The Munchie Report: St. Genevieve Wine Country | By Penelope Puff
This week is a birthday road trip!! Do you know what that means?! Probably not…..zzzttt! Every birthday road trip we dive into Midwestern wine country. We have been through Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Southern Illinois on our birthday excursions. This time we visited St. Genevieve, MO.
Missouri was the first wine region in the US to be certified as an American Viticultural Area. Even before California. There are many types of grapes unique to this area. Climate and soil play a huge part in which grapes will grow best in certain regions. A lot of your better know wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, are not commonly grown in the Midwest. This makes it a killer place to try a new wine!
Image From: Missouri Wines
At the first stop on our day tour of St. Gen., we enjoyed some great representations of these unique varietals at the Cave Vineyard.
We cleansed our palates with some fruity, crystalized kush and headed to this kickass tourist spot. The winery is located at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill is a cave where you may picnic.
They ask that you buy a bottle before heading down to enjoy the cave. This was pretty much the plan anyway. Ha! Inside was beautiful and clean and the staff was nice and knowledgeable. You are able to look into the winery from the tasting room. We always enjoy being able to see where the finished product is developed. We purchased a bottle of Vignoles and headed down to the cave to enjoy it. They also offered a few wines made of Chambourcin grapes. I feel like this is a grape that makes a hit or miss wine at this point in our travels. It’s great when it’s good. This winery nailed it.
Although they did have a couple of rosé Chambourcin, which is a red varietal, we decide a white was proper for the 100-degree weather. Vignoles is my favorite grape grown in the area and it’s a crisp, pineapple and popcorn tasting white. The natural cave was a cool respite from the heat and a totally neat place to drink some great Missouri wine, be high, and socialize. They also golf cart you back up the hill after drinking. On behalf of everyone, we appreciate that.
Chaumette Winery and Grapevine Grill
After a bottle of wine and some sweet Dank Vapes, we were looking for a winery with food. This brought us to Chaumette Winery and Grapevine Grill. Before heading to the dining room we stopped for a tasting. All of the wine was pretty good. They had some delicious Chardonel. Chardonel is a Seyval and Chardonnay hybrid designed to better grow in the area. If you like Chardonnay this is a great choice for you.
Now I’m gonna throw this in because I’m weird and I was high. The bathrooms were built to look like bedrooms. I love a clean bathroom but well-designed bathrooms are awesome! I’ve included pictures so that you all can enjoy and appreciate. ZZZTTT
After our tasting, we headed to the dining room and first ordered the pork empanadas with tomatillo salsa. They were soooooo yummy. All farm to table and made from scratch, they were the best damn empanadas I have ever had! The puff pastry was flakey and golden and the pork filling was flavorful. The fresh tomatillo salsa was refreshing. I thought that was good. Then our entrees arrived.
We ordered Korean BBQ Pork tacos and the Herb Grilled Chicken Sandwich. All of it was exceptional. I’ve eaten at five-star restaurants in Las Vegas. This was all up in there as far as lunches go. The dishes seem fairly simple in writing but they are a whole other world on the plate.
My sandwich was sweet and spicy and every component was cooked to perfection. Including the ciabatta bread. The tacos were rich, with the right amount of acid. The slaw garnish was crisp and cool. Above all of that though, the Ceaser salad was off the chain. I know, it’s the side, but for real. I’ve never had a more balanced salad. I’m not the biggest fan of anchovies so I’m always a little nervous with traditional Ceaser dressing. This was perfectly balanced. My counterpart loves Ceasar salads and parmesan cheese. They could not stop raving with every bite.
Dessert was Grand Marnier Carrot Cake and Dark and White Chocolate Gooey butter Cake with port wine and pomegranate reduction. Gooey Butter Cake is a Midwest thing and I always miss it when I can’t have it. These amazing cakes were on another level. So rich. So delicious.
After dessert, we walked around the building. The view of the vineyard and countryside from the building is phenomenal. We cannot say enough good things about the food and experience at Chaumette Winery.
The Last Stop
The last stop of the day was the Weingarten Vinyard. I’m not into negativity so I’m not going to type many words. You’re not missing anything but a really cool building.
There are hundreds of great Midwestern wineries and at least a dozen in St. Genevieve. With recreational marijuana now legal in Illinois and I’m sure Missouri will be soon to follow, this is an excellent spot to enjoy agriculture of all kinds. Thank you St. Genevieve for the fabulous day! We hope to come back soon and visit the rest of the wineries in Southern Missouri