The Missouri wine industry has a long and fascinating history, and there’s no better place to take in the full magnitude of this than the underground cellars built in the 1800s. Touring these historic and impressive cellars is the perfect way to experience the past and appreciate the present of Missouri wine country.
The town of Hermann was once home to more than 60 wineries, producing 3 million gallons of wine. Prohibition and anti-German sentiment dealt a fatal blow to the industry, but the history and infrastructure of winemaking was resurrected starting in the 1960s and 70s. Unsurprisingly, there are several historic cellars in the area.
Stone Hill Winery is home to the largest series of underground vaulted limestone cellars in North America. The Held family purchased and began the restoration process of the original winery in 1965. After Prohibition the cellars were used to grow mushrooms, but today they are again filled with barrels and tanks of wine and in-process wine. Visitors can tour these impressive cellars seven days a week and see the history as well as the state of the art technology used to craft award-winning wines.
Hermannhof Winery’s ten magnificent stone cellars were completed in 1852. They housed the wine production for Hermannhof as well as many other small producers in the area prior to Prohibition. The Dierberg family purchased the Hermannhof cellars in 1974 and the renewal process began. Visit Hermannhof to tour the amazing cellars that once again house the production of high-quality wines.
Adam Puchta Winery, the oldest continuously family owned winery in the United States, is also located in Hermann. The construction of its arched limestone cellar began in 1854 after Adam Puchta returned from the gold rush and purchased the land from his father. The cellar has been renovated and is now used as a bistro for special events, but much of the historic personality remains. While the winery doesn’t offer tours, visitors can experience the cellar when the bistro is open during events. Check out the winery’s events calendar for more information.
Another great place to see the historic significance of winemaking in Hermann is the Deutschheim Historic Site where visitors can tour two historic houses, one of which has a cellar with tools and artifacts of winemaking in the 19th century.
Mount Pleasant Estates in Augusta also boasts some truly impressive underground cellars steeped in history. The original hand-dug cellars were completed in 1881, built from wood and limestone abundant in the area. Complimentary tours are available on the weekends April through October, but private tours can be organized for groups of 10 or more. Visit the winery’s website for more information.
Immerse yourself in the history of winemaking in the cellars of Missouri wine country!