American Wineries and Vineyards

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Stephen and Lori Smith's Wine Journal Entries

Mount Pleasant Winery - Branson (written Apr 08, 2012)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Favorite Wine: Highland

Someone once told me that wine is a very personal experience. No wine will taste the same to two different individuals. I don't care much for very dry wines, but I don't look down on people that prefer them. My wine adventure started with sweets and has evolved from there. I once went to a winery that served only dry (they called them "traditional") wines, and while it wasn't a miserable experience, we probably won't visit again, and I doubt I would buy their wines in the store. A smart winery tries to market to as many people as it can, and to ignore the sweet wine drinkers is counterproductive because it excludes a substantial number of the wine drinking public. Mount Pleasant is a commercial winery, but opening a winery in Branson is a good way to market their product to a clientelle that maybe hasn't tried it before. It isn't very sophisticated, but hey....we're talking Branson. There was a decent selection of dry to sweet whites and reds ranging from $7 to $40. If you're in Branson and maybe want to try something different, this winery is worth a visit.

Middle Creek Winery/Graue Vineyards (written Feb 25, 2012)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Favorite Wine: Honey Red

Small and remote, but worth a look. Part of the fledgling Somerset Wine Trail, the winery offers a good selection of wines. The owners tend to lean towards the dry wines, but they offer some good semi-sweet (or off-dry, if you prefer)selections. Most notably they offer a honey wine (mead), which is pretty rare in this region. The most intriguing wine offered is the Honey Red, which is a Norton sweetened with honey. My favorite by far, and one that other wineries should look into.

Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery (written Feb 25, 2012)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Citron

One of the more successful wineries commercially in Kansas. Good selection and a cozy, albeit remote, location. Eleven wines to chose from, and all were available for tasting. Good mix of dries and semi-sweets and sweets, with a nice selection of fortified wines. The Citron was a unique fortified wine with a lemony twist. A little out of the way, but recommended. The anchor point of the Somerset Wine Trail, along with Middle Creek (Graue) and Night Hawk wineries.

Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery (written Jan 22, 2012)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Belvoir Winery (written Jan 22, 2012)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Plumeria and Sorelle Dolci

Missouri's only haunted winery(at least as far as I know). The winery and tasting room are set up in a couple of buildings in the century old Odd Fellows Home estate. The rumors of the building being haunted pre-date the winery by decades, but the building are still under renovation, which takes away from the ambiance just a little. Only six wines are offered for tasting, but they represent a good range. The dry wines are subtle and not at all "oaky". The Sorelle Dolci is an excellent sweet white.

Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery (written Jan 03, 2012)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 5 stars

Favorite Wine: vignoles

Great place to buy wine accessories as well as some good wines. Great environment and ambiance. Check out the Valvin Muscat.

Ladoga Ridge Winery (written Dec 11, 2011)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Concord

Not an easy name to remember, and not the easiest place to find, but this is a beautiful winery with some good wines. They had a good variety, but their dessert wines were the most intriguing. The Strawberry Rhubarb was more liquid candy than wine. There was a rather large seating area inside, but despite the cool temperatures we enjoyed the beautiful view at one of the outdoor tables. Well worth the trip, especially if you are visiting a couple of the Northland wineries.

Jowler Creek Winery (written Dec 11, 2011)
Wine: 3 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Red Cock-A-Doodle Do & Critter Cuvee

A surprisingly small winery, but the staff's enthusiasm made up for it. Ryan was a believer in the product,and it showed. The wines were good, if pedestrian. I am a fan of sweet wines, so the high points were Butterfly Blush, Critter Cuvee, and Red Cock-A-Doodle Do, but the Vignoles would be a good table wine choice. Not my favorite winery, but I would go back, and would recommend it.

BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery (written Dec 05, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Favorite Wine: Traminette or Prairie Red

Very nice facility. A bit more upscale than some of the area wineries, but the staff was friendly and knowledgeable. A good variety of wines, and it appears they aren't afraid to experiment a little. No inside sitting area for drinking, so bundle up on a cool day if you're going to drink a bottle there. Worth the trip.

Davenport Orchards and Winery (written Dec 05, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 5 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Charlemagne

My kind of place. Not at all pretentious or snooty. Very extensive wine selection. We tasted nine different wines, and those were just the sweets! Loved the Peche, which is a peach dessert wine. I'm not a fan of red ports, but the Olde Squidde was awesome. Prices are very reasonable.

Bias Vineyards and Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 1 stars Winery: 2 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

The only winery in the area that also had a brewery. Enjoyed the beer more than we did the wine. Nice if you're in the mood for something different, but if you're pressed for time I would skip this one.

Robller Vineyard Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 5 stars

Favorite Wine: Vignoles

Definitely off the beaten path, but well worth the extra drive. The staff was nice, and the place definitely had the feel of a family run operation. A nice old boxer named Duke kept us company while we enjoyed a bottle on the patio. Beautiful view.

Hermannhof Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 5 stars

Favorite Wine: Germantown or Stagswood Red

We visited during Oktoberfest and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In fact, it was the only winery we visited twice that weekend. Didn't like all the wines, of course, but they ones we did are among our favorites. Highly recommended.

Adam Puchta Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 5 stars Winery: 5 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Favorite Wine: Reifenstahl

My favorite winery ever so far. Great staff and wines that will make a fan out of anyone. The patio area wasn't all that great, but the wines made up for it.

OakGlenn Vineyards and Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 2 stars Winery: 3 stars Ambiance: 5 stars

Didn't care for their wines at all, but the view was absolutely breathtaking. I would return for the view, but not the wine.

Pirtle Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 3 stars

Favorite Wine: Mellow Red

The only winery in the area that makes mead. The patio area is beside the building and is very nice and almost secluded. I recommend purchasing a picnic to go along with your bottle

Riverwood Winery (written Dec 03, 2011)
Wine: 4 stars Winery: 4 stars Ambiance: 4 stars

Beautiful location and worth the drive. The building is an old schoolhouse, so there is lots of room inside, and you can drink inside during inclement weather. The White Eminence bumps up the wine score for me.

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