In Missouri, if you like wine and love the outdoors, there is no better place to be than at a winery in October! This year we went to Hermann, MO. I look forward to this annual weekend trip with friends; the people attending may change from year to year, but it usually ends up with a tag along story that is repeated year after year.
In 1857, 11,000 acres were purchased by a school teacher, George Bayer, who was the appointed agent of the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia. When the first settlers arrived, they were surprised by the terrain and rolling hillsides and were faced with a development challenge. Making the best of this situation, they planted vineyards on the hillsides and 10 year later a steamboat arrived with St. Louis tourist visitors, attending the first Weinfest.
Today the month of October is Oktoberfest and is filled with celebrations, music and entertainment all month long.
by Car: There are several ways to arrive at Herman, if driving via Interstate 70 or 44. In my opinion, the most scenic route is Interstate-44 through Washington, MO on State Highway 100. This drive is phenomenal for viewing the colorful fall leaves with rolling hillsides and incredible pristine farmlands. If you often drive through the countryside on road trips, you will likely find a few dilapidated buildings, but I do not recall seeing any on this route! I have never seen so many beautiful estates, one right after another. And this highway 100 is simply gorgeous for about a 30- 35-mile stretch.
by Bus: If you have a large group, a private bus, is the way to go; we’ve done that in past years and it is a great experience! This past weekend, I was driving behind a Cavallo bus as an example.
by Train: You can also take the train to get there, here’s a link: Amtrak.
WHERE TO STAY
I recommend booking a place early, we ran into a couple who was visiting for the day and the only room that was available cost $500 per night. There are so many cute bed and breakfast locations all over; you can find them here.
On our trip, we were fortunate enough to be guests at Mom and Papa Pratte’s home nestled into the beautiful countryside nearby; they are not technically a bed and breakfast location but could be with their accommodations and wonderful hospitality they provided us!
It’s best to have a place to stay or a driver after a long day at the winery!
OUR STARTING POINT: Hermannhof Vineyards
“Hermannhof’s ten magnificent stone cellars and charming brick superstructure are among the 100 early Hermann buildings placed on the National Register of Historic places by the Federal Government.” The Dierberg family purchased this property in 1974, the family is known in St. Louis for their Dierberg’s grocery stores.
Second to location, meeting the people is the next best adventure! Who knew we would meet three Aviation Engineers, in St. Louis on business but visiting Hermann and actually from Germany on this trip?
And if you show up in lederhosen you are bound to be in pictures!
After an unseasonably warm day hillside, our next stop was the air-conditioned Tin Mill.
No trip to Hermann is complete without stopping at the Concert Hall and Barrel Bar, for some drinks and appetizers, music and dancing. Lucky for us, we had Papa Pratte to pick us up at the end of the day!
After safely arriving home to Mom and Papa Pratte’s we are greeted with even more entertainment awaiting: music and a fire, at least for those who could stay awake! It was a wonderful weekend with friends!