Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Cellar Doors

Here is another post about our trip 'out west' to Missouri. 

Advertising worked on us! 

When we drove out to drop Sissy off at college or when we went to visit her, we saw numerous billboards about Hermann, Missouri and the wine tours they had to offer.  Since we are new to discovering how wine enhances our food and is not just an alcohol to drink .... we decided to spend a few days in Hermann and learn about their wineries.

Actually, of the three wineries we visited, we were very lucky to start off with a great tour at Stone Hill Winery.  Second largest winery in the United States in 1847. Since we stopped during the middle of the week, we were actually the only ones on our tour.  I kind of felt bad for the college student Katie who gave us the tour, since she would just have to tell the two of us her rehearsed story.  But she said she didn't mind.  She liked the smaller groups because she could add more information.

These cellars took years for the original owner to carve out of the hill.  It's what you see in the movies, dark and dank, water trickling down the side on to the floor.  I love the wine barrels....some are made from a company that has the word Cooper (Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden, staved vessels, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads) {Or, the name of our cute Lab Mix}  in it.  The name is burned into the lids.
There are wonky steps through the arched halls that separate rooms, closed cellar doors, single light bulbs hanging and musky smells and a little bit of a different chill when you go from room to room.

During prohibition, this winery became a Mushroom farm.  I guess the fungi grew quite well in the cellar dug into the side of the hill.  The owners who took over the task of cleaning things up and restoring the winery had quite a task ahead of them.  The grounds are beautiful and very picturesque.

After we got done with our tour (which cost $2.50) we ended up in the tasting room.  Our host Ray was a very entertaining soul.  He gave us more than just a taste of about 10 different exclusive Stone Hill Wines.  We were fortunate to meet up with an eclectic couple in their Harley duds.  Not to be deceived, they later told us she was a commercial real estate agent and he a medical scientist.  But Ray had a good old time telling us his jokes.  On trip advisor, he is mentioned a few times for some of his 'off color' jokes.  But we didn't mind.  Even our host and hostess of the B & B we stayed in spoke 'fondly' of Ray and informed us he was a twin.  He must have quite the reputation amongst the locals.
In the end, we bought only one bottle of wine, despite the salesmanship of Ray.  One of the other customers checking out looked surprised with our one measly bottle.... but we knew there were a few more wineries to come on our visit to little ole Hermann, MO.

Just like some other bloggers.... I'm always looking for nature's hearts ♥.  I found one in this little grapevine leaf.... it was lighter and tinier than the rest.
Great find amongst the cellar doors!

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