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By Nina Bolka
Hank Johnson originally purchased property in Sainte Genevieve in 1990 as a place for a weekend getaway. His sprawling lands were a time commitment, and soon enough he found himself entering into the wine business.
“I was sick of mowing this one field,” Johnson says. “So we planted grapes instead.”
Suddenly, what was originally a vacation spot turned into a business for the Johnson family. On 310 acres of land, Chaumette isn’t strictly a wine production operation; they host business meetings, have private villas for overnight visitors, a spa, full-service restaurant and three wedding venue options.
While Johnson attests that his business started small and kept growing, all of these components “feed into each other.” The wine serves as the unifying factor, driving in visitors to the gorgeous scenery to enjoy a break from city-life.
About the class
Students in the Wine Country Writing class, taught by Nina Furstenau, will be getting a chance to examine not only wine culture and how to write about it, but also how wine is produced and agricultural issues in the vineyard. During this four-day field reporting trip to Missouri wineries in the Ste. Genevieve, Augusta and Hermann areas, students will see A&K Cooperage in Higbee, watch Missouri oak barrels being produced, talk with winemakers and vineyard managers, and learn directly from experts in the field. Join the class with their blog series as they meet the people behind the Missouri wine industry.
- Wine Country Series: Crown Valley Winery’s large production system
- Wine Country Series: Adam Puchta Winery is 157 Years Strong
- Wine Country Series: Jerry Smith of River Ridge Winery
- Wine Country Series: Wine and biscotti at Cave Vineyard
- Wine Country Series: Charleville Vineyard and Brewery
- Wine Country Series: Montelle Winery
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