March 27, 2017

America’s Wine Heartland: Hermann, Missouri

Originally published in WineTouristMagazine.comFew places in America combine wine and history like Hermann, Missouri. Relatively few wine drinkers know that Missouri has a thriving wine industry of about 130 wineries and during the 19th century was one of the leading producers of wine in the country. Hermann, an unassuming but charming town of 2,500 residents on the Missouri River, has always … [Read more...]

MWP and Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest 2016

In a couple of months’ time, wine industry people from across the Midwest will gather in St. Charles, Missouri for one of the biggest wine conferences in our region. One difference this year is a name change: what was formerly called the Midwest Wine Conference is now Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest. This time, winemakers, distillers and brewers are under one roof, but attending three separate … [Read more...]

Climate Change Could Benefit Northern Wines

Research by Paul Huttner, chief meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), suggests Midwest wine growers may benefit from climate change. Huttner said his work looking at how climate change is impacting viticulture in northern regions of the USA reveals that warming is very likely a good thing, in the long run, for colder climate wines. However, he warns, extreme temperature swings in fall, … [Read more...]

‘Super’ Appellations: A View from Stone Hill Winery

This article by Danny Wood is part of a series looking at the idea of ‘super’ appellations in the Midwest. We’re bouncing around the idea of uniting parts of our region under a bigger appellation category according to grape variety, rather than terroir, and with strict quality controls. The aim is to help market the best Midwest wines in our region.Many smaller wineries in our region rely … [Read more...]

US Versus Europe Taste Off at VitiNord ’15

The 2015 VitiNord International Viticulture & Enology Conference is taking place from 11-14 November in Nebraska City. This year, the leading event focusing on the latest advances in cold hardy grape growing and winemaking around the world, will include a unique ‘taste off’ between cold hardy hybrids and European hybrids.Organizer and grape breeder, Tom Plocher, says attendees will be able … [Read more...]

Chemical Free, Ageworthy Wines in the Midwest

In the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, the Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) notes the scared reaction to his crazy acts of violence and says, "Why so serious?" In The Dark Grape, he might have said, "Why so toxic?" as he observed the large amount of chemicals used on vineyards around the world.When it comes to using chemicals on vines, pre-emptive strikes - much like US foreign policy - … [Read more...]

‘Super’ Appellations: A View from Minnesota

Here’s the second installment of our series looking at the idea of ‘super’ appellations in the Midwest. We’re bouncing around the idea of uniting parts of our region under a bigger appellation category according to grape variety, rather than terroir, and with strict quality controls. The aim is to help market the best Midwest wines in our region. See related story: 'Super' Appellations: A View … [Read more...]

MO Wine Industry Seeks Winery Definition Change

Leading members of Missouri's wine industry are calling for changes to the way a winery is defined."It's got to the point now where there are actually restaurants that are calling themselves wineries," said Tony Kooyumjian, chair of  a special sub-committee set up a few months ago by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board (MWGB) to look into the winery definition issue.Under current state … [Read more...]

Missouri Winery Tour: Westphalia, Chaumette and Augusta Wineries

Last week, my wife and I took urgent action. With baby number two's due date closing fast and the frightening prospect of never having time to do anything ever again, we filled the car with gas and dragged our toddler from one end of Missouri to the other to visit a few wineries.We started at Westphalia Vineyards, near the small town of the same name, just outside the state capitol, … [Read more...]

Fully Flavored, Low Alcohol Wine in the Midwest?

My sources in Australia (dad and mum!) recently sent over a news article about a low alcohol wines ‘breakthrough’ that could have implications for winemaking in the Midwest. ‘Low-Alcohol Wine On It’s Way’, by Sydney Morning Herald wine writer, Huon Hooke, describes a ‘secret’ that New Zealand winemaker and molecular biologist, John Forrest, has uncovered:“Forrest and his team of winemakers and … [Read more...]