The Real Augusta

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

So I have driven all the way outside of St. Louis to get to an Augusta winery and it turns out that they don’t label their wines as part of the Augusta AVA. What’s a wine nerd to do?

Travel 20 miles down the road? Sure, I had promised my volleyball serving whiz kid/travelling companion, Sophie that we would just be going to Defiance because that town provided three wineries for me to visit. But how could I abandon my greater plan?

we compromised. One more winery. I promise. We just have to go a little further down the road.

And off we went. It was one of the first nice weekends of the season, despite the fact that it would snow that night throughout the plains (St. Louis was spared). People were out riding their bikes on the Katy Trail which is the former right of way of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad that was turned into a state park in 1986 after numerous washouts (this part of the railroad was in the Missouri River bottoms). The name Katy came from K-T portion of the name, which I had to look up because… well, because I did. I am a nerd. That’s my job. We travelled down State Highway 94, also referred to as the Missouri Weinstraße (the ß=ss in German).  From what we could see, wine lovers were out that day too.

As we got closer to the town of Augusta, we saw signs for more and more wineries.  Our destination?  The Augusta Winery.  Surely this one would carry the appellation mark.  We were not disappointed.

The town in on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. At the bottom of the hill, the  floodplain is wide and flat, used mainly for agriculture.  The winery is located on one of the terraced streets.  The winery is housed in an older stone building which has been renovated to allow tourists to see winery operations from the outside.

Inside, I looked over the wine list and decided to taste five selections out of the seventeen (17) available  (FYI The Cabernet Franc is now sold out).

The Chardonel is fermented sur lies (mixing the yeast into the fermenting juice) in French oak barrels.  The wine tasted of green apple and pears and is medium bodied.  The Vidal Blanc is floral and light with a slightly sweet finish.  Unfortunately it was a bit light for my taste.  La Fleur Sauvage is a  medium dry rose that smelled or strawberries and tasted of raspberries and cranberries.

Again it was the red wines that I really appreciated at this winery.  The Chambourcin is full of red fruits, particularly of strawberry (according to the nose of my underage companion, but who’s smell instincts I rely on when I am not sure) and medium bodied.  The Norton had the lightness of a Pinot Noir with a spicy cherriness.
Even better, these wines were marked as being produced in the AVA and the winery.

My mission was accomplished!

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