CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) __ Missouri has a long history of winemaking, and a number of new wineries are now seeking to add to that legacy.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 30 new wineries have opened in Missouri in the past two years. That brings to 99 the number of wineries in the state. Suzanne VanderFeen, owner of Vines 2 Wines Excursions in Cape Girardeau, conducts tours of wineries.
“I would say we’re busier now because there are more wineries to go to in the area, especially near Cape Girardeau,” VanderFeen said. “A lot of the wineries have also expanded, so now they offer more of an experience with food and entertainment. Rothbrick is a winery that just opened up, and it’s a good example of that. On top of wine tasting, they have horseback riding and cabins and they are very family-friendly.”
Missouri was the nation’s second-largest wine producer, behind New York, before Prohibition. The state experienced a rebirth of wineries in the 1960s, and the growth has increased markedly in recent years.
The Missouri Wine and Grape Board helps market the wineries. One effort is the Passport Program, which allows wine lovers to earn points each time they visit a winery in the state. Those points can be redeemed for prizes that include dinners and weekend getaways.
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