This week’s Wine of the Week is our Pioneer White! This dry white is near and dear to us because it was created as a tribute to our founders, Jim and Pat Hofherr. Their story is a journey of humble beginnings in re-establishing the wine industry in Missouri after Prohibition nearly wiped it out.
Prior to Prohibition, Missouri was the second largest wine producing state in the United States. Once Prohibition went into effect, barring the manufacture and sale of alcohol, many vineyards were destroyed. The Italian immigrants in the Meramec Highlands region predominantly used their grapes for creating juices, jelly and jams. This kept the vineyards alive and well in our area.
As Missouri wines began to comeback in the 1960’s, Jim and Pat Hofherr decided to re-establish the craft of winemaking here in St. James, Missouri. Using the same grapes and similar wines that made the region world famous a half-century before, they created the now famous Velvet Red and Velvet White that remain a hallmark of the St. James Winery lineup. In their inaugural year of 1970, they produced 8,000 gallons of wine. Now, nearly 50 years later, St. James Winery produces more than 500,000 gallons of wine a year in a variety of flavors from sweet to dry.
Pioneer White is a dry, white wine that delivers smoky oak and pineapple aromas with zesty gooseberry and kiwi to the palate. Crisp and balanced acidity with a lively finish make this blend of Chardonel, Seyval and Vignoles grapes special and the perfect tribute to our own Missouri wine pioneers, Jim and Pat Hofherr.
We recommend enjoying this wine with smoked pork, grilled chicken or trout. You can also try our delicious Angel Hair Pasta with Feta and Broccoli recipe.
Our Pioneer White is available in our Tasting Room and in a store near you.