Anniversary Vacation

One thing we look forward to each year is our anniversary vacation. Rather than giving gifts, we make it a point to go somewhere to celebrate our anniversary. This year due to our work schedules we weren’t able to be on vacation on our actual anniversary. We still celebrated with take-out food, chocolates, cheeses, and last but not least: fruit and flowers … the Hallmark “this is the gift you are supposed to give your spouse” gift for year four.

Oh and don’t feel bad if you and your spouse don’t follow the gift-giving guide. I think this is the first year we’ve ever done it. 🙂

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This past weekend we celebrated the big “4” with a trip to Hermann, Missouri wine country. I’m always a big advocate of going somewhere we’ve never been. Hermann is a small German town in the middle of nowhere. It was actually founded by the same group of men that founded Philadelphia, Pennsylvania … but that’s not why we chose this place.

We chose it for it’s old buildings, food and WINE. We like wine. We love wine trips. Perfect combo.

There were plenty of adorable bed and breakfast homes to stay at, but we opted for this cute farm house cottage about 10 miles from Hermann. We got the whole place to ourselves.

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Once we arrived, we were greeted by the cottage’s two kitty cats … Mickey and Lil’ Ricky. They were HILARIOUS! They loooooved Scott. Loved him. They would follow him anywhere.

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All he would have to say is “Here kitty kitty!” And they would sprint to him. Even when we walked around the grounds and down to the pond, they were right there with us.

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In the mornings, Lil’ Ricky would watch us make breakfast …

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Every. Morning. Scott secretly wanted to take them home with us.

However, this post isn’t about us spending our entire anniversary vacation with a couple kitty cats. Nope. It’s about wineries! Our first winery stop was Röbller Vineyard. It was a gorgeous afternoon and the views were so serene and peaceful. Being a Friday afternoon, we had the whole place to ourselves.

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Next we headed down the road to Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery. I don’t think they were technically “open”, but the head winemaker was there delivering some wine for the upcoming weekend and she went ahead and gave us a tasting. She invited us to stay as long as we liked, so we camped out inside and chowed down on some snacks. Unfortunately, because we were stuffing our faces, I didn’t take any photos!

Our next stop we decided to hit up the local brewery – Tin Mill. For a quick history lesson, here’s how their beers are made:

   “Tin Mill beers are proudly crafted by brewer, Elijah Holt, in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, the code that still governs beer making in Germany today.
   The barley we use is grown and malted in Germany and comes from some of the best barley fields in the world. Our hops come from the renowned Hallertau Region of Germany, an hour north of Munich.
   We brew all our beers using the old world German tradition of Krausening, a process used by only a few brewers in the United States today. In this process, we take beer that is almost finished fermenting and add a small amount of newly fermented beer. This  “recharges” the fermentation activity and adds natural carbonation.”

Pretty cool. They had 20 beers on tap and although we wanted to sample all of them, we ended up choosing six.

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I loved the inside of this place because it really felt like a traditional German beer hall. We decided to eat dinner here. After a little while, we noticed that almost every table was playing some kind of game or another. Sure enough, they had a game corner filled with all kinds of games. We opted for a dated version of Trivial Pursuit and had a very educationally-entertaining evening.

The next day we had four wineries that we wanted to hit up. The first one was Adam Puchta Winery and Scott and I were a little disappointed by this one. It was PACKED! We opted out of the tasting, chose a bottle of wine, tried to find a seat, drank a couple sips and decided to leave. Maybe on a week day this place would have been a little more promising. Thankfully Stone Hill made up for it!

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We decided to grab lunch at “Vintage” which is the restaurant on-site at Stone Hill.

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Once we were seated, we realized that we were dining in a horse stall. Hahaha!! Sure enough after a little investigation, this building used to be a carriage house back in 1847.

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The food was all authentic German fare and delicious. Scott got to try his first potato pancakes, while I’m always a sucker for quiche.

Stone Hill is right in the middle of Hermann, but the views were still gorgeous.

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We decided to take a tour of the wine cellars along with a free tasting … which if you ever get Roy, you’re in for a very entertaining afternoon!

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Next, we made our way over to OakGlenn Vineyards. Right before you turn onto the road leading to OakGlenn, there is this sign:

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I guess the people that live on that road have had some issues! OakGlenn was busy too, so we chose a bottle of wine and enjoyed the view.

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Our final stop was Hermannhof Winery which is also located in downtown Hermann.

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Hermannhof had some pretty cool wine cellars underneath their tasting room.

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All of these places could accommodate large groups, but Hermannhof had lots of little places where your group could sit and hang out … and all these places were very different from each other. Scott and I decided to walk around and check out the grounds.

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Overall we had a great trip. It was soooo relaxing. We weren’t on any schedule and the house we stayed in was very peaceful … and thankfully not haunted! 🙂

We also were able to take our yearly “photo with our photo”:

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Also, if any of these photos look particularly good, it’s because Christmas came early!! On our way to Hermann, we stayed the night at my parents’ house and supposedly Santa dropped our present off early (I’m guessing because we were so good this year). So, we are VERY proud owners of a Nikon D3300!!!!!!!! Ahhhh!!! My excitement CANNOT be contained! We definitely had a lot of fun with it over the weekend.

Anyway … back to Hermann … if you are looking for a fun, close to St. Louis getaway, definitely check out this area. This time of year is gorgeous, but if I were to go back again, I think I would try it as a camping trip and hike the Katy Trail. Hike and wine. Sounds good to me!

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This weekend I’ll be off gallivanting with some girlfriends in Asheville, North Carolina while Scott gets to go hunting with some guy friends here at home. So, I’m sure there will be some interesting stories from all of that.

Thanks for stopping in!

– Allie

 

 

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