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Much to celebrate during Missouri Wine Month

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This just in from Marilyn Odneal, who writes the Ozarks Food & Garden column from her post at the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station north of Mountain Grove, Mo.

As we observe Missouri Wine Month, we are in the middle of grape harvest at Mountain Grove. The earliest cultivars have been harvested – Cayuga White and Seyval Blanc as well as Delaware, Sunbelt, Valvin Muscat, Chardonel and Traminette. We have yet to harvest Chambourcin, Catawba and Norton. Norton is the State Grape of Missouri but the crowd pleaser is the sweet and fruity Catawba. If you haven’t tried some of these cultivars I mentioned, or others such as Vignoles, Cynthiana, St. Vincent, Vivant, and Concord or some of the proprietary blends, it is time to throw down your GPS of choice and take the Missouri Wine Month Challenge: Try Something New!

Norton Grapes have deep roots in the Missouri wine industry, but the French also appreciate the vines for their role in saving the wine industry. September is Missouri Wine Month.

Norton Grapes have deep roots in the Missouri wine industry, but the French also appreciate the vines for their role in saving the wine industry. September is Missouri Wine Month.

Did you know that there are over 125 Missouri wineries in our state? This is a far cry from the 30 or so that were established in the early 80s when I first began work at the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station. At that time, our small research winery did not produce wine for sale. Now we are licensed and bonded to sell both award-winning wine and distilled spirits and are involved in research, outreach and of course, student education. So celebrate September with us during Missouri Wine Month.

A fun way to try something new is to go on a wine adventure. There are 10 wine trails listed at the Missouri Wines website for you to travel. See  See missouriwine.org for more information. You can explore the wineries on a trail and find something new and delicious to try.

September is a busy time harvesting grapes and crushing them at the winery and a fun time to hit the trail and discover your new favorites. You can share your adventure on social media with the hashtag #MoWineMonth (just don’t ask me how). If you are old-fashioned, share a newly discovered wine varietal or blend in a September toast with your friends and family.

Direct comments or questions concerning this column to Marilyn Odneal via email at MarilynOdneal@missouristate.edu; write to Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, 9740 Red Spring Road, Mountain Grove, Mo. 65711; or call (417) 547-7500. Visit our Web site at http://mtngrv.missouristate.edu.

 

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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