Show Me Some Goals….

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

The nice part of goals is missing them sometimes. Yes, it was your editor’s goal to complete podcasts for all four Missouri viticulture areas before leaving for the Show Me State… but that sadly hasn’t happened. Something about teenagers and their crazy schedules screwed that up. Oh, and randomly placed Spring Breaks. Ahhh.  Good times…

So, instead of showing you are about the Ozark Mountain and Ozark Highlands AVAs, I will postpone the publication of these videos so that I can gather some footage of my own…. and instead will talk about where I am planning to go on my Missouri adventures. While I am only going to be in Missouri for a long weekend and most of that time will be spent in St. Louis, I have found that I will be able to visit all four viticultural areas. Yeah!

As you can see, I have gotten lucky that all of these appellations are located at least in part near St. Louis. So naturally, given that I have no obligations to teens and/or volleyball (like last year or next week) I get to explore Missouri.

The conference location is the starting or ending point of the trip. At least from a planning perspective this is the raison d’être for my get away. Kevin is watching the teens, which earns him my pity as it is their spring break. He initially wished to join me along this journey but thought better of it as it is likely teens would have sucked all the joy out of me for this adventure, and I thank him profusely.

Why Ste. Genevieve? Simply, it is the oldest town in the state. Founded by the French along the Mississippi River before even the French and Indian Wars, the town has a collection of Creole-French buildings that were common among French settlers or habitants…  Obscure?  Perhaps.  But I love that kind of stuff.  Plus there are wineries there too which are located within the Ozark Mountain AVA. This AVA is the biggest in Missouri (especially since it extends into Arkansas and even Oklahoma) and the Ozark Highlands and Hermann appellations are located within its boundaries.

My next must see stop is the town of Kaskaskia, Illinois.  Crossing back over the Mississippi, you say?  Hardly.  Kaskaskia, also a French settlement, was located east of the Mississippi but as the river has changed course, so has the location of the town and it is currently located just a couple of miles south of Ste. Genevieve.  Actually, most of the original town has been lost to flooding and hardly anyone lives there anymore (the 2000 census indicated a population of 9).  The appeal of Kaskaskia is twofold.  It is the original capital of the state (or maybe territory) of Illinois.  Also?  It has a bell that was a given to the local parish church by Louis XV (Yes.  Louis XIV is dead, to answer my husband’s snappy response whenever hear hears the name of a monarch with a number attached to his name.. Thanks so much, dudes from Monty Python).

The next goals of the trip are to visit all three appellations that I haven’t been to before.  This means, stopping at wineries in Ozark Mountain (done… with stops in Ste. Genevieve), Ozark Highlands  (done with stops in and around Leasburg or Steelville, MO) and in Hermann.

As if this isn’t a busy enough weekend, I will then be attending the conference in St. Louis.  Whew.  I am going to be tired come Monday.  But I will have lots to talk about when I get back!

Hope you have as much fun this weekend!




Next stop

Road Trip Planning 2010 – North Dakota

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

North Dakota! Where the winds go sweeping down the plains! Ooops, wrong song. But North Dakota is where I’ll wind up next and there are plains. So that much is accurate. To get there, all I have to do is cross the Red River from Minnesota. Easy-peasy. Now, I have seen the Red in action. it is no meek, mild river. I got to enjoy its delightful flooding during the summer of 1993 in the even more delightful city of Winnipeg. Do you know how big mosquitos get in Manitoba during a flood? I still have nightmares about them.

So what do I have to look forward to in North Dakota?

Well, there is Fargo. Still no Marge, but still. I also get to go through the capital, Bismarck, named for the German Chancellor, not the donut.

Other options for me:

The Roger Maris Museum
The National Buffalo Museum where there are albino bison.
A walking tour of Louis L’Amour’s hometown
I got excited about the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame, but it turns out that it is a portrait gallery of famous North Dakotans Now it is interesting because I learned that Lawrence Welk, Peggy Lee and Angie Dickinson all came from North Dakota.
Fort Abraham Lincoln and Custer House might be more up my alley so long as I avoid the guided tour (I have been banned from the Freedom Trail, after all. Marguerite is similarly banned. We are not good on historical tours, in fact, we are downright snarky.)
Salem Sue! I love giant animals! I visit the Big Duck often, how could I skip the duck’s dairy equivalent?
Dakota Dinosaur Museum. Did you just hear my nerd alert go off? WHEE!
Did I mention that this will be my first time seeing the

Now I just have to figure out what the quintessential food of North Dakota is… Any ideas? You know how to reach me or comment below.

I will take Chardonnay for 100, Alex

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Two things that I am known for are loving wine and being a nerd. So imagine my surprise when I found out that five days a week King of Nerds, Alex Trebek can be found at home sipping wine… It is like my worlds have collided and made things better…. Wine lovers and nerds rejoice!

Enjoy this clip of Andy Richter kicking Wolf Blitzer’s butt on Celebrity Jeopardy courtesy of the brain sucking aliens at HULU:

Central Delaware Valley AVA

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve, Editor

Welcome to another edition of the Stephen T. Colbert Memorial Better Know an AVA! Stephen wants all Americans to know the rich heritage of our Congressional districts and get to meet the people who occupy those seats. VinoVerve believes that you should get an opportunity to see where your local wine is being produced. So, as an homage to Stephen (who inspired me and who I would love to have a picture of holding a flag and a glass of wine (hint, hint…)) I give you a description of the fighting Central Delaware Valley AVA.

This viticulture area was designated in 1984 and further amended in 1987 and consists of 96,000 acres on both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey side of the Delaware River north of Philadelphia. The AVA at least as far as I can tell takes on the outline of a dragon. Why? I do not know. I just know that I tried to follow the descriptions listed in CFR as closely as possible and I have never gotten the image of an mythical creature before. So, I am going to chalk it up to dumb luck and hope I haven’t made a grave error. Ironically, I don’t think that you will find a lot of other sources for a map of this AVA so I am sincerely sorry for any weirdness that I may have created. I am a map nerd, but I am far from perfect.

Oh, and I am reasonably certain that you will NOT encounter any dragons while exploring this region. Marguerite has been out scouting the area already and she has not yet reported the smell of sulfur or scorched earth, so I think we are safe.

Central Delaware Valley AVA

A Resolution That I Can Stick To!

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

I know that at this time of year most people are talking about making resolutions about drinking less…

Well, that is just crazy.

My resolution is to drink more local wine.

and to visit the wineries too.

Aunt Maggie shouldn’t get to have all the fun!

My first plan?

Make a map. Why? Because I can and because I need to justify a geography degree that made me learn how to make maps by hand.

Indulge me…