Photo: Photo by Luiz M. Santos en Pexels / Pexels
Wine is much more than an alcoholic beverage that pairs with the most delicious dishes, it encompasses tradition, dedication and is a very valuable custom in iconic cultures. In the United States it is one of the most consumed beverages and in fact there are wine production regions that are emblematic worldwide, such is the case of the vineyards and wineries of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. After all California alone, it is too important a wine country that represents the 85% of wine production nationwide; It is followed by Washington, Oregon and New York, which are also positioned as outstanding producers. However there is a lesser known wine region that is very worth talking about, in fact it is said that it was the capital of the wine industry in the United States before Napa Valley became the epicenter of American wine: Missouri River Valley. So it is no coincidence that today the state of Missouri is actively seeking to retake its place and is in fact rapidly returning as the top wine producer in the Midwest.
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, stretching for the 100 miles that connect St. Louis and Jefferson City. Although it is an area that is characterized by its inconsistent climate which is characterized by humid summers and freezing winters, there are other geographical elements that make it an area suitable for growing wine grapes. The story goes, that German settlers migrated to the Missouri River Valley in the 19th century and the main reason was the benefits offered by its steep slopes and exposed to the sun that symbolized the perfect topography for immigrants to plant their vines. So it was.
There are references in which it is confirmed that in the 1800s, Missouri produced as much wine as any other state in the nation and this was largely due to the Stone Hill Winery located in the city of Hermann. At one point, Stone Hill was the third largest winery in the world, producing approximately 2 million gallons of wine per year. Much later, to be precise on June 20, 1980, Augusta, Missouri, became the first American wine growing area, about eight months before Napa Valley got its AVA designation. As an aside, AVA is a specific type of appellation of origin that is used on wine labels, according to the Office of Commerce and Taxes on Alcohol and Tobacco.
As more recent references it is known that David and Jerri Hoffmann, the founders of the Florida-based conglomerate Hoffman Family of Companies, bought more than 1,000 acres of land in the Augusta area in an attempt to put Missouri back on the map as a key player in the wine industry. Currently if you travel to the small town, you will find several local vineyards with beautiful landscapes, four wineries and accommodation that serves rich breakfasts.
With this new renovation, Mount Pleasant Estates (also known as Augusta’s oldest winery) will double its current production of 25,000 boxes per year. The other three wineries in the region will also be equipped with improved infrastructure to increase the annual number of bottles produced and improve the quality and presentation of the wine.
Undoubtedly this type of news rejoices the hearts of wine lovers in the United States and the world. Efforts to evolve and retake the iconic wine heritage of the Missouri River Valley, they arrive like a fresh and novel breeze that will give a well-deserved boost to the region and of course, to the national wine production What are you waiting for to organize your next wine getaway to this paradisiacal wine region? A wonderful plan to enjoy the summer holidays and taste the most succulent 100% American artisan wines.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.