B: We're back! I don't know about you guys but I can't wait for that first nice spring day. C and I are itching for the day we can sit at a winery (or ten) somewhere and kick back after a long day's work. Since neither of us are the patient sort, we decided to hit up the Mississippi River Hills Wine Trail for their "Taste of Chocolate" tour this past Saturday. It was a great way to enjoy the sunshine and get a head start on our spring winery fever.
C: We had ambitious plans B. One afternoon and SIX wineries: Hunter Valley winery of Cape Girardeau, Rothbrick Winery of Jackson, Hemman Winery of Brazeau, Tower Rock Vineyard & Winery of Altenburg, Apple Creek Vineyard & Winery of Friedheim, and The Barrens Winery of Perryville. All were featuring a special wine paired with food made with chocolate. Seriously, does it get better than that? We started close to home and worked our way toward Perryville. Along the way we saw familiar faces and made a new friend or two. Hunter Valley’s amazing strawberry wine always helps remind me that spring is near. At Rothbrick we were had a welcome party of equestrian and canine friends. At Apple Creek we joined a party bus full of ladies who traveled with their own musical instruments. Hemman provided a quiet place to sit and sip delicious fruit wines paired with chocolate fondue and melt-in-your-mouth minipastries and at Tower Rock we reunited with fellow trail travelers from our first stop. The Barrens and Perryville became the finish-line to our wine- soaked, chocolate-covered , fun-filled marathon. What an adventure! Seriously folks, if you plan to embark on a wine trail trip, make sure to plan ahead. We encountered lines at many of our stops. B. and I look at this as an opportunity to make new friends but if you don’t plan your route and timing, these delays can mean that you miss the opportunity to see, sip and “sit a spell” at your next stop.
B: I agree with C, make sure you leave plenty of time to try out the wines and get acquainted with the staff. The whole point of these tours is to find out what each stop has to offer…so have a little patience and enjoy your day! As C. mentioned, after Rothbrick, we headed to Apple Creek Winery. This is the only winery on the trail that I haven't yet visited but I was in for a real treat! Apple Creek was one of my favorite stops of the day. C and I figured this was a good place to have a little lunch (by the stone fireplace) and listen to some 90's classic country music from the entertainment that day. After tasting wine and chocolate all day, my salty side was craving something super savory and boy did we find it at Apple Creek. Try the Apple Creek pizza and you MUST have the sangria. It tasted like summer in a glass. So good! After an awesome lunch and a quick peek overlooking Apple Creek, we grabbed our purchased goods and headed out for some cruisin' (with a kick-butt 90's soundtrack thanks to me...we were in a 90's state of mind).
C: Speaking of soundtracks, B. owe’s me a mix-tape or two (ummmm…am I showing my age with that statement?) Winery trips (and Mondays in the office) are always better with a playlist! Seriously though, B. and I had an awesome day. For a few hours the gloomy winter weather took a break. We had sunshine and smooth-sailing the entire day. I think we would both agree that the “Taste of Chocolate” event made us hungry for spring and ready to hit the wine trail again soon. Lucky for you (and the Wine Girls) several of these wine trail events are already being planned for the spring. We (and iluvlocalplaces.com) will try to keep you posted on upcoming events. We want to see you and share your stories!