Missouri was once heavily
involved in the winemaking business with approximately 100 wineries in
Missouri were producing two million gallons of wine each year at the turn
of the 20th century. The onset of the Prohibition era began with the
passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919 and dealt a severe blow to
Missouri's winemaking industry. The wineries of Sainte Genevieve County are a part of a
resurgence of vintners that began in the 1980s.
The Route du Vin of
Sainte Genevieve County is a driving tour that begins in Sainte Genevieve and
then travels in a loop through the forested hills and farmland southeast
of this historic town. Driving time is about an hour not counting any stop
The first stop on the
tour is the Sainte Genevieve Winery, which is located at 245 Merchant
Street in a turn of the 20th century home in the historic district. The
winery features a wine tasting room, a shop, and a Bed and Breakfast. The
Ste. Genevieve Winery specialties include dry and sweet wines grown from
their 13-acre vineyard and seasonal fruit wines made from the harvests of
local orchards. The historic buildings, shops, and restaurants of Ste.
Genevieve all are
within walking distance from the winery.
continue the tour take MO-32 west past the I-55 interchange to Route-B and follow Route-B
past the little town of River aux Vases and take a left on Route-P. Follow
Route-P until you see a sign directing you to take a right onto Cave Road.
Here you will find the Cave Vineyard. The winery derives its name from a
cave on the property that was a saltpeter mine in Revolutionary War days
and reportedly was once used as a hideout by Jesse James. Cave
Vineyard has 14 acres of vineyards and makes chardonel and traminette from
white grapes and chambourcin and norton from red grapes.
To get to the next
stop on the Route du Vin you will have to travel down the gravel roads of
the backcountry of Sainte Genevieve County. Travelers will be confronted
with a fork in the road (there will be no signs) and should bear left on
what is Saline Creek Road. This stretch of the trip is especially
beautiful in late autumn as the road winds past farms and through forests.
At the next intersection there will be a small sign that will direct you
to take a left to reach Route-WW.
Saline Creek Road
will end at Route-WW and you should travel west by taking a right. Within
a few hundred yards is Chaumette Vineyards and Winery. The tasting room is
patterned after an 18th century French Creole style vertical-log house.
The winery also has a unique grill and has a wide porch that looks out over
the vineyards and local farms. Chaumette produces more than a dozen wines
from Missouri grapes, ranging from dry to sweet.
Backtracking east on
Route-WW and taking a right on Boyd Road (CR-2199) will lead you to the
Charleville Vineyards Winery & Microbrewery located at 16937 Boyd
Road. Visitors can sample handcrafted wines in the tasting room. The
microbrewery makes an assortment of ales, lagers, and seasonal beers. A
refurbished 1860ís log cabin on the property serves as a two-room Bed
& Breakfast for guests on weekends.
Taking Boyd back to
WW, taking a left, and traveling west on Route-WW will take you to the
last stop on the tour, which is Crown Valley Winery (23589 State Route
WW.) The 800-acre estate features wine tasting and live music on the
weekends. The winery uses both Missouri grapes and California-grown juice
to produce over 50 varieties of red, white, fruit, and sparkling wines.
return to Sainte Genevieve follow Route-WW west until it intersects with Route-B
and take a right. Follow Route-B north until you reach MO-32 and take a
right and follow MO-32 east back into Sainte Genevieve. The Charleville Vineyards Winery & Microbrewery
has a second wine tasting room is
located next to the Main Street Inn at the corner of Main and Washington
streets in Sainte Genevieve.