Saturday, September 12, 2020

My Favorite Wineries near Saint Louis

best wineries in saint louis
Missouri is home to over one hundred wineries and was known for the top wine-growing region in the 1800s. We even have our own state grape, the Norton. Augusta, MO was actually the first recognized American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1980, making it a designated wine-grape growing region. Would you believe that when I was in college I took a wine tasting class? It was one of my favorites and I learned a few great tips for tasting wines. 

Tips for Wine Tasting:
  • Taste in the following order: dry white, sweet white, rosé, dry red, sweet red, sparkling
  • Cleanse your palette between wines with crackers or bread
  • Swirl your glass to aerate the wine
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions, the employees at these wineries know what they're talking about
  • There are no wrong answers when describing a wine, everyone has different taste

Some of the wineries I’ve visited this summer are not doing tastings, due to COVID-19, but you can still grab your favorite bottle and enjoy a day at a winery. It is pretty easy to social distance as tables are typically spread out as well. They also tend to be a lot less busy during the week, if your schedule allows for a weekday visit instead of weekend. Pack some cheese and crackers and head out for an afternoon at one of these picturesque wineries outside Saint Louis.


augusta winery near st louis mo

Augusta Winery

You can bring your own food here. 

Augusta Winery has a small tasting room with a gift shop and a large terrace up the hill where you can sip on your favorite wine. There’s a pretty fountain in the center of the courtyard and vines all over the trellises. This winery is on the smaller side, but you can pack a picnic basket or purchase food and easily spend an afternoon here.

My Favorite Wine: River Valley Blush


Balducci Vineyards

You can bring your own food here.

This spacious vineyard is one of the newer wineries near Augusta but they have already won several awards. There’s plenty of seating with huge trees for shade and even a couple bocce ball courts. The restaurant has a full menu but you can also pack your own snacks to enjoy with the wine. Look out for the sweet cat, Norton, who hangs out around the building. 

My Favorite Wine: Sonata


montelle winery near st louis mo

Montelle Winery


If you’re looking for a great view, head out to Montelle. The patios behind the large tasting room overlook the river valley. Montelle also has a vast selection of wines to taste and purchase a bottle on site. They don’t allow outside food, but have a well-stocked array of cheese, crackers and other snacks. There’s also a cafe for hot food.

My Favorite Wine: Himmelswein & Tropical Sangria (seasonal)


Noboleis vineyards wine tasting in augusta, mo

Noboleis Vineyards

You can bring your own food here.

Noboleis Vineyards has a wide selection of wines for every palate. The panoramic views of the vineyards are the perfect backdrop for tasting wine (and photos!). You can taste four wines in a flight before selecting a bottle. They do allow you to bring snacks but they also have pizzas that smelled heavenly. You can picnic outside or under their massive tented pavilion. Either way, there is a ton of space. 

My Favorite Wine: Vignoles


Sugar Creek Winery

You can bring your own food here.

As you’re heading out towards all the wineries in Augusta and Defiance, Sugar Creek is one of the first you’ll see. This winery offers covered decks and plenty of shaded tables to enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting. You can walk up to the vineyards for photos or enjoy the view overlooking the Katy Trail. They have a good variety of wines available and there’s something for everyone. 

My Favorite Wine: Boone Country White & Peach Hollow


Since so many of these wineries allow you to bring your own food (just no outside beverages), I also wanted to share some of my favorite snacks to bring along. You can simply pack a cooler or try your hand at putting together a trendy charcuterie board!

Best Snacks to Pair with Wine:

  • Cheese
  • Crackers
  • Salami
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Hummus
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Veggies & Dip

You can probably tell by my favorite wines listed that I prefer sweet or semi-sweet whites, but there’s plenty of dry and red options at all these wineries too! If you’re from the Saint Louis area and have a winery recommendation, drop it in the comments below. I’m always looking for new places to check out.

xo,
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