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May 17, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Martha and Curtis Bourgeois’ interest in making wine began as a hobby in 1985 but exploded into a thriving business. The couple’s first significant grape harvest produced 500 gallons of Jeunette Rouge, which sold out. Two years later, they tripled production and bought an A-frame, a 10,000-square-foot building and seven more acres. The rest is, well, you know.
OH, YOU FANCY, HUH?
Les Bourgeois Vineyards is the third-largest winery in the Show-Me State and produces almost 100,000 gallons of wine annually. Nearly half of it is sold by family retailers. If our math is right, that would be a glass for 1.3 million people. House party at Les Bourgeois?
DON’T WHINE ABOUT IT
Les Bourgeois serves five varieties of both white and red wine. Wine tastings are held daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Tasting Room and Gift Shop, and the A-frame is open during the warm-weather seasons from noon to sunset. Wines can also be purchased online at the winery’s website, missouriwine.com.
REMODEL? I’LL DRINK TO THAT
The swanky Rocheport winery was once Pete’s Cafe in the late 1960s, and it was converted to Les Bourgeois Vineyards in 1985. Curtis says plans for another remodel began two years ago but says he hopes renovation will begin this summer and finish next spring.
FILL YOUR BELLY in the WINERY DELI
For the winery’s expansion project, Curtis plans to include a deli that will provide soups, sandwiches and charcuterie from Sycamore Chef Joshua Smith. The winery already sells food at the Blufftop Bistro, where oenophiles can indulge in a variety of cuisines.