Special Note, March 2016: We are pleased to announce the addition of Audubon’s by Chaumette Restaurant in Ste. Genevieve to our diverse destination amenities, effective March 1st, 2016. Please click here for the Jan 25th press release by Audubon Redevelopment, LLC., We are thrilled to bring our culinary expertise to Downtown Ste. Genevieve in order to compliment the many other attractions and Missouri wineries Ste. Genevieve has to offer.
The Beginning of a Missouri Winery
Established in 1990 by Hank and Jackie Johnson, Chaumette Vineyards & Winery is located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, home of the first colonial settlement on the west side of the Mississippi River by the French in the early 1750s. Although the Johnson family knew that the property they purchased for family weekend getaways was located in Missouri wine country, they did not intend to start a business that years later would be known as one of St. Louis’ favorite Missouri wineries. Hank Johnson was a businessman who had a love for wine and viticulture. Using the few acres of land he purchased in Ste. Genevieve, MO to grow grapes, he then decided to try making wine from those grapes, which is where it all began.
Chaumette now sits on 310 acres of land, 30 acres of which are grapevines, approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis, in the Ozark Mountain American Viticultural Area. The region, distinguished by rolling hills and the Saline Creek River Valley, is known to have a temperature differential of more than 5 degrees (warmer) compared to other Missouri wine regions, which is considered to be advantageous.
A Passion for Missouri Wine
Here at Chaumette, we are dedicated to handcrafting award-winning wines of distinction, and our diverse portfolio reflects the finest examples in breadth and depth of Midwest wine, capable of competing in the international marketplace. We grow varieties such as Norton, Missouri’s state grape; Chardonel, a hybrid of Chardonnay; Traminette, similar in style to one of its parent grapes, Gerwurztraminer; Chambourcin and Vignoles, all French-American hybrids. Chaumette is a boutique winery, producing between three and five thousand cases annually of mostly dry wines, with some semi-dry and semi-sweet styles as well as vintage port and late harvest wines in some years.
Chaumette Winery has is a premier wine resort destination, with a spa, private villas for overnight stays, a pool and a full-service restaurant, among more traditional winery amenities. Chaumette’s Tasting Room is open to the public year-round and offers live entertainment outdoors in warmer months.
Above all, Chaumette we strive every day to make each guest feel most welcome with friendly, unobtrusive and professional service – whether it be for a delicious dinner over scenic views, a spa treatment poolside, an restful stay in our villas or while hosting a wedding reception on our beautiful property. Chaumette Winery is a family owned and operated business, welcoming all guests to feel at home during their visit. You’ll likely find Owners Hank and Jackie Johnson in the Tasting Room on any given weekend; they hope to make your acquaintance, so ask for Hank & Jackie!
Viticulture and Academic Participation
Chaumette Winery is involved in many viticultural and academic programs statewide. Such endeavors include a collaboration with Missouri State University Mountain Grove to cultivate and study thirty-five experimental Eastern European varieties and evaluate their ability to grow in Missouri’s climate and produce quality wine. Chaumette serves as co-investigator with Dr. Wendy Applequist of the Missouri Botanical Gardens in evaluating the levels of catechins and epi-catechins present in the seeds of these Eastern European grapes. Two of these 25 grape varieties have been found to have antioxidant qualities that rival the well-known antioxidant resveratrol. Additionally, Chaumette is working with the University of Missouri-Columbia to determine optimal canopy development for the hybrid grape Traminette, through evaluating balanced pruning techniques using a specified number of buds.
Chaumette has conducted other studies in consultation with Dr. Sanliang Gu, formerly at Missouri State University Mountain Grove, including a study archiving weather data from a weather station on property to establish a weather history and evaluate levels of radiation during different parts of the viticultural cycle. Chaumette and Dr. Gu also conducted a study introducing the microrize fungus to Chardonel grapevines to evaluate the fungi’s assistance in the uptake of moisture and nutrients from the soil, both in propagation and in the vineyard.
Chaumette is dedicated to supporting and promoting the region as a whole and is a member of the Mississippi River Hills Association, the pilot program of the Missouri Regional Cuisines Project, founded by the University of Missouri, Columbia to identify ecological regions statewide to market local food products using distinct labels of origin. Chaumette is also one of the founding members of Ste. Genevieve’s wine trail, the Route du Vin, promoting the region’s unique wineries through wine & food events.