Missouri Norton.
One hundred percent of the grapes going into the wine made at Rolling Meadows are grown in the winery’s vineyards, made into wine, and bottled on site.
Ed laughs at the notion that these distinctions make RMV wines exclusive.
“We’re a small operation, and so we operate by hand for very practical reasons, but it’s definitely a distinction for our wines, and we’re proud of it.”
Ed was tending vineyards as part of a family operation from the time he was old enough to be in the vineyard. But life has taken him far from his Michigan roots.
A teacher in Missouri since 1982, he holds two master’s degrees, including one in international affairs from Washington University in St. Louis. When not at the vineyard, Ed chairs the humanities department at Lutheran High School in St. Charles County.
The Staudes bought the property in 1998, following the passing of Ed’s mother, and established Rolling Meadows in 2000.
“I suppose building this place was my version of therapy,” Ed explains. “Wine is not complicated. It’s meant to be enjoyed, and that’s the atmosphere we are cultivating at RMV. This place should feel like the customer’s own vineyard. I’m happy to share our escape with them.”
The winery has limited hours on Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM, but does offer tastings by appointment.