Landforms in the Ozark Highlands appellation fall into three types: cedar forest, rolling native prairie, or stream bottoms. A unique combination of these features has allowed many prime acres of grapes to thrive here. The area is unusually dry for Missouri, but the brown sandy loam soil atop yellowish clay stresses the vines while holding needed moisture. No less than four rivers cross the area, along with several smaller streams. The appellation’s boundaries form a shape reminiscent of spilled wine, running down the map from east of Jefferson City almost to Eleven Point River. Two large sections of the Mark Twain National Forest form the east and west boundaries.
Vines were first planted here by Italian immigrants, and native cultivars and French hybrids continue to grow. The area’s fruit wines are also very worth a taste. The Ozark Highlands is a peaceful area where cows look up as you drive by and where winemakers are usually the winery owner. The label outside the bottle might be a little crooked, but the wine inside might be the finest varietal expression or blend balance you have tasted.
~ Tim Pingelton, Missouri Editor
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Dear Miss Chardonel, your voice and looks are similar to your
is the Regional Correspondent for Ozark Highlands.