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Most wineries are at the mercy of mother nature. We are, at the core, farmers. Farmers have to adjust based on what Mother Nature gives us. While we can attempt to predict what hand we will be dealt- it is impossible to know anything 100%. Some years, like last year, have perfect weather for grapes, and we have a bountiful harvest. This winter and spring have presented some real challenges for vineyard and cellar crews.

This winter was inconsistent in temperature. As most Missouri natives know, we had frigid days, warm days, and cold again. The warm weather causes the plant to move sap around in the trunk, which then freezes and causes damage. Like if you left water in your garden hose on a nice day, it dropped and froze overnight. This back-and-forth damages the base trunk of the vine significantly. As if that wasn’t enough- this Spring has not been ideal grape growing conditions.

 

We have had a hot Spring. As it gets warmer, the grape vines send out primary shoots. These primary shoots are tender and delicate. A few weeks ago, we had back-to-back frosts and freezes, which caused widespread damage to these shoots. Some varieties of grapes can handle this extreme weather better than others. We won’t know the extent of the frost damage for a few weeks. Grape vines will also continue to push out secondary and tertiary buds and shoots even if the first buds are lost due to frost. However, these secondary and beyond shoots are generally not as high quality as the first buds. Our vineyard team is hard at work measuring the frost damage and tending to the vines that fared better during this tumultuous time. We will keep you updated. In the meantime, please send good thoughts and wishes to our grapevines as they attempt to overcome the hand that Mother Nature has dealt them.

St. James Winery is a family-owned, sustainably farmed business. Learn more about us  https://www.stjameswinery.com/, on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

St. James Winery Vineyard Pruning

Spring is in the air at St. James Winery and Vineyard!

 

Final pruning passes in the vineyard, a seasonal wine launch, and event planning at the winery! Our teams are bustling with activity in preparation for the coming season. We checked in with the experts, Executive Winemaker Andrew Meggitt, Events Manager Gina Robinson, and Vineyard Manager Sam Cobb, for the latest news. We are excited to share what’s ahead!

 

Firstly, from the vineyard, Manager Sam Cobb recently gave credit to Roy Raulston, Field Crew Supervisor, and the field crew: Brian Stevens, Flint Raulston, Rachel Miller, Maurilio Lopez, Devon Webster, Vincent Webster, and Mike Gresham. The team began pruning the vineyards in St. James, Missouri in early December. Through the best and the worst of mother nature, the hard-working and dedicated crew pruned daily, finishing the final row just last week. Sam went on to tell us more about the pruning process, and it is fascinating! “The goal is to remove unwanted growth from the previous year, to prune what was missed by the mechanical pruning team.  This could be long canes that didn’t get cut, rachises, which are leftover stems from last year’s grape clusters, and dead or broken canes.  In a typical day, the team hand-prunes 2.5 to 3 acres.”  Sam continues, “Pruning takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort. It is absolutely one of the most critical jobs in the vineyard. People always ask what we do in the winter, and my response is always the same. Just as much, if not more, than we do in the summer. The workload is never ending, and without proper planning and a dedicated team, we would not be able to get the job done.” We are all looking forward, with much anticipation, to bud break in mid-April.

 

Secondly, an update from Gina Robinson, Events Manager Extraordinaire. Gina’s excitement about bringing people together in The Gardens, a beautiful outdoor space we share with Public House Brewing Company, and in the vineyards is contagious! Gina invites everyone to celebrate Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2023, by enjoying The Gardens. About the day, Gina shared, “We have three back-to-back local favorite bands playing, a bounce house and other kid-friendly activities, delicious food and drink options, and we are even pet friendly!” You can see all the details of the day here.  As an avid runner herself, Gina’s favorite event of the year is the annual Grapes and Grain 5k, to be held at our St. James vineyard on Saturday, June 24, 2023. Gina is excited about the event, explaining, “Not only will you enjoy the beauty of the vineyard, but there will also be wine and beer sampling stations along the course. At the finish line, we invite you to toast your accomplishment with a complimentary glass of wine or beer, stay for the awards, then join us in The Gardens for a fun after-party!” When Gina’s in charge, there’s always a fun event just around the corner! Be sure to check the events tab on our website and our social media pages for updates and announcements. Find more information and a registration link for the 5k here.

 

Last, but never least, seasonal wine news from Executive Winemaker, Andrew Meggitt, who recently said, “Strawberry Citrus is a zesty, fruity wine promising the wonders of spring.” Then, quoting Henry David Thorough, Andrew added, “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” We believe that the best way to kick off spring is with the season’s favorite wine. Strawberry Citrus is a limited-release wine crafted with our award-winning Strawberry wine and blended with all-natural lemon and lime. The result is a delight! Fruity, crisp, and sweet with a clean finish – just what spring afternoons on the patio call for. In additional news, our creative and talented winemaking team just might have a brand new limited-release wine launching soon – stay tuned Pineapple Mango lovers!

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest St. James Winery

The theme of St. James Winery’s 2022 Harvest is thankful!

 

Executive Winemaker Andrew Meggitt and Vineyard Manager Sam Cobb share some insights about why they are thankful for this year’s Harvest.

 

First, weather. The cooperative weather during harvest had a positive impact in more ways than one. Sam explains, “The fruit quality was exceptional this season. We were able to let it hang on the vine longer than usual, allowing the sugar content and flavor profiles to fully develop without losing any tonnage.”  Andrew echoes Sam’s praise of Mother Nature, “The weather was surreal. Conditions meant clean, outstanding, great vintage fruit.” The clear, mild temperature evenings, nights, and mornings proved to be not only beautiful but also bountiful during this harvest season.

 

Second, a large, healthy crop. During the season, a whopping 1,400 tons of grapes were harvested from our vineyards!  This tonnage includes fourteen varietals of grapes in full production and seven from experimental blocks. In terms of pace and workload, Andrew described it as “fast and furious” and a “shock to the system”.

 

Last but certainly not least, staff. Andrew, giving credit to the vineyard and cellar crews, says, “While harvest was awesome, it was extremely physically demanding – they just made it happen.” Sam adds, “My crew worked extremely hard this year and it certainly shows.” Except for some early equipment and power issues, the harvest of 2022 went very smoothly, thanks to the 7-8 crew members working 24/7 shifts throughout the season.

 

While Sam and Andrew give full credit to their teams, we also raise a glass to them! Their strong leadership and unmatched work ethic are evident. We are thankful for Sam, Andrew, and their teams. Cheers to them and the wines that are born from the fruits of their labor.

Easter candy wine pairing

Easter candy & St. James Winery wine! Each is a treat on its own – as a pairing – pure indulgence.

 

Created for wine lovers, this Easter candy & wine pairing guide features the best of the season’s tastes, smells, and festive fun!  We’ve chosen six classic Easter goodies and paired them with their perfect St. James Winery wines. Taste your favorites, or taste them all – just be sure to leave one out for the Easter Bunny!

 

Reese’s Eggs + Concord

An Easter candy & wine pairing as classic as peanut butter and jelly, your favorite Reese’s peanut butter cups in holiday-egg-shape pair naturally with the fresh grape flavor of sweet Concord wine.
To start with, we love the creamy peanut butter and rich milk chocolate in the Reese’s. Oh, what it does to the senses when paired with juicy, sweet Concord wine that’s reminiscent of grape jam!

Concord wine and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

 

Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg + Friendship School Red

Slightly off traditional, this pairing features the chocolate version of the Cadbury Creme Egg and our favorite semi-dry red, Friendship School. The wine, a red blend, is light-bodied and boasts black cherry on the palate. These qualities pair magnificently with the rich and creamy egg. Bite, sip, repeat. Sure to put a hop in your step, we suggest tucking an egg or two away for a rainy day delight.

Easter candy and wine pairing

 

Peeps + Strawberry Citrus

Classic Peeps marshmallow delights, with their pillowy texture and sugar coating, paired with our newest seasonal wine, Strawberry Citrus, is a match straight from the bunny trail! Strawberry Citrus has rapidly become a favorite of St. James Winery wine drinkers. It’s crafted with all-natural strawberry, lemon, and lime fruit. Light, refreshing, and just the right amount of sweet and tart, it compliments the extreme sweetness of Peeps without competing or overpowering. Knowing the Easter Bunny’s sweet tooth,  this pairing may well be the one they favor most of all.

Easter candy and wine pairing

 

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bunny + Cherry

Easter day feels incomplete without a chocolate bunny’s ear to nibble. Hopping in to elevate the experience, all-natural Cherry fruit wine. We all know that chocolate and cherries go together like, well, bunnies and carrots. Hershey’s is known for its pure milk chocolate, and St. James Winery is known for its fruit wines, crafted with 100% real fruit. This pairing is so simply delicious, that you might find yourself pouring an extra glass and breaking off a chunk of chocolate bunny to share with your BFF.

Easter Candy and Wine Pairing

Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs + Country White

It takes a special wine to pair with the variety of flavors in a bag of Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs, America’s #1 selling jelly bean. Sweet Country White is just the wine to meet the challenge. Balanced and smooth with floral aromas, Country White has the versatility to pair with every jelly bean flavor – from orange to grape and even licorice. Pick out your favorite flavors and enjoy the taste experience when you add a sip of sweet Country White wine.

Easter Candy and Wine Pairing

 

Whoppers Robin Eggs + Estate Norton

Whoppers Robin Eggs is an exciting taste experience! First, there’s a sweet crunch on the candy’s outer shell. Then you get the creamy milk chocolate second layer, and finally, the malty goodness center for which Whoppers are famous. A candy with this many layers deserves a wine bold enough to pair with each, and Estate Norton is just that wine. It’s complex and rich with layered flavors of berries, vanilla, and bittersweet chocolate. Aged in oak, Estate Norton is one of the smoothest, most drinkable bold reds you’ll find. Add the one-of-a-kind taste and crunch of a Robin Egg, and this Easter is sure to be the tastiest one yet.

Easter Candy and Wine Pairing

 

St. James Winery is a family-owned, sustainably farmed business. Learn more about us at https://www.stjameswinery.com/, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

 

Strawberry Citrus

Introducing Strawberry Citrus by St. James Winery, the season’s favorite new Missouri wine!

New Strawberry Citrus is here just in time to encourage the rushing in of Springtime vibes! This limited-release wine is beautifully crafted with a blend of our award-winning Strawberry wine and all-natural lemon and lime citrus fruit. You’ll find each sweet sip light and refreshing, a perfect pairing to the gentle springtime sun.

Our Winemaking Team is creative, and our seasonal wines provide the perfect opportunity to explore new flavor combinations. With each season, we are excited to bring the new flavors to you. Our wines are always free of added colors and artificial flavorings, allowing the true fruit flavors to be the star of the show. Strawberry Citrus is a shining example of quality crafting, resulting in a wine that is fresh and delicately balanced.

You’ll find new Strawberry Citrus wine as pretty as it is delicious, too. Its clear, slender bottle and silver cap highlight the beauty of the wine it holds. The raised-print paper label depicts the flavors of the wine and the season in a fun and imaginative way. The combination creates a wine that

Strawberry Citrus Wine

Strawberry Citrus Seasonal Wine

makes a beautiful gift on its own or in a basket alongside chocolates and fresh fruits. Additionally, you’ll enjoy all of these flavors at a low 6.6% alcohol by volume. You can be sure that a glass of Strawberry Citrus is the perfect taste to brighten all of your occasions.

As well as in our St. James and Branson Missouri tasting rooms, you’ll find Strawberry Citrus in our online store and on retail shelves across the region. Remember, Strawberry Citrus is here for a limited time only. Enjoy the taste of the season at its freshest!

Strawberry Moscato

As the weather begins to warm up and spring ushers in, we are excited to share two versions of Strawberry Moscato seasonal wine with you. Releasing April 1st, new Sparkling Strawberry Moscato, and returning favorite Strawberry Moscato!  Light and refreshing, these blush wines are the perfect partner to a relaxing afternoon on the patio.

Crafted with care, our cellar crew blended award-winning Strawberry and Moscato wines to create these unique taste experiences. These wines excite the palate with naturally sweet, bright strawberry flavors. The strawberry flavor is delicately muted by our semi-dry, estate-grown Moscato, introducing a layer of subtle apricot. The result is a light, fresh taste experience that is free of added colors or flavors.

In its convenient can format, the new Sparkling Strawberry Moscato is ready-to-go wherever your spring-time adventures take you. It is lightly carbonated for a fun light, sparkling fizz, and the label evokes springtime excitement with illustrations of strawberries, florals, and adorable bees. The returning favorite, Strawberry Moscato is simply beautiful in its clear, slender bottle. With lower alcohol by volume, 6%, these wines are guaranteed to become your favorite spring-time sippers.

Strawberry Moscato wines are a lovely addition to your Easter table and pair beautifully with pork tenderloin and pork cutlets. They’re also extra delicious with a milk chocolate Easter bunny, and perfect for a Mother’s day gift.

Look for Strawberry Moscato and Sparkling Strawberry Moscato in our St. James Winery Tasting Room, online or in a store near you. Remember, our seasonal wines are limited selections and available as supplies last.

Blackberry Wine Cake is a rich, moist, sweetly decadent bundt cake, and a St. James Winery classic. You can easily substitute any St. James Winery fruit wines-even seasonal Cranberry-to keep it fun and fresh.

 

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup St. James Winery Blackberry Wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box berry flavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs

Glaze Ingredients

Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sprinkle pecans in the bottom.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and gelatin. Add eggs, oil, and 1 cup of wine. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 50-60 minutes until cake tests done. Remove from oven; turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Glaze Instructions

  1. While cake is baking, combine the powdered sugar, butter and 1/2 cup wine in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour 1/2 the mixture over the warm cake; let set for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour remaining glaze (it will thicken slightly) over cake.

Variations

Any of our St. James Winery fruit wines may be used to make this wonderful cake. Simply match the gelatin
and fruit wine flavors.

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