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About Us

A family-owned, internationally awarded winery in Missouri’s Ozark Highlands wine country.

Our history

When they opened St. James Winery in 1970, Jim and Pat Hofherr reinvigorated the local Italian wine heritage by creating wines that were easy to drink and share with friends and family.

Italian Heritage

Italian immigrants settled in the St. James area of the Meramec Highlands in the late 1800s. The railroad carried them to new and inexpensive land where the immigrants built a life and eventually began to use their agricultural knowledge to grow high-quality Concord grapes. Initially, these grapes were used predominantly for juice and jelly. However, the pristine growing conditions helped build new markets and more than 1,000 acres of grapes and over 200 wineries surrounded the St. James area by 1922. This community of winemakers helped make Missouri the second-largest wine-producing state in the U.S. until Prohibition wiped out the family wineries that had come to define the region. The ground was still fertile, but without any place to sell their wines, the families who had come to call St. James home were forced to close their wineries.

History brought back to life

As Missouri wines began to comeback in the 1960s, Jim and Pat Hofherr decided to re-establish the craft of winemaking in St. James. They used the same grapes and similar wines that made the region world famous a half-century before, and created the now-famous Velvet Red and Velvet White that remain a hallmark of the St. James Winery lineup. Using all the Hofherr children as (more or less willing) extra hands, the family produced 8,000 gallons of wine in 1970, their inaugural year. Winemaking was back in business in St. James.

Bold steps forward

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Hofherr family began making wine. In that time, St. James Winery has helped put Missouri wines back on the national stage. People throughout our state and across the country seek out our wine, and we have expanded to meet their demand. St. James Winery now produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year and is available for purchase in 16 different states. Some days, we produce as much in one day as the Hofherr family produced in the entire year of 1970. Jim and Pat’s middle son, Peter Hofherr, is now the CEO and he and world-class winemaker Andrew Meggitt see to it that our wine stays true to the quality of the first winemakers of Meramec Highlands, while they grow and develop new award-winning flavors.

Italian Heritage

Italian immigrants settled in the St. James area of the Meramec Highlands in the late 1800s. The railroad carried them to new and inexpensive land where the immigrants built a life and eventually began to use their agricultural knowledge to grow high-quality Concord grapes. Initially, these grapes were used predominantly for juice and jelly. However, the pristine growing conditions helped build new markets and more than 1,000 acres of grapes and over 200 wineries surrounded the St. James area by 1922. This community of winemakers helped make Missouri the second-largest wine-producing state in the U.S. until Prohibition wiped out the family wineries that had come to define the region. The ground was still fertile, but without any place to sell their wines, the families who had come to call St. James home were forced to close their wineries.

History brought back to life

As Missouri wines began to comeback in the 1960s, Jim and Pat Hofherr decided to re-establish the craft of winemaking in St. James. They used the same grapes and similar wines that made the region world famous a half-century before, and created the now-famous Velvet Red and Velvet White that remain a hallmark of the St. James Winery lineup. Using all the Hofherr children as (more or less willing) extra hands, the family produced 8,000 gallons of wine in 1970, their inaugural year. Winemaking was back in business in St. James.

Bold steps forward

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Hofherr family began making wine. In that time, St. James Winery has helped put Missouri wines back on the national stage. People throughout our state and across the country seek out our wine, and we have expanded to meet their demand. St. James Winery now produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year and is available for purchase in 16 different states. Some days, we produce as much in one day as the Hofherr family produced in the entire year of 1970. Jim and Pat’s middle son, Peter Hofherr, is now the CEO and he and world-class winemaker Andrew Meggitt see to it that our wine stays true to the quality of the first winemakers of Meramec Highlands, while they grow and develop new award-winning flavors.

we love the land we work

We’re committed to sustainability because we’re proud of our home and we want to take care of it.

Sustainable growing practices

From beginning to end, we make the best wine we can in the best ways we can. We fine-tune our irrigation system and constantly monitor our soil moisture data to use less water while growing our grapes. We use the most efficient harvesting equipment available. We’ve instituted low-energy and sustainable wine fermentation and storage processes. Last, but not least, we bottle our wine with screw tops instead of hard-to-recycle cork.

Sustainable Facilities

The little things make a difference, so we recycle all our materials, use eco-friendly lighting and compost everything we can. The big things make a difference too, like the refrigeration system we installed to save energy while still meeting the needs of Missouri’s largest winery. Take a tour of our facilities and we’ll point out everything we do to minimize our environmental impact.

Sustaining Our Region

St. James Winery was founded to re-establish the tradition of winemaking in the Meramec Highlands, and we work to sustain that tradition. Our partnership with the Friendship School Foundation, helps us invest in and work to sustain the cultural heritage of our vineyards, our craft and our community. The Foundation name pays homage to the 19th-century schoolhouse that still stands next to our vineyards, and is featured in our Friendship School red and white wines.

Wines to Make Missouri proud

At St. James Winery, we make wine that reflects where we’re from — the Meramec Highlands. This rich, fertile region is a stretch of communities forming the heart of Missouri.

Our one and only focus has always been to make delicious wine. We are proud to be the most awarded winery in Missouri, and we are consistently among the top five most medal-winning wineries in the country. The recognition is nice, but we don’t do this for the awards — we do this for you.

The Meramec Highlands provide winemaking conditions unlike any other region in the world — and that’s not an exaggeration. Missouri’s distinctive weather patterns and the unique soil in our vineyards are exactly what we need to make wines that continue to win fans from around the world.

Our
Awards

For nearly 50 years, St. James Winery has produced unique regional wines. Our hard work in the vineyards and winery has paid off. Today, St. James Winery is the largest and most awarded winery in Missouri. St. James Winery is consistently one of the top five gold medal-winning wineries in the country. Competition after competition, our quality shows.