Tuesday, June 27, 2006

let me tell you about this winery...

I will admit right here at the outset that I have a bias. I know the owners and their family, and to some extent that predisposes me to think well of their establishment. I have my criticisms, as well, but over-all I think this is a fabulous place and think more people should know about it. So let me tell you! Chaumette winery (French for rooftops) is in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, about an hour and twenty minutes south of St. Louis in the lovely, rolling hills that are part of the topography of the Mississippi River valley. It began with a harvest of chardonel grapes—a hybrid of chardonnay and seyval—and has expanded its vineyard to include Norton (red) and other varieties. Chaumette’s Estate Chardonel and Estate Norton are fabulous wines, but they have other excellent selections as well. Let’s put it this way—we came home with four different wines and joined the wine club, that’s how good we thought they were (all bias aside!).

The tasting room is in one section of a large, open facility that includes a gift shop and dining area, and three of the surrounding sides of the building include decks for dining al fresco. They also have a banquet room for meetings and receptions, and a chapel just up the hill that can be used for weddings (the chapel seats 80). The chapel, St. Vincent’s of the Vineyard, was moved from its former site at the Thompson Center, the conference center of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri in west St. Louis county. It’s tucked into the edge of the woods and has a spectacular view of a portion of the vineyard and the surrounding countryside.

Chaumette also features fabulous food at the Grapevine Grill, and on Sundays (at least) a jazz ensemble provides music. In addition, of all things for me to share, there is also a very nicely appointed ladies’ room (I imagine that the men’s room is just as tasteful, but I didn’t venture in). They have special events throughout the year, and this past Sunday when we were there (but starting too late for us to partake), they started a vineyard tour with tasting stations throughout the vineyard. Under development is the addition of a “French village” on the premises that will function much like time-share condos. Can’t wait for those to be done so we can stay there!

Okay, enough from me about this, but I just had to tell you about this wonderful place. If you find yourself in St. Louis and can take a day trip, DO IT!!!

4 comments:

Jules said...

Wonder if we could do an exchange for one of our beach weeks...love the vineyard time share idea...no worry about drinking and driving! Will have to put this one on our next visit home agenda!

Ruth said...

You must love it since you give it such a good rap. If I ever get that way obviously I will have to go in. That photograph up the side with the plant in front is awesome. Just love the way that is composed.

samtzmom said...

What a very lovely place. Thanks for sharing the detailed description and beautiful photos.

Kip said...

It sounds like a lovely place Anne. Thanks for telling us about it!

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