Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just a couple things to tell you about to keep you in the know...

There's a new Mississippi River Hills blog. Check it out!

Want to taste some wine? I will be at Lukas Liquor tomorrow from 2-6 p.m. and I will be at The Missouri Mercantile store in the Mills Mall on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

See you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cecilia came with us on Saturday to help pass out cupcakes. She found these plastic grapes and thought they might taste good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chocolate Cranberry Wine Cupcakes

Last weekend was our Wine Diva weekend with the other wineries in the area and we served these cupcakes along with our Cranberry Wine. What a treat for a diva!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I know it was less than two weeks ago that I was complaining about hot weather. Well, today the high is 48, and there is a wind chill. Guess I need to bring a heavier coat to work.
These pictures were taken today. I know the first two look similar, but I couldn't decide which one I liked better. You are looking over the Norton, and onto the lower Concord.
The last picture is what we think is a random Pinot Noir vine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last Day of Harvest

Today is the last day of harvest. We are picking Vidal today. We usually pick the Norton last, but the Vidal was taking it's own sweet time getting ripe this year. We also have a few Rougeon and Chambourcin hanging out there that will get picked today also.

This is a picture of the back of the harvestor. It goes over the row of grapes and shakes them with finger looking beaters, then conveyor belts move the grapes up and over; out the side arm and into the bins.
This is Rose standing on the wagon making sure the grapes go into the bin. It's not as easy as it looks, the harvestor and wagon go at different speeds, and the terrain is not totally level so the arm moves up and down as well as side to side.
This last picture is the Vidal blanc juice coming out of the press. It's a little green, but will clear up when we rack it tomorrow morning. All white grapes are green when pressed. It foams a little too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Remember those Norton grapes we have been looking at all spring and summer? Well, we picked them on Monday. The fruit is beautiful, the chemistry superb, and the fermentation is progressing right on schedule.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

As we've seen here before, I have a sweet spot for the farm cats.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


I propped her up one day over the summer when she could sit up but not very well in between these boxes of unlabelled Valle Rhine and Vignoles.
first taste of a local blackberry

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yesterday, 9.12.08

just waiting for the sugar to rise and the acid to drop now

Friday, September 05, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008


If you found us through the St. Louis Magazine welcome! Our big, normal website is temporarily down and out, so here is my little blog. I originally started this blog because our tasting room in downtown Ste. Genevieve sometimes seems like a storefront, and I know it's so much more than that. There are quite a few wineries in Missouri who do not grow their own grapes or make their own wine (shocking, I know) and so since our vineyard is not open to the public, I wanted to make it available through this wonderful thing called the whole wide web.

If you are wondering about the pictures of the cluster of grapes, way back when early this growing season I started taking a picture a week of a cluster of Norton grapes, so you can scroll down and see the backward progression.

If you have any questions whatsoever about our winery, just email me at

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


Since my office is way out in the boonies I have satellite internet. It's supposed to be faster than dial up, and it is, but not by much. 19 days ago some part of the thing that helps me use the internet (can you tell I'm technically challenged) got struck by lightening and my internet service provider has yet to come out to the boonies and fix it. I say 19 days because that is what I told them the 5 times that I called them today, and once yesterday and the day before, and the repair man on Tuesday. Good times. Anyway (Artie Lange would say "wahhh!") here is my picture of the week, 3 weeks late, and two weeks skipped. All apologies.

The grapes are getting ripe, you can see, but we are a little late this year. Looks like Concord is a least a week away, and Vignoles more like two weeks away.

I'll keep you posted, and if you have any pull with the powers that be, ask them to kindly repair my internet.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Small Winery Lab Workshop

A couple weeks ago I went to Mizzou and attended a small winery lab workshop. I went for two reasons. The first reason was that I teach a Fundamentals of Enology class at the local junior college and I wanted to hear Rebecca's take on teaching the lab work, and I also wanted to test my own pH meter to the university's to make sure mine was working well before harvest. You can read all about the workshop here and see a picture of me on the top picture with the two men to my left.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

As you can see, the grape cluster is not getting much bigger. Instead all the growth is now happening inside the grapes themselves. Sugar is rising and acid is decreasing, although you wouldn't know it if you ate one today. It would be way too sour. Some of the early ripening grapes are going through verasion now, though, so harvest is in sight. Time to ready the crush pad, order yeast, and clean some tanks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Way Late

I'm a couple days late. I got messed up with that holiday. What was I thinking taking a day off like that? Now I'm all behind.
Anyway, here she is, the little beauty is growing up right before our very eyes.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Art in Ste. Genevieve

There is a thriving artist community in Ste. Genevieve. In the 1930s there was an artist colony here. I have this beautiful book about the colony. Now we have a very busy Artist Guild. I have already mentioned Chuck Drost who is painting and designing our new labels one by one. Click on some other links; Studio de Michel, Ali Cavanaugh who is new to Ste. Genevieve, Mike Devaney, and his grandmother's typewriter art Winifred T. Caldwell.

Very interesting indeed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Family At Work

I like using the word family to refer to my husband and our daughter. Before it was just John and I, or my husband, but now we are a unit; a family. I also like having them around. As I have mentioned here before John is a band teacher, so he spends his summers helping us. This summer he is spending Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the vineyard, and Mondays and Fridays he stays at home with Cecilia. He is the best part-time stay-at-home-dad around. =) She is getting increasingly busy, and next month she will find herself in the care of someone else a couple days a week so I can get stuff done, and focus on harvest, but for now she's still here pretty often.

The first picture was taken this morning. John got in my office early and gave me a vase of Chickory wildflowers. That's a nice way to start the day. =)

The second picture is her sitting up and playing in her pack and play. Sitting up has freed my hands and arms from holding her and she can play by herself for a minute or two at a time, allowing me to power out and gets lots accomplished. I was contacted a month or two ago about parenting in the workplace and how it was becoming more prevalent. I find the whole topic pretty interesting.

Hope you're having a good day today also. I'm spreading the good day love. =)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Too Much Water

This picture was taken last Thursday down by the marina in Ste. Genevieve. The flood gate is closed, and on this side of the gate, there is water everywhere, and on the other side things are normal. I guess after 1993 our little town is better prepared.
The Mississippi River is supposed to crest in St. Louis today. Let's pray for no more levy breaks, and a normal subsiding of the water.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Norton Bunch 6.27

much growth in 4 days, don't cha think?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008


We're back from vacation with loads to do today, and I'm not just talking laundry. Vines are being sprayed, grow tubes are being put on, unleaded gas is being delivered (that's a blow to the pocketbook) and wine is being racked. This little bunch sure did change while we were gone. Farm life is not put on hold until you return.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A day early

Here's the Norton bunch a day early this week because we head to the beach tonight. It's so hard to get away this time of year, but we can't go when the grapes are ripe, so we go while they are growing. This is the near end of bloom for this cute little Norton bunch. I'll be back in two Mondays.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Links

I wanted to point you in the direction of a couple different websites. The first one is Norton Says. On Norton Says you can plan a trip to Missouri wineries, and find out more about the Norton grape and wine made out of Norton grapes.

The other link is to Missouri Wine Girl blog. Danene works for the wine and grape board that I am a member of, and she has lots of say about Missouri wines.

Also, if you are on facebook, become a fan of Norton Says.

Happy Clicking!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Norton Grape Cluster, Take 2

When I took this picture this morning, I didn't think there had been much growth, but then looking at last week's picture, the change is subtle, but noticeable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Picture A Week

I would like to post a picture of this bunch of Norton grapes once a week, hopefully on Fridays. I took this picture last Friday, and you can see I'm already late, but I have good intentions. I think it will be fun for you and I to see the weekly progression of a bunch of grapes.

Stay posted.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bud Break Update

While I was out in California judging at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition we had bud break here in the vineyard. It was probably around April 24rd or 24th, which is a little late. We have had a very wet and cold spring, which is fine with us considering the warm March we had last year, and then the sad Easter freeze.

We did have a light frost on April 29th this year, and some of our newly planted Catawba grapes got hit, but you can see from the picture on the left, they they are rebounding. You can see the brown, wilted growth that was frost bitten, and then you can see the new pink and green growth, including a new pink bud right where the frost hit. Pretty interesting. Grapes want to grow, they want to survive, and if they can find a way, they will, as this picture clearly indicates.

This is a picture of a tiny Vignoles cluster already formed. You can see this cluster has a shoulder, which is the smaller part of the cluster on the left. You have probably seen shoulders on grapes you buy in the grocery store also. If not, look for it next time.

This is a picture of the Seyval blanc grapes growing over the hill. All the new growth looks so crisp and green. Soon the canes will hang down over the top wire and leaves and tendrils and grapes will be everywhere.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Progressive Dinner

The Wineries of Ste. Genevieve

“Progressive Dinner” Weekend on Ste. Genevieve’s Wine Trail
Saturday June 14th & Sunday June 15th, 2008
11am - 5pm

Journey down Ste. Genevieve’s wine trail and treat yourself to fine wine
perfectly paired with a delicious “Progressive Dinner” course at each of our
distinctive wineries within our scenic region!

If your passport is stamped at all 5 wineries your name will be entered in a drawing for special giveaways!

A little more than an hour’s drive from St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, journey through the rolling hills,
big skies and beautiful views of 5 unique wineries on the Route du Vin:

Sainte Genevieve Winery Cave Winery Chaumette Winery
Twin Oaks Winery Charleville Winery

Cost: $20/person until June 7th; $25/person after June 7th
(includes complimentary wine glass, and 10% off wine purchases made that day)

Please call for advance reservations Sainte Genevieve winery (800) 398-1298

Wine & Food Pairing Menu:
Sainte Genevieve Winery
Appetizer Course: Mini Quiches paired with their Estate Seyval Blanc

Cave Winery
Salad Course: Poppyseed Salad: Spring Greens, Strawberries, Walnuts &
Feta, paired with their Chardonel Off Dry

Chaumette Winery
Entree Course: Slow-Braised Beef Roast with Wild Mushrooms and
Broccoli Gnocchi, paired with their 2005 Anrie

Twin Oaks Winery
Cheese Course: A Selection of Fine Artisan Cheeses: American Cheddar, Italian
Provolone, Gouda, & Italian Fontina Cheeses, Seasonal Fruit, Toasted Nuts & Bread,
with their Chambourcin Dry Re d or their Traminette Dry White

Charleville Winery
Dessert Course: Rootbeer Floats made with Charleville Homemade Rootbeer,
paired with their Chardonel Off-Dry

Join us on the Route du Vin year round for these seasonal events!
November 22nd & 23rd, 2008: Wine Diva Weekend
February 14th & 15th 2008: Romancing The Grape Weekend

For more info, hours and directions, visit:,,,

Friday, May 09, 2008

More Medals

I am happy to tell you the Blackberry and Cherry won Silvers at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition and the Cranberry and Cherry won silvers at the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Finger Lakes Wine Competition


It gives me a great deal of pleasure to inform you that our competition held in Rochester, NY on March 29th & 30th has awarded you GOLD MEDALS for the following wines:

Sainte Genevieve Winery American Blackberry

This is the type of email a girl like me likes to see.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Driving Posts

All this rain has got to be good for something. According to the St. Louis news, we had a record amount of rain in March. Right here on our property we had over 10 inches of rain in March. The ground is so saturated that it is easy to get posts into the ground. This is a new vineyard that we planted last year. We planted a few Gewurztraminer and Cabernet Franc on this site to see if we could grow a few vinifera besides Muscat Canelli. We covered them with straw over the winter; that's what you see all over the ground. Now we are putting in the trellis to get them to grow up and onto the wires we will hang later this spring. We cut all our own cedar posts in the winter and drug them out of the woods.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Carboy of Riesling

I teach a Fundamentals of Enology class through Mineral Area Junior College. It meets on Monday nights, and most of the classes are held out here on the farm. We make a little bit of
"kit" wine since there isn't a whole lot fermenting in the spring. This is a picture of the Riesling wine that we racked Monday night into this 6 gallon carboy. It still has a little bit of foam at the top; the fermentation is all but finished. Then it will become clear, and we will bottle in a couple weeks. It's a learning experience for all, because I haven't really made too many kit wines myself either.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Route du Vin in Full Swing!

The Wineries of Ste. Genevieve
“Jour de la Terre” Weekend on Ste. Genevieve’s Route du Vin
April 19th & 20th, 2008
11am - 5pm
Celebrate Earth Day this Spring on Ste. Genevieve’s wine trail!

Each winery offers seasonal cuisine prepared with fresh Spring herbs paired with their wines.
Take home a complimentary herb seedling from each winery to start your own herb garden!
Visit 5 wineries on Ste. Genevieve’s Route du Vin, as each winery will offer complimentary wine samples
and special food pairings made with Spring herbs for each ticket holder. If your passport is stamped
at all 5 wineries your name will be entered in a drawing for “Jour de la Terre” giveaways!
A little more than an hour’s drive from St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, journey through the rolling hills,
big skies and beautiful views of 5 unique wineries on the Route du Vin:
Sainte Genevieve Winery Cave Winery Chaumette Winery
Twin Oaks Winery Charleville Winery

Cost: $20/person until April 4th; $25/person after April 4th
(includes complimentary wine glass, and 10% off wine purchases made that day)
Please call for advance reservations Sainte Genevieve winery (800) 398-1298

Wine & Food Pairing Menu:
Sainte Genevieve Winery (Chives)
Serving Spring Green Salad with Fresh Chives, paired with their Vignoles
Charleville Winery (Cilantro)
Serving Fresh Spicy Cilantro Gazpacho, paired with their Genevieve Rivard
Chaumette Winery (Dill)
Serving Dill-Seeded Spiced Pork Loin with Whipped Dill Brie on Toast Points, paired with their Estate Chardonel
Twin Oaks Winery (Oregano)
Serving Crusty Buttered Garlic Bread Bruschetta with Tomato, Pepper & Oregano, paired with their Traminette Dry
Cave Winery (Basil)
Caprese Salad Skewers with Sweet Italian Basil & Fresh Mozzarella, paired with their Chardonel Off-Dry

Join us on the Route du Vin year round for these seasonal events!
June 2008: Progressive Wine Dinner
November 2008: Wine Diva Weekend
February 2009: Jour d’Amour Weekend

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In The Texas

I'm very happy to show you this link to an article in the Forth Worth Business Press for a couple reasons. First of all, I have judged wine with Sterling Steves many times, and haven't seen him in a year or two, so I'm anxious to be back in contact with him and hear how things are in his life. Also, his wife, Renie, came to the winery a year or two ago on the press tour, and it's so nice of her to write about her trip to 18 Missouri wineries and to mention us. Lastly, there is another winery in Texas with a name similar to ours, and occassionally I get an email from a confused customer, so now maybe that winery in Texas will get a few calls about us. =)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Close up of Vignoles from a distance, plus a few Norton right in front

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Motivational Weather

This is the type of weather Missourians live for; 70 degrees in March. Especially after such a harsh winter. I have bet with my assisstant that it will snow again before Easter. She says it will, I say it won't.
This is my Dad today on a John Deere with his "shirt sleeves" on. We are borrowing this tractor and hedger from another Missouri winery to see if we want to buy it, or one like it. It goes through the vineyard and trims off the tops and sides of the canes, then we go through and hand prune off dead wood, or left over racchi, or buds we don't want to keep. The more we can mechanize, the less we spend on labor, the better our bottom line.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Baby At Work

One of the best parts of this job lately is the fact that I bring my baby to work with me. She's so good, and she sleeps so much, that right now it works out great. She eats every 3 hours and is awake for 1 hour then back to sleep for two. I can get a lot done if I stay focused while she's asleep.

Today she wanted to eat right before we bottled the Elderberry wine (which is excellent, BTW), so I fed her, then propped her up on the boppy on a stack of Concord 1/2 gallons while we bottled. I didn't think she'd allow it for very long, but she just sat there and tried to put her fist in her mouth, and talked to us a little (no one can get a word in edgewise with my assistant around), fussed a tiny bit, I stuck the pacifier in her mouth, and the next thing I knew she was asleep.

This is what family businesses are all about right?

Friday, February 29, 2008

More Snow

We seem to be covered in snow over here. Most of February has been wet. These pictures were taken Wednesday. There were big, slow falling flakes coming down, and the sun trying to peak through the heavy cloud cover.
Everything is muddy today, and so starts spring, or mud season over here. It's 50 degrees here today, and we're basking in the warmth.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Do you know how to do the Minuet?

The Minuet is a colonial dance that we do at our annual King's Ball in Ste. Genevieve. The King's Ball is held every year before lent, and everyone dresses up in colonial garb and dances and searches for a bean in their piece of cake, the King's Cake.

The King's Ball this year has come and gone, but it was written up in the Chicago Sun Times newspaper. Click here for the article.

I went to the King's Ball once, with my parents. I think I was 13. Maybe I'll try to find that picture.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cats on Corqs

This picture was actually taken on Christmas Eve, on my Dad's porch, where the UPS man delivered our boxes of corqs. The fuzzy cat in the front is Cassandra, and the short haired grey cat on the other box is Shannon.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008


I have been absent from this blog for a couple weeks, but with good reason. On December 26th I gave birth to a tiny little girl. She has instantly become the apple of my eye, and she makes it difficult to think about anything else, wine related or otherwise.

Work does call, and I'll be back in the swing of things soon, but for a little while I hope you'll forgive me for being distracted.