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On the last day of our tour, we stopped by the Montelle Winery, in Augusta, Missouri. Sitting at a patio table, owner and wine-maker Tony Kooyumjian describes what he feels are the most important aspects of making good wine.
“The magic is not in the type of wine,” Kooyumjian says, “The magic is in the hills.”
From Montelle Winery’s elevated patio that overlooks Augusta’s rolling hills, which are officially recognized as the first viticultural area in the U.S., Kooyumjian’s sentiment is easy to grasp.
Kooyumjian’s wines also grasp several awards, but don’t expect all the recognition to put a whole in your wallet. Montelle Winery offers modestly priced wine, traditional-style brandy selections and food provided in-house by the Klondike Cafe and Bakery.
With our winery tour almost over, it is apparent how passionate viticulturalists are in their work. Kyooyumjian, who also owns the Augusta Winery, explains that some wine-makers, “Are taking more pride in what they do rather than how much money they make.”
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: Jerry Smith of River Ridge Winery
- Wine Country Series: Charleville Vineyard and Brewery
- Wine Country Series: Adam Puchta Winery is 157 Years Strong
- Wine Country Series: Crown Valley Winery’s large production system
- Wine Country Series: Wine and biscotti at Cave Vineyard
- Wine Country Series: A unique wine tasting at Crown Valley Winery
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