Winers: Ever Had a Missouri Wine? Or a Norton Grape Wine? Your Opinions?

This Saturday some freinds and I made a trip to Hermann, Missouri to tour the wineries and taste their wines. Now, I’m new to wine so my palate hasn’t developed yet. Most wines I hate, some I tolerate, and very very few I actually like. All of the ones that I actually liked were ones that I tried in Missouri this weekend.

One thing that I noticed was that every winery in Hermann made a wine from the Norton grape. From what I understand, the Norton grape was almost made extinct during Prohibition, when the Feds tore up Missouri’s grape vines. But a few vines survived and now the Norton appears to be Missouri’s (or at least Hermann’s) prized local grape.

Another thing I learned this weekend was that, until fairly recently, serious wine reviewers have basically laughed Missouri wines out of the room. However, according to our tour guide, Missouri wines are gaining some long-overdue recognition.

Personally, I found the Nortons to be too dry for my tastes. Sort of like a Syrah, only drier and sour-er. My red wine-loving friends found them exquisite and bought a couple of bottles from the Adam Puchta Winery. I, however, prefer white and snagged a Riefenstahler and a Vignoles, which are luscious sweet whites, both with a hint of melons. Yummy.

So, serious winers: ever had a Norton or any other Missouri wine? Your thoughts?

Excuse me. I snagged a Vignoles and a Steinberg White, not a Riefenstahler.

Yeah, and as someone who prefers a red, I liked the Norton quite a lot. However, the bottles they said we should age for ten years didn’t hold up as well as I had hoped.

O’course, this came from Stone Hill, so there are probably subtleties that come from specific wineries that might make a Norton more or less palatable.


I’ve had Missouri wines. I wasn’t impressed. That said, I’m sure I haven’t tried them all, and I am sure that they are getting better each vintage. Will they become good? Probably. Will they become great? Doubtful.

There are a couple Virginia vineyards that bottle Norton-based wines - I’ve had one from Chrysalis Vineyards that I found to be quite good. It wasn’t something to be drunk by itself, I was told, but was best with a good steak, which is how I had it. I’m not particularly sophisticated when it comes to wine, but I thought it was a good, solid wine.