One last roadtrip beckons before we winterize the Trekker. It is a three-day weekend for me so Friday night finds us making our way to Hermann Missouri.
Hoping for Columbia, but hindered by drooping eyelids, the first Wal-Mart Parking lot we find east of Kansas City is our alternate destination. Our niece and family welcome us at 8:30 Saturday morning. A quick visit, delicious breakfast pizza and we are on the road again. We meet the rest of our group in New Florence, the exit off I 70 to Hermann
Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday we enjoy our favorite vineyards.
OakGlen Winery is first. Somewhat miffed this winery is the only one on the Hermann wine trail charging a fee to enter and taste, we decide to stop anyway mainly for the spectacular view of the Missouri River Valley. The band is excellent. Their wine is good with our meat, cheese and crackers. With the fees, we didn't feel an obligation to purchase any extra wine.
Our plan is to stop by Hermannhof Winery on our way back through Hermann. There is no way! It was unbelievably crowded. Hermannhof is located in Hermann and within walking distance of the Amtrak depot. Missouri and Amtrak work together to provide transportation from Kansas City and St Louis across Missouri. There are two opportunities to catch trains each way daily. Obviously, many young people take advantage of this trip.
We pass by Hermannhof opting for Adam Puchta & Son Wine Co.
Adam Puchta is one of Hermann's older wineries dating to 1839. Probation destroyed the vineyard, but was reestablished in 1988. We enjoy Norton and Chardonel wines as well as Hunter's Red. We linger here as perfect weather and colorful trees make this a quiet, relaxing stop.
We left Adam Puchta for the Rivers Edge restaurant. Not only does this restaurant have good food, the only access from the north is a ferry across the Gasconade River. A step back in time. Only one of our group orders wine with the meal, the rest of us opt for water--lots of it!
Sunday morning we start with a new destination, Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery. What a delight. We will be returning in the future. Nick Bommarito and his children established their 10 acres of vines in 1996 and opened in 2000. They only make five wines and only use grapes from their vineyards. The daughters serve the samples and Mr. Nick sells the bottles. They are personable and friendly. We park ourselves in the shade and enjoy several bottles of their excellent St. Vincent and Norton with specially prepared brats.
Robller Vineyard Winery is always on our list. A family winery with a fun tasting room, colorful terrace and entertainment most weekends. We hang around to enjoy Gary Sluhan and his Jimmy Buffet covers. Robert and Lois Mueller purchased their land in 1989 and the winery opened in 1991. We said hello to them as they roam among the guests. Their personal touch is evident from start to end. Hands down, our favorite stop each year.
Our wine trail finally ends late Sunday afternoon at the Hermannhof winery. The crowd mostly gone, we enjoy the traditional German music and dancing.
Although not too hungry, we picnic at the Hermann River's Edge Park. It is hard to finally say goodnight to our friends and ready ourselves for the trip home, a case of wine for the holidays in tow.