Chocolate Wine Trail
Red wine and Chocolate. Who wouldn’t want to spend afternoon with this pairing?
We thought 1,200 people would—without us.
The Trekker is hibernating and we feel like waking her up for a weekend in Missouri Wine Country February 21 and 22, 2009, the weekend of the Chocolate Wine Trail. However, the web site informs us all 1,200 tickets are sold. After several inquiries, still no tickets are available on Thursday the 19th. Friday afternoon, I make one last pleading call to our favorite Robllers Winery. Sweet words, “Yes, we have two unclaimed tickets”
We are up, loaded and on the road by 6:30am. I have a casserole in the truckers oven for lunch. This will give us a nutritious beginning to an afternoon of desserts.
Robllers wine tasting room has a warm, festive atmosphere. Our complimentary Chocolate Wine Trail glasses are ready with Villa Rouge, a Semi - dry, fruit forward, red wine. It compliments the Double Chocolate Cheesecake perfectly. Yes, I said, “double chocolate.” The chocolate cheese cake contained bits of sweet chocolate.
We have several favorites at Robllers, so we stock up with a case for home.
On to Bias Winery. We miss visiting this old favorite last fall. It is good to make our way up the hill and see that nothing has changed. A warm fire greets us in their tasting room as well as a Double Chocolate Valentine Brownie, paired with their Rose`. We expected most wine pairings to be red, but the Bias choice is nice. We enjoy the fire and make our treat last.
OakGlenn sits high above the Missouri River. We always catch the fall view from their patio. Now, we are invited to their second floor entertainment room to enjoy the view through curved picture windows as we sip their River View Red wine with Chocolate Pound Cake with Cherry Cream. As it turns out, this is the most generous serving—and I ate it all. We purchased a bottle of the River View Red to share with friends as we thought it an exceptionally good dessert choice.
Hermannhof Winery is serving their guests in a beautiful brick lined wine cellar. The candlelight compliments the chocolate Hazelnut Terrine, paired with an especially smooth Norton wine. We are tempted to tarry, but there are others waiting their turn so we move on. Not without buying a bottle of the Norton, loaf of their fresh baked bread and chunk of cheese for a non sweet treat later.
Stone Hill Winery has a nice visitor center with colorful wine accessories and displays. We are ready to walk around a bit before sampling their Cheesecake-filled Dark Chocolate Crown with Mixed Berry Drizzle paired with 2006 Port. The Chocolate Wine Trail is winding down. We enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere in the Stone Hill tasting room. We lingered a while.
Regretfully, our last chocolate awaits us at Adam Puchta Winery. The Work of the Devil Chocolate Sundae. a hat tip to the Mardi Gras celebration, is oh so sinful with their Signature Port. We are served in their beautiful native stone wine cellar/Bistro. We take our time, sip our wine and, of course, eat all of the “sinfully” tasty dessert.
While the cost of the afternoon at $30 per person might seem a bit high, it included six delicious desserts with wine. It is always difficult to determine how much one is willing to spend for an opportunity for a new experience on a road trip. However, looking back, we laughed, enjoyed each new tasting occasion and slowed life’s pace for a brief overnight vacation. For us, as we begin to tire of winter, this was a perfect little trip.
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Hermann to Jefferson City along river road Hwy 100
After completing the Chocolate Trail, we decide to begin our return trip west on Hwy 100 following the Missouri River and Louis and Clark Trail to Jefferson City. While we make the trip to Missouri wine country often, we have never followed this route home. What a pleasant surprise. Dan and I especially enjoy rivers and river towns.
The Gasconade River is nearly always a destination when we are in Hermann. We cross this river on a ferry to eat at our favorite Rivers Edge Restaurant. This time, however, we cross the river on a new modern bridge and pass the town of Gasconade. I have my heart set on a sunset over the River so I am anxious to find a suitable location. It is too early here. In our haste, we miss checking out the town and the location of the joining of the two rivers. Next time.
From Gasconade, we cut away from the river over bluffs. While winter is keeping everything brown and asleep, this drive any other time of year, especially fall, would be beautiful.
Chamois brought us back to the river. I mean, right on the river at their boat ramp and camp ground. We make a note this is a great riverside camping location with electrical hookups for $15 or tent for $5. We stay briefly to watch several hardy fishermen in boats.
Further down Hwy 100, we turn on State Hwy C which takes us past the town of Frankenstein. This tiny town maintains a Catholic church called Our Lady of Help with a beautiful castle architecture. It appears the town is not named after the monster, but rather for Gottfried Franken who in 1890 donated land for a church.
State Hwy C passes through Amish country. I guess everything needs repair at some point.
These were on display by a private home. The tall Native American is cut from a rounded tank. Notice the home in the background for perspective
Bonnots Mill web site says it’s “Just down the hill by the river.” How true. It is also like dropping back in time. Built on a hill near the confluence of the Osage and Missouri Rivers, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. A Bed and Breakfast and “Old Bank” meeting place appear to be right out of the 1800s. I was able to take my sunset pictures from their river access and still explore the area before dark.
We closed the day by exploring Jefferson City long enough to find the capitol and admire it’s architecture before finding a place to spend the night and heading home the next morning.