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This whole month we’ll be celebrating Concord in Missouri. The grape makes up about 8% of all wine grapes grown in our “Show Me” state.

The wine is a tribute to the Concord grapes grown in the Ozark Highlands along Missouri’s Historic Route 66 for over 115 years. A long-term contract with a prestigious juice, jam and jelly company helped make these high-quality Concord grapes famous. Every year during harvest, Italian descendants still set up Concord grape stands along the highway to sell their fruit to travelers.

Our Concord wine is juicy and sweet, with an intense grape jam flavor and light finish. The red wine made from these grapes is usually served chilled, making it perfect for a hot day. Try it at refrigerator temperature, over ice or mixed with a club soda to create a light, grape spritzer.

St. James Winery is excited to announce our new Concord sweet red wine, which releases on March 31, 2017.

The wine is a tribute to the Concord grapes grown in the Ozark Highlands along Missouri’s Historic Route 66 for over 115 years. A long-term contract with a prestigious juice, jam and jelly company helped make these high-quality Concord grapes famous. Every year during harvest, Italian descendants still set up Concord grape stands along the highway to sell their fruit to travelers.

The Concord wine is juicy and sweet, with an intense grape jam flavor and light finish. Serve it at refrigerator temperature, over ice or mixed with a club soda to create a light, grape spritzer.

On March 31, the new Concord sweet red wine will be available for purchase in the Tasting Room, online at StJamesWinery.com and in retail stores where St. James Winery wines are sold.

That evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., we will host a special tasting event in our St. James Winery Tasting Room in St. James, Mo. Second-generation owner Peter Hofherr will discuss how Concord grapes have shaped the history of the area and sign bottles upon request. We’ll also be serving complimentary samples of the new Concord wine along with food pairings.

Harvest 2012 is has proven to be one for the record books.

In all the years St. James Winery has been in operation, no one can ever remember harvest beginning in July, but thanks to very hot summer temperatures, the grapes were really on the grow.

Usually at the end of August, harvest crews would still be in the thick of things, but because an early start means an early finish, harvest 2012 is really winding down. The only grapes remaining in the vineyard are a few Chardonel grapes and, of course, the Norton, which always takes its good sweet time to ripen.

What does the harvest look like so far?

Around 1,200 tons of grapes — including Seyval, Niagara, Cayuga, Rougeon, Chambourcin, Valvin Muscat, Vignoles, Catawba, Chardonel, Concord — have hit the crush pad. We expect the Norton to be ready very, very soon.

Everyone in Missouri has complained about the heat and drought this summer (did we mention it’s was brutally hot here?), but because the vineyards are irrigated, the lack of rainfall was not problematic.

There was, however, another side effect to the drought. The minimal rains paired with our carefully controlled watering meant less disease pressure on the vines. There were fewer insects, and the rot issues which can arise with too much rain were non-existent.

Everyone on the winemaking staff is thrilled with the exceptional grape quality and outstanding flavor profiles, so we’re already looking forward to the third Thursday in November (the 15th this year!) when we release our 2012 Nouveau — a first taste of this season’s harvest!

Wines

Concord Sweet Wine - St. James Winery Missouri