Missouri Viticulture

Missouri has been producing wine since the late 1840’s when German immigrants settled the area along the Missouri River Valley between Augusta and Hermann and called it the “New Rhineland”.
Today this region is home to award winning wineries as well as the Katy Trail State Park …
the nations largest rails-to-trails bicycle path.

vacation_084-1When the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, they left behind a rich alluvial soil that created southern slopes along the Missouri River.  These southern slopes provide warmth for grapes grown in the spring and summer, and provide protection from the northwestern winds in the winter.  The soil, topography and climate create the perfect “terroir” for the growing of grapes and the production of wine.

Missouri even helped the French in the 1870’s when a parasite, Phylloxera, was destroying their rootstock.  Millions of cuttings of Missouri rootstock were shipped to France to save their industry from disaster.

Wine production continued through the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s, as the railroads continued to boost the Missouri Wine Industry.

Then in 1920, Prohibition destroyed the industry.

After Prohibition, it was a slow comeback, but with the hard work and perseverance of the “new vintners”, Augusta was granted the first AVA ( American Viticultural Area ) on June 20th 1980,
8 months before Napa Valley in California.

The Missouri Wine Country has been growing ever since…


Bicycle Katy Trail

Seasoned cyclists, cycling clubs, and outdoor adventure tours find that the Katy can challenge them all along the way.  Small towns and bigger cities are linked by the Katy, like a highway system just for bicycles.  Cycling through the cornfields of the Missouri River bottoms and along the white-faced bluffs of the Missouri River, beauty and solitude is always surrounding you as you meander down the path.

katy trail1The Katy Trail State Park is approx. 240 miles long running from just northeast of St. Charles Missouri to Clinton Missouri through Missouri Wine Country.  It’s the nation’s largest rails-to-trails bicycle trail after the closure of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, which ran along the northern bank of the Missouri River.

Katy Trail State Park is open from sunrise to sunset.  The trail is hard packed limestone and is virtually level, as it had been a railway.  There is a slight grade from one end to the other.

A popular ride is to start in Clinton at the west end of the trail, and ride east to St. Charles.   Going in that direction will put you in Augusta the day before heading into St. Charles for the final leg of your journey.

One way to get to Clinton is to take a shuttle from Katy Bike Rental, located in Defiance Missouri, just outside of St. Louis.

Augusta is the jewel along the Katy Trail with several Bed & Breakfasts, wineries, a brewery, restaurants and specialty shops … your reward after several days on the trail…

Check out the ‘Bicycle across Missouri’ Page of this site, for a synopsis of the trail from end to end.