There are few places on earth where the marriage of soil and climate is blessed by great wine grapes. The vineyards of Hermannhof are among them..
The soil and climate of the Hermannhof vineyards distinguish them as one of those unique pieces of the earth's surface capable of producing fine wines, with average rainfall of 26.8 inches and 3927 growing degree days (50 F. Base). Some 11,000 Hermann acres were settled and cultivated into grape production prior to Prohibition. However, Hermannhof had limited vines and property. In 1978, a search was made for the most ideal site for grape growing. Soil composition, micro climate, and historical data were gathered and the University of Missouri consulted. This culminated in the purchase in 1979 of two leading and connecting vineyard/farms of 1837, totaling 300 acres. This consisted of an upper and lower farm with ideal slopes and scenic vista. A fifty acre vineyard was laid out the next year. The lower farm/vineyard was the Christopher Weber vineyard and farm first planted in 1837. About Christopher Weber, history books read:"...a famed dairyman, vintner, and musician."
Little Mountain vineyard was planted in 1837 by Julius Ruediger-a famous wine grower of his day. His original stone and log vintner's cabin remains unchanged with rows of vines radiating from its source. This site has one of the highest, if not the highest, elevations and vertical drops along the Missouri River. Hermannhof's Ruediger or upper vineyard is located on the high bluffs at the confluence of the Gasconade and Missouri Rivers. The vines are protected from night frosts due to the two rivers, the mist from the river keeping frost away from the grapes. The morning mists rising from the rivers supply warmth and humidity which is often important. Due to the elevated area of the bluffs and the rivers, this vineyard can produce temperature variances of as much as 25 degrees F. from the surrounding valleys and plain. The soil is Menfro, which is well drained and has a high water capacity. This upper vineyard has deep soils providing root penetration deep within the earth, producing wines which age better than wine made from vines grown in the valleys or in light soil.
The incline of these high slopes enable the grapes to utilize the full power of the sun, producing wines of full fruit and maturity which are a delight to viticulturist and connoisseur alike.
330 East First Street - Hermann, MO 65041