Wine making begins in the vineyard, so when the summer growing season becomes the fall harvest season, things get busy in both the vineyard and the cellar at St. James Winery. The 2014 harvest is underway and looking promising.
Each year the start of St. James Winery’s harvest is officially marked when the first grapes hit the crush pad at the winery. The 2014 harvest began when a load of Cayuga grapes arrived from the vineyard on August 17 at 7:51 pm. Since then, the winery’s harvest crew has been working around the clock to bring in the rest of this year’s grapes.
“A long, cold winter left us wondering if spring would ever arrive. The summer growing season was quite temperate, but the last bit of late summer heat put the finishing touches on the grapes and they ripened quickly,” said Andrew Meggitt, Executive Winemaker at St. James Winery. “This year the grape quality is exceptional. The grapes really look good. What we’re noticing in particular is that the fruit is especially aromatic and flavorful.”
Since the beginning of harvest, St. James Winery has processed over 1,000 tons, or two million pounds of grapes. Cayuga, Chardonel, Chambourcin, Concord, Niagara, Rougeon, Seyval, Valvin Muscat, and Vignoles have all seen the crush pit. Norton, the official grape of the State of Missouri, and Traiminette are still hanging on the vines, but are expected to be harvested soon.
“Our vineyards are producing world class wines.” said Peter Hofherr, CEO at St. James Winery. “St. James Winery won three major international competitions and earned over 70 gold medals in 2014, which makes us, once again, one of the most awarded wineries in the country.”
St. James Winery, the largest and most awarded winery in Missouri, has been making exceptional wines since 1970. St. James Winery wines are sold in stores throughout the South and Midwest. The winery is online at www.stjameswinery.com.