By Sauce Staff // May 13, 2021
As the world slowly begins to open back up, you may be feeling the urge to get out of the city and enjoy time in the country at some of the many wineries near St. Louis. Here are our top picks for getting out and about this summer.
Located in the Augusta American Viticulture Area (AVA), the first AVA designated in the U.S. (in 1980), this winery is a vital stop for the wine connoisseur and amateur alike. The winery specializes in estate-bottled wine, meaning the entire process, from growing the grapes to bottling the blends, takes place on the property and within the Augusta AVA. Enjoy live music Saturdays and Sundays at the open-air wine and beer garden April through October. Make a weekend of it! The winery is within walking distance to many popular B&Bs and hiking and biking on the Katy Trail. Take the complimentary trolley to the three other wineries within the Hoffmann Family of Companies.
5601 High St., Augusta, 888.667.9463, augustawinery.com
A sprawling vineyard on 76 acres of rolling hills and vistas operating for over 20 years, Balducci has been voted favorite winery for the past 14 years by a local readers poll, and the winery also boasts numerous award-winning wines featuring Missouri-grown grapes. Enjoy live entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays from April to November, life-sized games and bocce ball court and plenty of room to enjoy a day outside. Plan your special events and weddings and wow your guests in the classic barn. Don’t miss the craft beer options aplenty, along with amazing food like sandwiches, pizzas, salads and finger food like soft pretzels and famous toasted ravioli. Visit the website for hours and directions, and catch a ride on the Augusta trolley to visit the sister wineries as well.
6601 S. Hwy. 91, Augusta, 636.482.8466, balduccivineyards.com
Bella Vista Winery
The name Bella Vista was inspired by the winery’s stunning scenery. Guests can sit and sip a delicious glass of wine made in Bella Vista’s own cellar while taking in the views of a lake dancing with wild waterfowl alongside a lush 12-acre vineyard. The chefs give significant thought to the details of the scrumptious menu. As much local product as possible is sourced with the belief that it is vital to support the surrounding community. The winemaker, Cory Kunkle, and grape grower, Matt Gorazd, create award-winning wines ranging from sweet to bold and dry. The Tuscan-like feel is a perfect romantic location for a ceremony by the vineyard and a party in the grand ballroom for up to 300 guests.
6633 E. Main St., Maryville, Illinois, 618.365.6280, bellavistail.com
Chandler Hill Vineyards
Idyllically situated on a hilltop at the entrance to Missouri Wine Country, Chandler Hill is a Midwest winery like no other. From the tasting room to the 5,000-square-foot deck overlooking vineyards, a spring-fed lake, rolling hills and the inspiring Osage Valley teeming with wildlife, Chandler Hill is an enchanting year-round destination. Enjoy meals on-site, wine tastings, special festivities and events, as well as weekly live music and dinner service every Wednesday evening. (There’s a full kitchen, so no outside food and beverages.) Chandler Hill is an ideal spot to host a private party, from weddings to birthdays, accommodating groups from 10 to 300. The family-friendly establishment, open six days a week and closed on Mondays, also allows dogs outside on the deck and in the vineyards.
596 Defiance Road, Defiance, 636.798.2675, chandlerhillvineyards.com
Crown Valley Winery
Crown Valley, which opened in 2003, is just an hour south of St. Louis and offers gorgeous views of rolling hills and miles of breathtaking vineyards. There’s a wide array of wines, with 27 varieties to choose from, including cabernet sauvignon and chambourcin, along with some unique options like Blackberry Bling and pink sangria. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment every Saturday from April through October. There’s spacious outdoor and indoor seating, and picnic baskets are welcome. There are also several beautiful venues, including a pavilion and the barrel room, perfect for weddings, parties and retreats. In addition, there are lodging options for those wishing to stay overnight.
23589 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.756.9463, crownvalleywinery.com
Defiance Ridge Vineyards
Nestled in 42 sprawling acres of vineyards, lush gardens and a tranquil lake just 30 minutes west of St. Louis in the hills of Historic Missouri Wine Country, Defiance Ridge offers vineyard-to-table cuisine, live music and succulent estate wines, as well as exclusive varietals from the West Coast. The winery is open seven days a week year-round. Looking to host your next private event? Defiance Ridge is also the perfect spot for weddings, private parties and corporate outings. The facility offers a spacious layout featuring a wide array of options for guests of all sizes. It was also a winner of The Knot’s “Best Of” Weddings 2021.
2711 S. MO. 94, Defiance, 636.798.2288, defianceridgevineyards.com
Edg-Clif Vineyard, Winery, Brewery
Pack a picnic basket and head south to this third-generation, family-owned farm, which boasts an array of award-winning vinos along with a farmhouse brewery and plenty of craft beers. Four vintage farmhouses (all over 100 years old and furnished with family antiques) on the property are now available on Airbnb. The venue also features live music every Saturday through October, the Home Grown Farm Tour Field Dinner Aug. 28 and Grape Friends harvest events in September. Check out the website for details.
10035 Edg-Clif Drive, Potosi, 573.438.4741, edg-clif.com
Grafton Winery and Brewhaus
Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, the Grafton Winery & Brewhaus features two large patios with relaxing river views. Watch the boaters go by while sipping award-winning Grafton winery wines. There’s a full menu and live music every Saturday and Sunday, offering a relaxing and memorable experience. They are the only production winery in Grafton and also make their own microbrews downstairs for the avid beer drinker. The winery is within walking distance from many amazing bed and breakfasts in Grafton if you’re looking to enjoy a fun-filled weekend. And the vineyards are just 3 miles away, boasting a 5,000-square-foot pavilion for weddings and corporate events. Located next to Eckert’s Farm in Grafton, it’s the perfect, quaint wine country experience.
300 W. Main St., Grafton, 618.786.3001, thegraftonwinery.com
Hidden Lake Winery
This beautiful 92-acre, family-owned winery is a true destination spot. Along with a full restaurant, three large wedding venues for 80 to 550 guests and 10 adorable cabins, the winery is known for its amazing wines made from locally sourced grapes. The 2019 Vintage Traminette won Double Gold for its best white dry of any Illinois appellation at the State Wine Competition last year. Winemaker Cory Kunkle creates a variety of sweet to dry complex wines, offering a delicious experience for every palate. Guests can enjoy music on the patio while overlooking a beautiful tranquil setting. Stroll along the lakeside nature walk through the silent forest. Simply take a deep breath, relax and enjoy.
10580 County Road 400 E., Aviston, Illinois, 618.228.9111, hiddenlakewinery.com
LaChance Vineyards and LaChance Winery of Kimmswick
LaChance Winery of Kimmswick and The Old House Steakhouse are the latest additions to the LaChance family, which started with LaChance Vineyards in De Soto. The Old House Steakhouse features great steaks and fresh seafood. Just 30 minutes south of the Kimmswick location is LaChance Vineyards, a family-owned winery offering unique, European-style wines produced with new experimental varieties of grapes, like Crimson Cabernet and Dore, grown at LaChance and also available in Kimmswick. The DeSoto location also provides a full menu of food offerings. You can also catch live music every weekend at both locations.
12237 Peter Moore Lane, De Soto, 636.586.2777; 6035 Second St., Kimmswick, 636.223.0453, lachancevineyards.com
Les Bourgeois Vineyards
Les Bourgeois Vineyards is halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis and just 15 minutes west of Columbia. There are approximately 30 acres of grapes, and the winery also works with local growers around the state. The Bourgeois family purchased the farm in 1974 and lived in the A-frame while their house was being constructed. The first harvest, in 1985, was five tons of grapes that made 500 gallons of red wine they called Jeunette Rouge. Jacob and Rachel Holman purchased the winery from the Bourgeois family in 2019 when Curtis, the founder’s son, wanted to retire. Jacob has been at the winery since 1999 and is the head winemaker; Rachel has been at the winery since 2005 and is the CEO.
14020 W. Hwy. BB, Rocheport, 800.690.1830, missouriwine.com
Situated 500 feet above the Missouri River Valley within the Augusta AVA, Montelle offers a breathtaking view of rolling hills, forests and the river valley just a few minutes down the road from its neighboring historic town, Augusta. The winery café offers daily lunches with items like fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and pizzas, and there are dinners being planned for the summer nights. Melodies of live music dance on the Osage mountainous air on weekends April through October. The banquet room is a perfect setting for micro-weddings and other memorable events. Montelle, also part of the Hoffmann Family of Companies, offers a complimentary trolley to its sister wineries and activities in downtown Augusta.
201 Montelle Drive, Augusta, 636.228.4683, montelle.com
Mt. Pleasant Estates
Mount Pleasant Estates is proud to have garnered from the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) an exceptional rating of 95 points and gold medal for its Tawny Port this March. Remarking on its rating, the BTI noted the Port exhibited “medium steely amber color. Aromas of candied walnut, soy sauce, pecans and brine with a fat body and a polished, layered, medium-long white peppercorn, marzipan, sesame oil, butterscotch, and burnt honey finish with no oak flavor. A sweet, savory and nutty port…” This winner is well balanced and perfect to elevate all kinds of dessert pairings.
5634 High St., Augusta, 636.482.9463, mountpleasant.com
Situated on 84 acres in the first designated AVA in the country, Noboleis Vineyards offers panoramic views of the historic, rolling hills of Augusta. Grab a bottle of one of their award-winning wines grown in the region and produced right on property. Nosh on pizza and appetizers or pack your own picnic basket to enjoy on the lawn or under the tented pavilion. Live music every Saturday and Sunday from April through October adds to the beautiful atmosphere created at Noboleis, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays.
100 Hemsath Road, Augusta, 636.482.4500, noboleisvineyards.com
St. James Winery
St. James Winery was established in 1970 in the heart of the Missouri Highlands. Since then, the winery has grown to be Missouri’s largest and most awarded winery, with nearly 185 acres of grape production. Visitors enjoy wine tastings, wine by the glass, and wine slushies made from the expansive wine list. The winery offers the opportunity to spend your afternoon in The Gardens at St. James, a beautifully landscaped outdoor space that is shared between the Public House Brewing Co. and the winery. The Gardens is the perfect place to gather and relax, and enjoy the locally inspired Public House menu with the best beer and wine that Missouri has to offer.
540 State Route B, St. James, 800.280.9463, stjameswinery.com
Stone Hill Winery
Stone Hill Winery, established in 1847 in Hermann, is one of the nation’s most acclaimed and historic wineries. Championing American heritage and hybrid grape varieties from 200 acres of vineyards, Stone Hill is a third-generation family business devoted to producing the highest quality wines over a broad range of styles. Their hard work has paid off with wines consistently winning top awards at state, national and international competitions. The winery hosts daily wine tastings and has plenty of outdoor seating perfect for relaxing and enjoying a bottle of wine while overlooking vineyards and the quaint town. The on-property Vintage 1847 Restaurant is well known for German specialties and American favorites. From May 1 through the end of October, free live music is available every Saturday afternoon.
1110 Stone Hill Hwy., Hermann, 573.486.3479, stonehillwinery.com
Villa Antonio Winery
Take a quick trip away from busy city life and head to Villa Antonio Winery in Hillsboro, only 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Headed by owners hailing from Italy, Villa Antonio is Italian-inspired and offers guests a chance to explore gorgeous grounds featuring vineyards and a lake. There’s plenty of seating between a large tent, a pavilion, a patio and the lawn, but guests are welcome to bring chairs or a picnic blanket. All wines and beers are crafted on site, and guests can also indulge in classic Italian or American food with items like burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads and wood-fired pizzas. The winery is open daily with seasonal extended hours, and there’s also live music every weekend.
3660 Linhorst Road, Hillsboro, 636.475.5008, villaantoniowinery.com
Wild Sun Winery and Brewery
2020 Readers’ Choice Favorite Winery
Located only 30 minutes south of St. Louis, this beautiful 10-acre estate in Hillsboro with its majestic rolling hills, park-like setting and an iconic historic main house built in 1870, make Wild Sun a must-see destination. Enjoy the day relaxing with award-winning wines and beers and plenty of room for social distancing. Co-owners Ed Wagner, a 17-year Anheuser-Busch alum, and Mark Baehmann, a 37-year career winemaker, opened Wild Sun in September 2015. Choose from a variety of wines such as cabernet sauvignon and fan-favorite Radiance, a crisp dry white wine similar to a sauvignon blanc, or choose a refreshing beer including American Blonde Ale, Sunset Red Ale and Midnight Porter. Complement your drinks with delicious food from the kitchen or feel free to bring your own picnic basket. Wild Sun features live music Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday afternoons May through October. Follow on Facebook for additional events. Open year-round.
4830 Pioneer Road, Hillsboro, 636.797.8686, wildsun.com