Missouri Wobbles and Wine!

On October 6, 2018 the annual Missouri Wine Wobble took over Cedar Lake Cellars ! “Will run for wine” is a common phrase in the wine world and with the Missouri Wine Wobble, you really can run(or wobble) and be rewarded with wine! 🙌🍷👟

The Missouri Wine Wobble has a little something for everyone! (Even people like me who can’t stand running🤣) Not up to running an entire 5K? Then sign up for the 1K Taster’s Trot! Feeling like you have some energy to burn? Sign up for both the 5K AND 1K races and get extra wobbly! It really is a blast for everyone!

Once you’ve picked which race is right for you, prepare to “wobble” thru the vineyards stopping every so often for a wine break!

Photography by John Kelly
Photography by John Kelly

Once you’ve finished your race, there is more wine and whiskey (and water) waiting for you to enjoy! Races over? Now it’s time to party! The after party will sure to keep that wobble wobbly!

©BillAverettePhotography
©BillAverettePhotography

You don’t want to miss the next Missouri Wine Wobble! You can keep up with their social media and stay up to date with ticket sales, deals, dates, and more!

Missouri Wine Wobble Website

Missouri Wine Wobble Instagram

Missouri Wine Wobble Facebook

Grape Stomping Harvest Festival Fun at Villa Marie Winery!

Grapes, wine, vendors, live music, great times; that is Villa Marie Winery’s Annual Harvest Festival in seven words!

Located about 18 miles from St. Louis, this beautiful winery is the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle! Be sure to keep up with their events here! You can also follow along on their Facebook and Instagram pages!

Ducks enjoying the shade by the water

One of the winery’s biggest events is their annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomping Competition! The winery packs their banquet hall full of fun vendors, and when you venture outdoors you can listen to live music from local bands. You can do all this while enjoying wines from Villa Marie Winery, and Piasa Winery!

The Zydeco Crawdaddy Band had everyone up and dancing!
Beautiful henna art by Natalie’s Body Artistry!

One of my favorite parts of the event is the grape stomping competition! I got the chance to get my Lucy on and stomp some grapes! What a great way to exfoliate your feet and put on a show for everyone watching! 🤣 It was a blast!

Yes I did hold a glass of wine the entire time, without spilling a drop!😅

One of the sweetest people I was able to meet at this event was actually there celebrating a HUGE accomplishment!! Vickie Rose, a local to the area, unfortunately lost the use of both of her legs due to blood clots. Seven months ago she told her doctor she HAD to walk again so she could stomp some grapes at the harvest festival. SHE DID IT. After many surgeries and months of learning to use her legs again, she was able to reach her goal of being able to walk again in time for grape stomping season!

Vickie Rose and friends celebrating being able to walk (and stomp grapes!) again!

Here’s a video of me stomping grapes if anyone cares too!

Be sure to check out all of the Villa Marie Winery social media pages and never miss an event announcement!

Villa Marie Facebook Page

Villa Marie Instagram Page

Villa Marie Website

Orange Wine Time!

🍊Orange Wine…wine made from oranges right?!? 🚫WRONG!🚫

Orange Wine is made from white wine grapes with skin contact during fermentation! This process gives the wine a beautiful amber color…or ORANGE WINE!! In honor of celebrating such a fun and beautiful wine, Amanda Goodwin: The Real Housewine officially established National Orange Wine Day to be held on October 6th! (Perfect for getting in the the Halloween spirit too!😉🎃)

I was thrilled to be a small part in helping grow this trend…I was even more ecstatic to discover one of the many Illinois Wineries I love makes their own orange wines too!

I couldn’t be more excited to find that Mackinaw Valley Vineyard has been making their orange wine from Vignoles Grapes for years! Try some for yourself the next time you stop by!

To learn more and follow along with the orange wine shenanigans, be sure to follow the official Orange Wine Day Instagram here or check out the links below!

National Orange Wine Day Blog

National Orange Wine Day Instagram

The Real Housewine Instagram

Cheers to 200 Years; Illinois Rosé!

200 years ago on December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st State in the union. That means celebrating everything Illinois has built and grown ALL YEAR LONG!

Of course we can’t celebrate without Illinois Wine! In partnership with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Illinois Department of Agriculture…The Illinois Grape Growers & Vintner’s Alliance has proudly announced that Illinois Grown Rosé is the official wine of the Illinois Bicentennial!

16 Illinois Rosé wines were chosen to represent our states unique wine industry! In order to be chosen, certain standards were put into place by different grape and wine experts in the industry. The wines went through many quality assurance and evaluation processes to be named a Bicentennial Wine.

Illinois Bicentennial Rosé Wines!

Alto Vineyards – 2017 Rosato

August Hill Winery – 2017 La Belle Rosé

August Hill Winery – Chambourcin Rosé

Blue Sky Vineyards – White Chambourcin

Danenberger Family Vineyards – LoveLocks 2017 Chambourcin Dry Rosé

Galena Cellars – Chambourcin Rosé

Galena Cellars – Frontenac Gris

Galena Cellars – Vineyard Rosé

Hidden Lake Winery – Chambourcin Rosé

Kite Hill Vineyards – Rosé

Massbach Ridge Winery – 2017 Sunrise Red Rosé Wine

Prairie State Winery – Chambourcin Rosé

Spirit Knob Winery – Day’s End

StarView Vineyards – Dry Rosé

Twelve Oaks Vineyard – Chambourcin Rosé

West of Wise Winery – Rosé

Rosé and lake time at Hidden Lake Winery

For more information about Illinois Wine and Bicentennial shenanigans, check out the links below!

Illinois Bicentennial Website

Illinois Wine Website

Official Illinois Rosé Blog

Enchantment Awaits You At This Hidden, Rural Illinois Winery

Photo from the Hidden Lake Winery website

Tucked away in the “Silent Forest” of rural Aviston, Illinois, you can find Hidden Lake Winery. The Silent Forest has been well known to hunters and foragers for years. During the early 1900s bootleggers would hide their stills in the forest to avoid revenuers. If you are a fan of folklore and ghost stories, you will love exploring the property with the Native American spirits that are said to still roam there.

Exploring the forest! Bonus points if you can spot the puppy!
Don’t be alarmed if the dog pack comes at you for some love!

In June of 2017, Steve and Angela Gorazd proudly took ownership of Hidden Lake Winery. Steve served for 30 years as a leader in the aviation field while Angela holds a Doctorate in nursing and is a nurse practitioner. They couldn’t be more proud to share their love and passion for wine making and grape growing!

Proud owners Steve and Angela Gorazd and the Hidden Lake Winery Family

If you’re looking for a Quick Getaway, there are 10 cabins on the property available for use!! From fun girls nights out, mid-week getaways with your love, to a special “Baby Moon” package for expecting parents, Hidden Lake Winery has something for everyone to enjoy!

Cabin photos from Hidden Lake Winery Website

Do NOT even get me started on the unlimited dream wedding ideas you can make come true at this beautiful place!

Wedding photos from the Hidden Lake Winery Facebook Page

A winery isn’t a winery without wine right? Hidden Lake Winery offers over 15 different and award winning wines that are produced in their own cellar and made from locally-grown fruits. Their own Vineyard was planted in April of 2017 and they expect to have their first harvest in 2021!

Not only do they produce delicious and award winning wines, they even help make a difference in nurses lives! For every purchase of their “Off Duty” semi-sweet wine, the winery donates $3 to helping nurses pay for their continuing education! Cheers to that!

Looking for a fun time out with your friends and loved ones? Remember when I mentioned this place has something for everyone…Hidden Lake is always keeping their schedule FULL of fun events like Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters,  Cooking Classes and their own yearly “Winestock” Music & Wine festival!

Seriously CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME EVENTS!

If I haven’t made you want to check this place out for yourself by now…here are some more photos of the beautiful property that may just change your mind!

For more info about Hidden Lake Winery, or to just follow along with their many fun and exciting activities, check out the links below!

Website: http://www.hiddenlakewinery.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/hiddenlake.winery/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hiddenlakewineryillinois

Sips n Snuggles; a Baby Goat and Wine Sampling Affair!

Tucked away on a little farm in Pocahontas, IL you will find Green Finned Hippy Farms; a locally grown organic farm owned by Josh & Alicia Davis. Their mission is “to help create different avenues for sustainable living using renewable energy to farm and produce a source of food and knowledge for the community.”

-Green Finned Hippy Farms:https://m.facebook.com/GfhFarms/

Photo from the Green Finned Hippy Farms Facebook page

The farm hosts many fun events to get the community involved, including their annual Sips and Snuggles events! Have you ever wanted to sample different wines from around the world all while snuggling baby goats? Well now you can! Check out the Farm’s Facebook Page for all of their upcoming events!

This particular event was partnered with Fezziwigs Market located in O’ Fallon, Illinois. Fezziwigs Market is your one stop shop for wines, teas, tea accessories, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and their private label gourmet foods.

Photos from Fezziwigs Market Website

These babies were o my 5 days old!

Teeny and Tiny the baby goats! These babies were only 5 days old!

In between goat cuddles, we had the opportunity to sample 8 different and delicious wines from around the world.

Goats do Roam-A South African wine with floral and pear scents. Very citric on the pallet.

Portlandia-A dry wine produced in Oregon that has very zesty moments of lemon meringue with a smooth critic finish.

Misty Cove Pinot Noir– A New Zealand wine with very earthy, fruity, banana like aromas. Medium finish.

Canella Bellini-This fruity cocktail made in Italy is a blend of two parts sparkling wine, one part white peach juice and parts from perfectly ripened peaches and raspberries. –Bellini Canella Website

Innocent Bystander Victoria Pink Moscato-Made in Australia this wine has very sugary aromas, almost like cotton candy and apples. It tastes like candied apples with a slight bubbly finish.

90 Cellars Sauvignon Blanc -From New Zealand; it is very citrusy with a mineral kind of finish.

High Valley Vineyard Barbera-This California wine is dry with notes of cherry and plum. It also has a chocolate finish.

Colomé Malbec-Argentina made wine which has a spicy floral scent with very soft tannins. It almost has an orange-peel after-taste.

AND BACK TO THE GOATS🐐

Baby goats!

Mini goats!

Sassy mamma goats!

**(No animals or humans were harmed. Just animals doing their animal thing)**

Hope you done mind losing your seat if you decide to get up!

Goats and wine EVERYWHERE!!!

🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷🐐🍷

For more goat shenanigans from Green Finned Hippy Farms, including their Goat YOGA classes (YEA I SAID GOAT YOGA!), keep up with Farms Facebook Page updates!

Fezziwigs Market is also always having fun events! Check out the Classes Page on their website for more info!

http://www.fezziwigsmarket.com/

http://greenfinnedhippy.com/

Missouri Vines Save French Wine!

There was a time in wine making history (1870s) where French vineyards were being wiped out by a nasty American microscopic aphid type insect; grape phylloxera. (The sneaky bug stowed away on cargo ships) The “Great French Wine Blight” was the time everyone feared would be the end of the European wine industry.

Photo from British Satire Magazine “Punch”

Scientists from around the world gathered to try and find a solution to the problem. They had accepted the fact there would be no way to eradicate the insect once established, so they would need to figure out a way to “just live with it.”

Some American rootstock were completely immune to the grape vine root munching insects. By taking French vines and grafting them to the phylloxera immune American rootstock, healthy grapes were able to be produced.

Millions of rootstock were sent from Missouri to France and the French wine industry started its slow climb back to its full wine power!

Photo from experiencehermann.com

In honor of the success, a statue of a young woman cradling an older woman in her arms was built in Montpellier, France to signify “the new world saving the old world.”

Young Woman Cradling an Older Woman Statue in Montpellier Photo from winetravelstories.com

Besides listening to stories from the amazing people who call Hermann, MO home as I explored the wine trail, here are the websites I got more of my information from

http://www.winetravelstories.com/2008/04/?m=1

http://missouriwinecountry.com/articles/history/

http://winefolly.com/review/no-cure-for-grape-phylloxera/

https://hermannwinetrail.com/event-calender/about-missouri-wine/

Missouri Wine

This Hidden Gem is Turning Corn to Vodka Right in Bethalto, IL! 

      

     Tucked away in a warehouse in Bethalto, Illinois you will find the hidden gem B. T. O. Distillers; home of Bluestem Vodka. When you first drive up it might seem like you’re out of place, that means you are in the right place then! Head on in and a friendly face will greet you with a smile! 

Yes, you’re in the right place if you see this!

     

     After deciding there were already enough amazing micro breweries in the area, the owners decided to try a different route and chose to start producing their own vodka. With a combined 50 years of knowledge in winemaking, brewing, and alcohol experience, mixed in with some engineering and chemistry experience, this is how their unique making process and distillery was born! 

 

     Keeping it local is a big part of the company! They get all of their corn used for the production of their vodka from local farmers. 

     On Saturdays, the distillery offers educational tours of the facility you can book online. The tour includes a tasting and a drink to sip on while you learn! If you can’t decide what drink to go with, you have to try their famous “Stemcell” drink!         You can get 20% off your tour here!

Bluestem Vodka-Home of “The Stemcell”

     

     After you finish your tour, you might even get lucky enough to purchase a bottle you can wax on your own to take home! 

You might even get lucky enough to wax your own bottle!
  While you’re visiting, don’t forget to sign up for the amazing awards program they offer! For every $4 you spend at the distillery, you get 1 star! When you earn 50 stars, you receive a FREE bottle of Bluestem Vodka!