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By Melissa Gilstrap
An arching cavern offers a place for visitors to relax in a natural Missouri formation at Cave Vineyard in Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
Owners Marty and Mary Jo Strussione bought the 14-acre property in 1995, and have since planted four varietals of grapes, such as Traminette, Chambourcin, Norton and Chardonel, along the hilly countryside.
Since Cave Vineyard is considered relatively young in the wine industry, it is guided by what’s appealing more than stodgy tradition, as evidenced by the signs advising everyone to “Dunk it!,” the ‘it’ being the flavorful biscotti the winery offers with every wine tasting.
“Our family grew up dunking biscotti in wine,” Laura Oliver, daughter of Marty and Mary Jo Strussione, says. “We were looking for something different and unique to offer our guests.”
Cave Vineyard’s wine tasting showcases 10 of their award-winning wines. It starts from dry and oaky to sweeter, fruitier dessert wines. Its dry wines, such as the 2008 Chambourcin, unfold slower on the palate and taste slightly more complex than the sweeter selections. The sweet wines such as Cave Rock White, however, are more accessible to inexperienced tasters.
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: Charleville Vineyard and Brewery
- Wine Country Series: Jerry Smith of River Ridge Winery
- Wine Country Series: Adam Puchta Winery is 157 Years Strong
- Wine Country Series: Crown Valley Winery’s large production system
- Wine Country Series: Montelle Winery
- Wine Country Series: Family tradition, variety of bratwurst at Stonie
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