Our wine of the week is the highly awarded Friendship School Red! This medium-bodied, semi-dry red is made from our estate-grown Rougeon grapes and comes in a bottle worthy of display. It is rich with the flavors of black cherry and blackberry with a deep purple hue. This versatile wine is great to pair with herbed goat cheese, barbecue pork ribs or even chocolate cheesecake making it a wonderful table wine for any gathering.
In addition to its award-winning taste and beautiful presentation, this wine is a toast to the one-room schoolhouse adjacent to our vineyards. The Friendship School was built in the late 1800s, by Italian families who brought winemaking to our Meramec Highlands region. They used this one-room schoolhouse to educate generations of children in both academics and heritage. This schoolhouse is preserved today in our vineyards and our Friendship School wines were created to reflect the sense of community and heritage represented in that little schoolhouse.
In fact, we are so inspired by this schoolhouse, we have formed a Friendship School Foundation to continue the work of preserving the cultural and environmental sustainability of our community. Through our partnership with this foundation, we are able to invest in and work to sustain the cultural heritage of our vineyards, our craft and our community. We love the land we work and practice sustainability wherever we are able. A few of our sustainable efforts are:
- Use of a fine-tuned irrigation and soil monitoring system so we use less water in our vineyards.
- Creation of energy savings through efficient harvesting equipment and low-energy wine fermentation storage processes.
- Leadership of a large solar energy investigation project with our local community.
- Use of recyclable screw tops versus hard-to-recycle cork as our wine closure method.
- Eco-friendly lighting. Business recycling program.
- Large composting efforts to create less impact to waste streams.
These are just a few of our sustainability efforts today and with the help of our Foundation, we are always investigating how we can do even more. So, the next time you lift a glass of your favorite St. James Winery selection, especially our Friendship School Red, know you are supporting a Missouri winery, its community and our shared environment. Cheers!