There are two things Missouri does better than any other state in the nation: parks and wine.
Well, maybe we’re biased, but the State Parks system in our beautiful state does a phenomenal job providing pristine sites for camping, hiking and fishing enthusiasts from all over the world—and Missouri is quickly becoming known for wines of great character and promise.
At St. James Winery, our sustainability initiative has taken us places we knew we wanted to go, through composting, soil moisture sensors that save water, and organic soil amendments, to places we never expected, such as installing VinWizard, a software program for our cellar that has reduced overall power usage by 30 percent. Protecting and preserving our environment and community is a core part of our values as a company, and we strive every year to improve our processes and actively promote stewardship of the Ozark Highlands AVA.
This focus on sustainability and conservation has culminated in a very special project that I couldn’t have been happier to announce this week—our Missouri State Parks Wine Collection.
The winery has partnered with the Missouri State Parks Foundation to produce the first edition of a series of wines that will each highlight a particular state park. The parks chosen for the 2012 vintage and the 2013 collection are Montauk and Johnson Shut-Ins.
These wines are collectible and very limited production with each label being unique to the park the wine has been chosen to represent. Proceeds from the wines will go to an endowment for the Missouri State Parks Foundation to further support our parks in the future. The parks for this year’s labels are great examples of Missouri traditions—the yearly trout season and our many beautiful hiking trails.
Montauk State Park is an excellent trout fishing location—and conveniently, Missouri trout pair particularly well with Seyval, a dry white hybrid that has become a Missouri favorite. It is crisp and fruity, with lots of lemon, lime zest and a hint of grapefruit. All those citrusy and acidic flavors make it easy to pair with matching acidity in something like a lemon herb sauce, or to cut through a dish with some weight to it like a buttery or pan-fried preparation.
Johnson Shut-Ins State Park is known for its gorgeous views and interesting wading pools on the Black River. A fall night by the campfire sipping a glass of Norton sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the end of a great outdoor season. Norton is the Missouri State grape, and this particular iteration of the wine is full of berry and spice flavors, with just a hint of smoke and black pepper. As deer season continues, we like to pair this wine with braised venison and wild mushrooms.
We hope you get to try these incredible wines—click below to get more info on the parks, the Missouri State Parks Foundation and on where to find the Montauk 2012 Seyval and Johnson Shut-Ins 2012 Norton.
Written by Jessica Pearcy, local marketing manager for St. James Winery.