“Defiance!” I said, while pointing the car down the highway.
“What did I do?” Sophie asked.
“No, no,” I quickly explained, “That is the town we are going to”.
Not that this really helped my 13 year old traveling companion. But then, she really hadn’t done any research.. Defiance is the name of several towns and villages throughout the U.S. It is also the beginning of the Missouri Weinstraße, Route 94 between Defiance and Marthasville. It was also the final living place (though not resting place) of Daniel Boone.
It is also home to three wineries. Chandler Hill Vineyards, Yellow Farmhouse Winery and Sugar Creek Winery & Vineyards.
I stopped at Sugar Creek after finding the Yellow Farmhouse closed (and across the street from a really active biker bar). The tasting room was off the road and across the Katy Trail and up about 150 feet (yes, it was a steep hill). I liked that there were different outdoor settings for people. There were at least two decks, a patio and scattered tables surrounding a gazebo. Additionally, there was an area that was set aside for music and (presumably) dancing.
The tasting room was relatively small but opened up into rooms in the back that were available for additional seating or for event rental. Sophie looked around while a started my tasting. The winery produces 15 different wines ranging from dry to sweet. I settled on tasting the dry varietals beginning with the Vidal Blanc. This is an estate grown wine that was fermented in stainless steel with the addition of oak chips while the wine is aged. The wine is light and crisp with just enough oak.
The next wine I tasted was the Chardonel which is a hybrid of Chardonnay and Seyval grapes. This wine is also an estate selection. It was fermented in aged in French oak barrels. This wine was fuller bodies than the Vidal Blanc with nice citrus notes and butteriness. Overall though, I thought both of the white wines lacked a certain oomph. The reds, on the other hand, stood out.
The first red wine that I tried was the Chambourcin. I have to admit that I have been enjoying Chambourcin more and more and this wine was no exception. The wine was ripe with cherry flavor and dry. It was aged in oak which provided a richness.
Next was the Cynthiana, more commonly called Norton. This varietal is a native American grape. The wine it produced tasted of black fruit and had a pleasant tannic finish. It was finished in American Oak. I will be looking for more Norton wines in the future.
The last wine that I tasted that day was the Michael’s Signature Red. It was produced in honor of the winery owner’s Italian grandfather who taught him about wine making. This wine was softer with a smokiness. It, like all of the wines that I tasted that day, were estate grown and bottled.
I was surprised to find that the Sugar Creek label did not list the Augusta appellation. They just designated that they were from Defiance. The winery is listed as an Augusta winery on the Missouri Wine Country website. Never fear! I managed to find AVA designated wine nearby!