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 Missouri winery. Hank Johnson was simply 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.
Our winery now sits on 310 acres of land, 30 acres of which are grapevines, approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis. 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
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.
More Than a Winery
Chaumette Winery has is a premier wine resort destination with private villas for overnight stays, a pool and a full-service restaurant, wedding and event venues, among more traditional winery amenities. Our Tasting Room is open to the public year-round and offers live entertainment outdoors in warmer months.
Above all, 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 restful stay in our villas or while hosting a wedding reception on our beautiful property. We are a family owned and operated business, welcoming all guests to feel at home during your 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 or Jackie!
Viticulture and Academic Participation
We are also 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, we are 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.
We have 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. We 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 with Dr. Gu.