My stay of four days in Hermann was packed. Within walking distance of the B&B, there was one winery, a brewery, two museums, and some great restaurants. Tin Mill Brewery served a healthy tasting of six of their beers – Hermannhof Winery maintained a long relationship with the grape, preserving their old wine cellar and production of hybrid grapes such as Seyval Blanc, Chambourcin, Norton, Vidal Blanc and Traminette, to name a few. Deutschen State Historic Site preserved homes and one of the original wineries to the region including a gloriously carved wine barrel. The German School Museum represented the culture of the early Hermann settlers. Not only was this a flavorful visit, but it was one in which I gained a greater appreciation of the fortitude of those who have come before us.
Hermann is within a few minutes to an hour, or less, of country driving to various wineries. My first stop was Stone Hill Winery; this was the shortest drive since it was situated on a lovely hill in Hermann. Established in 184, its old carriage house is still in use (now a restaurant,) as are its original cellars; this is a fabulous place offering a multitude of wines for all palates. I went twice for tastings, and once to the restaurant. I could work here!!! The environment was so enthralling; the staff so knowledgeable and engaged. After visiting Stone Hill, I set out for some other wineries to the east and headed toward Marthasville. I discovered a gorgeous winery, Montelle, on the side of hill – one could just stay here just for the view. Two other wineries, Lost Creek and Sugar Creek were also visited.
The next day, I decided to see if I could find Daniel Boone’s home. Following directions I obtained from I don’t remember where – I drove over hill and dale finally did locating the museum near Defiance, Missouri. I honestly felt like I had forged a new path through the wilderness. Once, though, on the grounds of this historic area, I was elated. The home was modest, yet commanding. Of Georgian style, it is three floors with stone exterior. The home was built by Daniel’s son, Nathan. Daniel and Rebecca lived with Nathan most of Daniel’s last 16 years. So, it was his last home and it remained in the Boone family for a long time. Many of the Boone family heirlooms are still there. While in the area, I did manage to find a few wineries in which I indulged, Balducci and Blumenhof were fairly close to the DB estate, and offered tastings of hybrid grapes such as Vidal Blanc, Chardonel, Cynthiana and Vignoles. The country side was glorious – so many trees and hills – the scenery in that part of Missouri fills your heart and promotes dreams.
One more day was dedicated to more wine tasting – I took another easterly direction (over a road which was a bit more traveled and a whole lot straighter,) and found numerous wineries. At least three were on the road to the Washington, MO area; my favorite on this stretch was Robller Vineyard Winery situated on a glorious tract of land with luscious vineyards. I fell in love with their Vidal and Vignoles wines (I did manage to pack a bottle of their Vidal into my checked bag.) On the trail back to Hermann, I located a winery/brewery, Bias Winery and Bruhlke’s Microbrewery. And so, I indulged in a bit of beer tasting as well as a little wine tasting. Since the pours are nominal, one is able be careful. Heading back to Hermann, I stopped at the Hermannhof Winery (earlier described,) then wound my way through town to Adam Puchta, one of the oldest family farm wineries in the country established in 1855 (a few years after Stone Hill, but still owned by the same family.) So ended another full day in the Hermann area, a good meal at a local restaurant completed the ecstasy.
On the last day, I luxuriated in a delicious breakfast, checked out of the B&B and visited Stone Hill one more time. Before I left Hermann, I stopped by the city park to look at the Hermann Rotunda built as an exhibit hall for wine growers in the 1850’s. Restored, it is now used for special events. The road back to St. Louis was not long and fortunately uneventful. I checked into my hotel near the airport, and then decided to see a bit of St. Louis. I particularly wanted to visit the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge on old Route 66. Built in 1929, the bridge is now only open to foot and bicycle traffic. What a bridge, I cannot imagine driving over it in old huge cars and big trucks, it is narrow – it is a cantilever bridge with a 22 degree angled turn near the middle. Views from the bridge are amazing. This was a delightful finish to my trip to Missouri. The next day was dedicated to travel back to the Houston area. Truly, one of my more favorite trips.