Founded by Germans in 1837, Hermann sits in a valley popularly known as the romantic Rhineland of Missouri. Tucked away on the longest river in America, early residents quickly took advantage of the sunny weather and fertile soil for growing grapes. The rocky nourishing dirt and steep slopes proved perfect for making award-winning white, light and sweet wines.
I’m even told that during the Civil War, the region ranked as the number one producer of wine in the nation. Today, Hermann holds the distinction of being one of two of America’s first ‘Viticultural Areas’ in the country. The cradle of the wine-growing industry is where I’m off to tomorrow afternoon.
I’ve been here twice before but never during Oktoberfest, the town’s most popular time of year. Every weekend in October, the region kicks up their clogs to traditional customs like beer gardens, polka bands and salty pretzels. Historic Bed-and-breakfasts and inns are filled to capacity. The underground cellars of famous wineries like Stone Hill, Hermannhof, Adam Puchta and Oak Glenn offer intimate tastings led by renowned wine-making pioneers.
Follow along this weekend as I showcase the Old-World charm of Hermann’s many wineries, restaurants, shops and museums. Or, visit “Experience Hermann” and plan your visit before the end of the month.