History

For more than 40 years St. James Winery has been producing unique regional wines. We make wines that reflect the natural character of each of our grape varieties and of the special place they are grown: the Ozark Highlands.

Constant research and development, plus a splash of innovation, in the vineyards and throughout the winemaking process bring us excellent results. From the handling of the grapes in the vineyards, where our unique grape varieties are matched with each microclimate and soil type, to the choice of yeasts, which are carefully selected to complement our varietals, our winemakers test, taste and fine tune. From the barreling and aging to the bottling of our wines we work to make sure the one-of-a-kind flavor profiles of our distinct varietals shine.

Our hard work in the vineyards and winery has paid off. St. James Winery is consistently one of the top gold medal winning wineries in the country. Our customers’ love of our fruit forward style has made us one of the top selling regional wineries in the United States.

St. James Winery History and Heritage

  • This region was settled by Italian immigrants who brought a rich wine tradition. Our logo is a one room school house. This building is adjacent to our vineyards and honors the families that began the wine tradition in the area.
  • Before Prohibition, Missouri was the second largest wine-producing state in the US. When the 18th amendment passed, much of the wine industry was destroyed and did not begin to return until the late 1960s and 70s.
  • The Hofherr family opened St. James Winery in 1970, with an original production of 8,000 gallons. This offering included the now familiar Velvet Red, Velvet White, and Pink Catawba. Velvet Red is still our best seller. The winery remains a family company.
  • During the last 40 years St. James has become a leader in the Midwest industry, remaining in the top ten most medaled wineries in the country every year for the last decade. St. James Winery now produces more than 500,000 gallons of wine per year. Our wines are sold in 18 states.

St. James Winery Vineyards

  • In Missouri, the winery operates 160+ acres of vineyards, with more than 200 additional acres contracted in Arkansas and Michigan. There are more than 15 varieties of grapes being grown by our viticulturists, some tried and true and some being cultivated to find new quality opportunities for Missouri wines. Vines themselves take nearly four years to produce fruit that can be used for wine and can live to be over one hundred years old.
  • Modern production techniques are a vital part of St. James Winery‚Äôs commitment to quality and growth. Drain tile in the fields improve less than ideal soil conditions in many of our vineyards. Soil moisture probes provide information that helps our vineyard management use less water. Mechanical harvesting helps provide a consistent crop that allows the winery to receive the grapes efficiently. In very special cases the winemaker may choose to have some grapes harvested by hand.

St. James Winery Cellar

  • Technology plays a key role in the cellar at St. James Winery. Temperature sensors on each tank allow for precise control and remote monitoring of wines during fermentation and storage.
  • State of the art equipment and modern production techniques in the wine cellar mean top results. The winery has more than 60 stainless steel tanks, with volumes ranging from 350 gallons to our largest at 25,500 gallons. Our bottling line runs at 50-60 bottles per minute and can bottle 1,700 cases (or 6,000 gallons) per day.