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Spotlight On: Hermann, Missouri

September 30, 2011

A small German community tucked into the heart of wine country, Hermann, Missouri is a destination for thousands each year who come in search of small-town atmosphere, great antique shopping, and some truly memorable times in the various vineyards surrounding the village. Hermann, Missouri is a town that takes its heritage seriously, and each year festivals liven up this otherwise quiet river town with the joyous atmosphere of Oktoberfest every weekend in October, a German-style Christmas during the holidays, lively community markets and more. Keep reading while we take you on a trip to Hermann, Missouri in this week’s Heartland Trails Spotlight.

Our lodging pick for our wine-touring getaway is found at Alpenhorn Gasthaus, an old-fashioned Bed & Breakfast where innkeepers Kate and Adrian take serious pride in not only their hospitality, but their heritage as well. The Alpenhorn Gasthaus rooms, four in total, are appointed in comfortable, contemporary designs with a bit of the old-world flair to remind you that you are, indeed, staying in a stunningly restored 19th Century building, complete with a colorful history including prior service as a winery. Packages are available at Alpenhorn Gasthaus, allowing guests to take picnics with them down the Katy Trail, or to creep out of their room at night, only to rendezvous in the wine cellar to enjoy homemade chocolate treats and port wines by candlelight. The Alpenhorn Gasthaus is a destination in and of itself—a deal only made sweeter by its location in beautiful Hermann, Missouri. Click here to read more about the Alpenhorn Gasthaus, or to make a reservation!

Few come to Hermann, Missouri without at least stopping in at one of the local wineries for a visit, tour, or tasting. Our first winery stop doubles as a historic site tour at Hermannhof Vineyards. Constructed from 1848-1852, Hermannhof Vineyards’ ten old world stone cellars and brick structure are among the hundred early Hermann buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, Hermannhof Vineyards produces 15,000 cases of wine annually, utilizing all of the historic cellars on the property. Hermannhof’s focus on letting the fruit shine, and their conscious effort to produce natural, world-class wines has resulted in a very successful business, that has turned around and reinvested in viticulture and enological research. Hermannhof Vineyards also provide event facilities, and host special events of their own, as well as participating in local wine trails and other festivals including Oktoberfest. You can learn more about Hermannhof Vineyards by clicking this link.

Another historic winery in Hermann, Missouri is perched on a hill overlooking the village. Stone Hill Winery has been producing fantastic wines for well over a hundred years, and has even won the gold in World Fair wine competitions, in 1873 and 1876. By the turn of the 20th Century, Stone Hill Winery was shipping out over a million gallons of wine per year. Unfortunately, Prohibition changed the course this winery was taking, and it wasn’t until the 1960′s, when Stone Hill Winery was resurrected to its current state. The latest equipment and technology has been coupled with the spectacular stone cellar, each playing their part in producing wine that has taken home over 3,000 awards since the mid-1990′s. The winery hosts regular tours and tastings, as well as special events. If you’d like to get more information about Stone Hill Winery including their current wine list, just click on this link.

Our next stop is at Bias Winery, a small family-owned vineyard and winery which grows everything that winds up in the bottle. Bias Winery is well known for being a limited-production winery that can hold its own in regional and international wine competitions, and has taken home many awards with their focused approach to winemaking. Amongst their surprisingly diverse offerings, a variety exists for every palate, dry-white lover and dessert-wine aficionados alike. Bias Winery stands out from other local wineries in an additional field, as well…Micro-brewed beer! In Gruhlke’s Microbrewery, everything from wheat beers to American ale, IPA, and European Lagers are produced and sold on tap by the glass or sampler platter, or to go by the Growler. If you’d like to read more about Bias Winery or Gruhlke’s Microbrewery, all you need to do is click this link!

It should be obvious by now, that this is the place for a simple, pleasant, and relaxing wine touring weekend, with plenty of opportunities to explore the countryside, and a bit of Hermann, Missouri’s history while you’re at it. Make sure to roam around town, enjoy the antique shops or quaint restaurants, or just sit on the riverfront and watch the world go by— preferably with a glass of locally crafted vino in your hand. However you choose to enjoy it, we’re sure you won’t find it difficult to have a memorable time. If you want to learn more about Hermann, Missouri, you can click this link for the town’s website, or click the link below.

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