Missouri’s most awarded, and Branson’s favorite*, winery has upped the ante for wine lovers visiting the nation’s capital of live entertainment - an opportunity to sample their best product in the new “St. James Premium Wine Tasting Experience!” If you’re new to the St. James name and you love a good wine, or maybe you’re familiar with their popular fruit wines but have yet to try the brand’s “higher end” line, this is the ideal opportunity for you. This Premium Wine Tasting features five excellent wines from St. James’ Winemaker Series, a great way to determine which one hits all the right notes for you before purchasing a bottle, or two, or maybe even a whole case, especially if you don’t have access to St. James’ wines back home. In addition to the Premium Wine Tasting, available at a very reasonable price, the winery offers free wine tastings, providing options for guests to choose the experience that best suits them. (*As determined by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette in a nationwide survey conducted as part of their “Best Of Branson” program.)
A little history to familiarize you with the St. James brand...in addition to being the most awarded in the state, the winery happens to be the largest in Missouri. Named for the city where it’s located - St. James, Missouri - the winery is still in the hands of the family who founded it in 1970. The Hofherrs revived the grapes that put the state on the winemaking map more than a hundred years ago, before Prohibition nearly wiped out the industry. Although the wines have long been available in many areas of the country, the St. James operation stayed the only location for more than 45 years, and when the family finally decided to venture out, only Branson seemed like the logical place for expanding - a family-centered company in a family-friendly destination, it’s a natural fit! As for the product itself, more than a dozen of the wines of St. James have racked up numerous awards and accolades, even besting brands from countries famous for making great wine. And St. James appeals to fans that range from the most discerning connoisseur to the “newbie;” offering the picky consumers Dry wines like the Estate Norton, Pioneer White or Red, and Sauvignon Blanc, and Semi-Dry options that include Vignoles, and Friendship Red or White. The more approachable wines come from their fruit series, popular with everyone, but especially good for folks who enjoy a sweeter taste - favorites include Raspberry, Cherry, Strawberry, Peach, and the uber-popular Blackberry.
St. James in Branson hasn’t limited itself to wines alone, there’s an incredible bistro-style restaurant that offers hand-tossed, brick-oven baked pizza that’s earned itself a long list of fans, both locals and those visiting the area. The menu also includes meat snack plates, appetizers, salads, and sandwiches, and you’re not limited to eating in the contemporary and comfortable dining room, there’s a lovely outdoor courtyard area with patio seating, as well as a relaxing water feature and bocce ball courts.
The St. James Winery Premium Wine Tasting Experience is available from Thursday through Monday at 3:00 p.m. - each session has limited spots available, is about an hour long, and is offered by reservation only. More of a condensed wine “class” than a traditional tasting, this new activity includes one-ounce pours of six premium wines from the St. James Winemaker Series, known as the “best of the best” offered by the renowned winery and valued between $30 and $59 per bottle. Those participating in the tasting session can purchase any of the wines included in their experience at a special price. Each testing is led by a local St. James wine expert, an experienced instructor who’ll help you pair the perfect gourmet cheese with each wine (included in the sesson price,) and give each participant a 16 ounce St. James souvenir wine glass. You’ll enjoy an interesting video presentation that features the second generation owner of the family business - Mr. Peter Hofherr - with individual wine instruction and pairings for each of the six premium label wines conducted by Andrew Meggitt, the Head Winemaker for St. James. (For more information on activities for adults in Branson, check this out: “Branson’s Best Spots for “Grown Up” Beverages!”)
For those not quite ready for the exclusive experience, St. James continues to offer their free wine tastings with half-ounce (½) pours of your choice of five wines from their standard series. (Crackers and chocolate chips are provided, upon request, to enhance your tasting experience.)
Come enjoy Branson’s premiere winery in the best way possible, by signing up for the St. James Winery Premium Wine Tasting Experience! And you can’t visit Branson without taking in a show, or two...or even a few! These posts will give you a quick peek at many of Branson’s most popular shows: “When Branson Missouri Pays Tribute, Everyone Pays Attention!” -- “Branson “Pops” with Musical “Variety!” -- “Branson Shows that Tell a Story -- It’s Live Theater, Branson Style!” -- “Branson - Where to Get Your Country On in the Home of Live Entertainment!” -- “Branson, Missouri - What a Magical Place!” And Branson hosts a lot of concerts and limited-engagement appearances each year: “Branson Welcomes 23 Big Name Acts to the Concert Stage for 2019!”