This week I had the opportunity to visit Chaumette Winery and Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, my first Missouri winery, as part of a company retreat. Chaumette offers award-winning wines, lovely villa accommodations, a full-service restaurant, spa treatments, and destination events such as weddings.
The Villages at Chaumette consist of 26 charming villas with bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces, a kitchen, and living rooms. The villa in which I stayed was as large or larger than my current apartment.
At the conclusion of the retreat meetings, our group met with owner Hank Johnson in the tasting room to learn a bit about the history of the winery and to taste some of the current offerings. Behind the tasting bar is a mural depicting the legend of the Chaumette name and how it was anglicized into the surname Shumate. Hank’s mother’s maiden name was Shumate, thus he and his wife decided to name the winery Chaumette to honor his French heritage as well as that of Ste. Genevieve, the first French settlement west of the Mississippi River.
Our group first tasted an unoaked and oaked Chardonel. Chardonel is a cross between Chardonnay and the French-American, disease- and weather-resistant hybrid, Seyval. The group was divided about 50% as to which we preferred. We also tried the Traminette, a semi-dry white wine, which is the cross between the French-American hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and Gewürztraminer. It had a similar flavor profile to Gewürz, but by crossing it with the Joannes Seyve 23.416, it is also more resistant to disease and extreme temperature change. After the white wines, we tasted a Rosé of Chambourcin, which was my personal favorite of the tasting, as it paired perfectly with the 100+ degree temperature and high humidity. Chambourcin is also another French-American hybrid grape that can survive in tough conditions. Dry red wines followed the Rosé: Assemblage (a red blend), Chambourcin, and Missouri’s official state grape, Norton (although it was first grown in Richmond, Virginia). We completed our tasting with their sweet red called Huguenot Red.
The complete Chaumette experience, including accommodations and wines, is not to be missed. Chaumette is about and hour and 15 minutes by car from St. Louis, the perfect escape from the routine of daily life.
If you’re interested in a wine-related getaway, don’t hesitate to contact me via my website and I’d be happy to create for you a customized and personalized wine-cation.