The Sugar Creek Winery First Stop on the Missouri Wine Trail Drinks


Are you looking for a day trip as an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban living? Do you feel cooped up in the city or even feel trapped by suburban life? Then maybe a day trip to the Missouri Weinstrasse is just what the doctor ordered.

What is the Missouri Weinstrasse you say? It is Missouri’s most scenic wine trail located within a 40-minute drive of the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The Weinstrasse consists of 4 family-owned wineries overlooking the bluffs and bottom-land of the Missouri River. If you are looking for a scenic, relaxing getaway then the Weinstrasse may be just the place for you.

The first stop on the Missouri Wine Trail is Sugar Creek Winery. Located on a hillside that rises from the Katy Trail, Sugar Creek offers a panoramic view of the Missouri River Valley. The tasting room and indoor seating are located in a turn of the century Victorian home surrounded by their vineyards.

It features ample outdoor seating and a gazebo that hosts various musical groups throughout most of the year. You can purchase snack items in the tasting room or Sugar Creek allows you to bring in your own picnic or snack items.

Sugar Creek is owned by Ken and Becky Miller and the wines are crafted by their son, winemaker Chris Lorch. Chris refined his winemaking skills by working and studying in the Napa Valley region of northern California.

On a recent winter weekend when the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny, Laura and I took a trek out to Sugar Creek. They offer a complimentary sample of 3 different wines and you can sample more for a small fee.

We like dry wines so we sampled the Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Cynthiana, and Michael’s Signature Red. Becky was being generous with the samples that day and let us taste all 5 of the dry wines.

Maybe it was because there was a relatively small crowd (or maybe it was because I mentioned to her that I was writing a blog post about our visit.) At any rate, Becky and her assistant Debbie provided an enjoyable tasting experience.

All of the wines that we sampled were well crafted and each had its own distinct characteristics. We decided to buy a bottle of the Cynthiana, a full-bodied red wine made from Cynthiana (also known as Norton) grapes, which are indigenous to the Missouri wine region. Here is where you can check out their wine list.

Cynthiana (Norton) is my favorite wine made from Missouri grapes. I like the full body and complex character of one that is well made. The Cynthiana at Sugar Creek has a nice full body, just enough oak, and balanced tannins.

I think Chris learned a lot during his time spent in the Napa Valley.  The price was also more reasonable than I remembered from our previous visits. I don’t know if it was off-season pricing but it was well below the $30 I remembered paying in the past.

On the day that we were there a few of Becky’s friends had gathered for a friendly visit. We were welcomed as part of the family and we enjoyed a very serene afternoon of conversation, wine sipping, munching snacks, and gazing at the scenic river valley below us.

When you get a chance to head out to the Missouri Weinstrasse make sure that you make a stop at the first winery on the trail, Sugar Creek.

The other wineries that make up the Weinstrasse are Montelle, Augusta, and Balducci. I plan to re-visit each of these in the upcoming months and will write a post about each one of them. Stay tuned….

If you have something that you are passionate about, you should consider blogging. You can pursue your passion (food and wine?), write about it, and make some coin on the side.

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