Letter from Hank
Chaumette’s Owner Hank Johnson
Owner Hank Johnson
points to primary and
secondary grape clusters.
Hello Everyone! In previous newsletters, I have talked about the many anomalies of this year’s growing cycle. As we approach harvest, I’m seeing yet another situation that we’ve not seen before. The grapevine shoot has nodes positioned every four or five inches along the perimeter of the stem. These nodes give rise to leaves, tendrils, clusters, and sometimes what we call laterals, which some people call suckers. These laterals are extra shoots that most years provide extra foliage, and in many cases unnecessary density to the canopy. Grape clusters normally occur on the fifth or sixth node from the cordon or main horizontal part of the vine. In a “normal year,” in addition to the primary cluster an additional cluster referred to as the secondary cluster will sometimes appear on the 13th or 14th node, which means it’s about three feet from the horizontal cordon. As you might expect, it appears much later than the primary cluster and so matures at a much later time. As the grapes ripen, they grow in diameter, soften and take on a golden hue, which is what we see today. Secondary clusters in a normal year at this stage are pea-sized light green hard-as-a-rock berries. What we are seeing this year is secondaries that are occurring in much different places. For the first time, we are seeing secondaries on lateral shoots and rising from the main shoot at nodes 7, 8 or 9. What this means is, we have secondaries in those positions ripening just a little bit later than the primary clusters. This presents a dilemma for the pickers. It is very easy to recognize the immature secondary clusters toward the end of the shoot on the 13th node, but these other secondaries, closer to the primary clusters look very much like the mature fruit. We know that the pickers will move through the vineyard and pick both the primaries and these similar looking secondaries. We can teach people to stay away from the pea-sized hard green berries of the clusters at the top of the vine, but it is probably futile to try to have people differentiate between the primary clusters and the secondaries that reside nearby.
What we plan to do is have two people stationed on either side of our sorting table who are experienced grape people to pluck the less-ripe clusters from the table as they are dumped from the field bins. These clusters will go into separate containers to be crushed separately. The juice will be evaluated to determine whether all or some is suitable to be incorporated in the juice that comes from the primary clusters or whether it will need to be used in other ways. Never before have we seen this in our 22 years of growing grapes. Stay tuned for a reading of the outcome next month!
Chaumette will be featured on PBS’s Arts America
In other news, we are so pleased that we will be included in PBS’s nationally featured weekend television show
Chaumette wins FEAST Mag FEAST Awards 2014
called “Arts America,” through St. Louis’s The Nine Network!
Please tune in Saturday, Sept. 20th at 3:30pm and Sunday, Sept. 21st at 1pm to see Chaumette! We are thrilled to be selected over the past few months as FEAST Magazine’s
Chaumette wins Sauce Mag’s Reader’s Choice 2014
FEAST Awards Favorite Local Winery, a Favorite Local Winery in Sauce Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards, and to make St. Louis Magazine’s A-List as the “Favorite Escape” in the “Amusements Category. We are so
proud of these awards, we thank you for your patronage.
Have a look below at some of the great happenings we have coming up ~ we hope to see you soon!!
Balloon Glow Sept 25th & 26th!
Chaumette’s Balloon Glow 9/25 and 9/26thOh, we’re so excited to announce we’ll host a beautiful Balloon Glow Sept 25th & 26th at dusk! No entrance fee, just come see 2 balloons light up the dimming sky, and we hope you’ll stay for a glass of wine or dinner! (Dining requires making a reservation: 573-747-1000.) Bring your families and your cameras!
Thurs & Fri 9/26th & 27th
6:30pm – 8:30pm
weather permitting each night
no charge; children welcome!
balloons remain grounded/tethered
guests welcome to take photographs in front of balloons
Dinner ressies: 573-747-1000.
Flatbreads, Flatbreads, Flatbreads!
Indian-inspired Flatbread special
Indian-inspired Flatbread special
So many of you have asked for more flatbreads options on our Grapevine Grill menus, and as usual, we listen! In addition to our tasty share-ables such as our Baetje cheese plate and house-made charcuterie, we now offer a selection of house-made flatbreads for lunch, and appetizer-sized flatbreads for dinner! To share or share not ~ what will it be?… Mushroom Flatbread; Tomato, Boursin Opal Basil Pie; Oberle Sausage & Cheddar or Stonie’s Bacon & Onion… oh, and ask for our special flatbread of the day! Optional Link
Autumn Villa Weekend Availability…Hurray!!
Chaumette villas weekend availability
Great news everyone!
We have a few villas that have become available for overnight rental this autumn season! Please contact our Concierge Desk immediately at 573-747-1000 if you are interested in staying with us, as it is very uncommon that we have weekend availability during harvest season.
Open dates as of this newsletter posting:
Fri. Sept 12th (2 villas)
Sat. Sept 13th (1 villa)
Fri. Oct 3rd (1 villa;)
Sat. Oct 11th (1 villa)
Fri. Oct 24th (2 villas)
Sat. Oct 25th (1 villa)
Fri. Oct 31st (3 villas)
p.s. ~ The pool at the Spa should be open through September… hope to see you soon!
St. Vincent’s Chapel Hosts PRISMS Fun Walk Nov 8th
Chaumette’s St. Vincent’s Chapel hosts Balloon GlowHere at Chaumette, our little all-faiths chapel congregation, Saint Vincent’s-In-the-Vineyard, will host a Fun Walk on Sat. Nov. 8th for PRISMS, a non-profit association that supports families of children with Smith Magenis Syndrome (SMS,) a debilitating birth defect affecting up to 1/25,000 births.
Time to grab your walking shoes, and join us for this fantastic event through our beautiful grounds!
Late Harvest Vineyard-to-Vineyard Fun Walk
9:30 a.m. registration at St. Vincent’s Chapel
Pre-Registration fee: $20 by Oct 20th
after Oct. 20th, fee $30
For more information, to make a donation, or to request a registration form, please contact Percy Houston at email@example.com or by calling 573-225-8308.
Participants can choose the 1, 2, or 3 mile walk, traverse through Chaumette’s property, and the longer walk extends to Charleville Vineyards, over the ridge.
Participants are encouraged to wear a wine-themed or super hero costume to be eligible for prizes! The first 150 registered walkers receive a logo’d wine glass! Hydration stations will be arranged throughout the course, and as always, you must be of legal drinking age to consume alcohol. 1 complimentary beverage coupon will be given to every registrant.
This walk will provide monetary support for families to attend an International SMS Conference in 2016, so we hope you can join us for some fun and excitement on our first vineyard walk!
Wine Club News
Chaumette’s Wine Club Manager Ryan Otto Harvest Season is upon us, and I look forward to seeing
many of you in the Tasting Room on Saturdays & Sundays,
so please stop by the Wine Club kiosk to chat or with any questions!
Please note that we did delay the August Wine Club Order due to the August heat, as we want to be sure the wine isn’t “cooked” and therefore damaged during the shipment process. We processed orders Wednesday, Sept. 10th, shipped orders leave here Thursday, Sept. 11th and pick-up orders will be ready in our Tasting Room Friday, Sept 12th. New Release & Dry Clubs will receive 2 bottles of 2013 Assemblage and Sweet Club 2 bottles of Bouvet Blanc, N.V.
Good News! October and November shipments are on the horizon, and please stay tuned for what wines we will select!…
Please remember that you can call me (573)747-1000 or email me Ryan@Chaumette.com with any questions or to order wine for pick up or delivery. You can also order wine online on our website at http://www.Chaumette.com. Lastly, thank you for all of the Wine Club referrals via our Refer A Friend Program!
See you soon!
Wine Club Manager
We all know why companies have corporate retreats. It gives perspective and helps to “pop the bubble,” we can often find ourselves in as a team of people working hard towards specific goals. There’s value in physically removing people from a work environment into a different one; it prompts creative thinking and renewed enthusiasm that is difficult to harness during a regular work routine. Plus, building relationships with colleagues is essential in working effectively together, and having a bit of fun during a retreat yields shared experiences for all!
So, how do you make your corporate retreat most stellar?
Here are some tips that we use for our own Chaumette executive retreats ~ (yes, even we leave Chaumette for The Four Seasons #StL every December,) ~ that you might find helpful:
Dining together naturally generates conviviality among people, and after a long day’s worth of brainstorming sessions, it’s a great way to relax and feel rewarded for everyone’s efforts.
Include team-building activities.
Oh, they may seem silly, but team-building activities yield creativity and fun for an end result that isn’t about your day-to-day work! Ask your venue if their chef and sous-chef would be interested in hosting a “cook-off” and split your group into teams, for a “best dish” competition! Find out if your venue organize a beer tasting competition to identify which beer is which, tasting “blind.” If you do host a retreat at a winery, ask if the winemaker could host a blending seminar for teams to compete for the best blended wine! Organize an orienteering walk or hike where teams could identify the most fauna and flora in the area. Team-building exercise ideas are endless, and they work to bring people together!
We’ve all read the studies about the benefits of exercise for productive and creative thinking, so include in your itinerary a 30 minute opportunity for every team member to go for a walk in the morning, hit the gym or go for a swim. A little fresh air and time to reflect is refreshing for everyone!
Everyone has their breakfast routine; some eat immediately and others need time to get hungry! The best way to make sure everyone has plenty of energy to begin a day of meetings is to have a small breakfast bar set up in the meeting room to fuel or refuel everyone. It also creates a more relaxed atmosphere, food energy prompts better thinking, and it facilitates the ability to begin the morning session earlier.
Don’t forget to take breaks.
We host many corporate meetings at Chaumette, from big national brands to smaller, regional companies, and we marvel that when a professional meeting facilitator is present, breaks happen like clockwork every 1.5 hours. Breaks mean getting up and leaving the room, taking in fresh, outdoor air and not talking about the subject of the meeting at hand. Mental concentration is similar to a muscle, and it needs a rest from all the hard work!
We hope you’ve found these corporate retreat ideas useful in making yours as productive as possible. For more information about hosting a corporate retreat in Chaumette Winery’s Boardroom, please contact us at Events@Chaumette.com or 573-747-1000.
When thinking of Missouri, many people do not associate it with wine. What you may not know is that the state actually has a rich history of wine making that dates back to the late 18th and early 19th century. Before the prohibition, Missouri was 2nd in the country in wine production (1st was New York). Believe it or not, about an hour outside of the busy city of St. Louis, you will find some of the best wines you’ve ever tasted (they have several international awards to prove it).
Missouri was key in reviving the French wine industry in the 1870s
Grape growing in Missouri started with French settlers mainly in the southwestern area of the state and was then advanced when German settlers began growing in central Missouri. One of the most interesting pieces of Missouri’s wine history lies in their revival of the French wine industry. In the 1870s, a vineyard pest named phylloxera louse wiped out most of the vineyards in France, which ironically originated in North America and was transported to Europe during Queen Ann’s reign, who was an advocate of botany. A Missouri entomologist (one who studies insects), C.V. Riley, discovered a phylloxera resistant, American rootstock that was sent to France to be grafted with French vines. Soon, the vines in France began to grow solid and the French wine industry was restored.
Missouri makes several hybrids of common grapes
For example, Chardonnay, known as one of the noble grapes of France and a mainstream international grape variety, is grown as Chardonel in the “Show-Me-State.” Chardonel is a French-American hybrid of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc that is very similar to its parent grape, Chardonnay, but is able to withstand Missouri’s cold winters. Also, Chardonel, like Chardonnay, can be fermented in steel or French oak. Another great hybrid Missouri has to offer is their Norton, (also known as Cynthiana). It is produced in a medium-to full-bodied dry style with robust black cherry flavors and spicy overtones. Norton is also Missouri’s state grape and is considered the only serious North American grape variety. Another great red wine hybrid grown in Missouri is Chambourcin. It is a French hybrid with Pinot Noir lineage. Chambourcin is known as an excellent gateway to dry red wines because it is medium bodied and earth driven with black currants.
Missouri wines are very diverse
The state is able to grow every international wine style by using grape varieties that grow well in Missouri. Although Missouri has rough winters and humid, hot summers many of the wines made in Missouri are hybrids of other grape varieties you may know such as Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Chambourcin, as we just learned. Missouri has everything from dry, off dry, dessert, and sparkling wines that can compete with wines made all around the world.
Missouri’s dessert wines will blow you away
Some of their dessert wines were produced in the late 19th century, but it has only been in the past twenty years that Missouri has been recognized for their truly great dessert wines by international wine critics. Missouri produces everything from late harvest wines, to ports, to delicious sparkling wines that are able to thrive and beautifully ripen during the long and warm growing season. We would recommend Port made in Missouri. Try it with a rich, chocolate dessert and you will melt! The sum of two parts of this food and wine pairing make something spectacular on the palate.
Written by: Taylor Bartley
An Edible Foraging Walk & Cooking Demonstration
with Chaumette’s Catering Chef Ryan Maher
(& owner of Missouri Wild Edibles)
Sunday, August, 3rd, 2014
$20 registration fee; (includes shuttle & lunch)
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions: Pulitzer Foundation (314) 754-1850.
Join Chaumette Catering Chef Ryan Maher and internationally renown artist Tattfo Tan
for a foraging walk through the woods of Chaumette Winery’s 310 acres.
Guests will be invited to use an herbarium press of Tattfoo Tan’s design
to collectively create an artistic representation of the foraging experience.
Following the walk, Chef Ryan will host a cooking demo
with foraged ingredients at The Barn at Chaumette with lunch.
9 am ~ depart from Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108
10am ~ foraging walk, herbarium press, cooking demo, lunch
at Chaumette Vineyards & Winery in Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
2pm ~ return to Pulitzer Foundation, in St. Louis
about Chef Ryan, Owner Missouri Edibles:
Chef Ryan forages all over the U.S. for wild plants, with a particular specialty in mushrooms.
His clients include Chaumette Winery and top chefs in St. Louis.
about Tattfoo Tan:
Tattfoo Tan’s art practice seeks to find an immediate, direct and effective way of exploring issues related to the individual in society, through which we collapse the categories of ‘art’ and ‘life’ into one.
about Pulitzer Arts Foundation & Marfa Dialogues StL:
Marfa Dialogues / STL is an examination of artistic practice, climate change science, and civic engagement taking place July 30 through August 3, 2014 in St. Louis. A collaboration between Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation, Marfa Dialogues / St. Louis will feature over 20 Program Partners with a spectrum of installations, performances, workshops, and interdisciplinary discussions to examine climate change solutions in the Midwest.
Marfa Dialogues / St. Louis is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. http://www.stl.marfadialogues.org.
See Chef Ryan here on Fox 2 talking about the event.
We have all been there, the waiter comes up to us after eating a delicious meal that has us full to the brim and asks, “Any room for dessert?” We can’t even fathom the idea of eating another bite and we respond with a nice “No, thank you.” Then we finish up and get our check. Let us give you a tip, while you are at the Grapevine Grill here at Chaumette this summer, you may want to box some of your meal to save room for these desserts. Here is what we have waiting for you.
We aren’t sure if you have ever been to an elk dinner or even an elk farm, but Executive Chef Adam Lambay created this dinner idea to bring together his culinary peers for a fun night and to introduce guests to this great locally-sourced meat. He says, “this will be a really fun way to cultivate farmer & chef friendships and raise awareness about elk, while we invite guests to experience how great elk can taste.” Adam has sourced elk from Kevin Hinkebein, Owner of Hinkebein Elk Farm for six years now, and the elk burger is a favorite on the Grapevine Grill Restaurant menu at Chaumette. Adam says the flavors of elk are “mildly gamey and bold and deep in flavors, it’s an interesting steak and braises and roasts really well. We’ve made a really delicious elk pastrami recently with great spices, too.” We are really excited about this unique dinner event at the beautiful Hinkebein Elk Farm and hope you are as well! More event info:
Elk is a favorite game meat for many chefs in its diversity of preparation, rich flavors and relative leanness, and here’s a chance to celebrate this “other red meat” with some of our region’s best chefs!
I thought that after 22 years of grape growing, I had seen it all. Not so. We are seeing things in the vineyard this year that have never occurred before. In the last newsletter, I mentioned uneven bud break, that is on the same vine that some buds had come out and were in fact several inches long and others buds had not come out at all. That situation has taken its next step. The shoots that were out a couple of inches are now 14 to as much as 24 inches long, while the slower responding buds have now, thankfully, come out but are 4-6 inches long and others are all different lengths. So it remains an uneven growth pattern at the moment. I am happy, however, to report that the inflorescence and new bloom seems healthy. The great thing about bloom in the vineyard is the perfume. The grape flowers are what botanists describe as inconspicuous, but the perfume is abundant. Every year I recognize that we are in the bloom stage by the perfume rather than the appearance of the vines.
The inconsistency that I describe seems to be widespread in Missouri. I have spoken with 8 or 10 growers in recent weeks, and it seems that everyone is experiencing the same inconsistency that I describe. It is too early to forecast whether or not this will affect the quantity of the harvest, but the vines are healthy and the bloom seems normal, so we have every reason to believe that the quality of the coming harvest will be up to par. I am now convinced that the reason for the uneven bud break is from the extreme low temperature episodes that we all experienced this past winter.
Three weeks ago we had a 10 minute hail storm in this part of the state. The hail was about the size of a green pea and accumulated to a depth that covered the ground. I was having dinner in the Grapevine Grill at the time of the storm, and after about 10 minutes from a distance, it looked like it had snowed on the patio behind the Tasting Room. The temperature was in the low 40’s but somehow the hail on the ground did not melt for a long time. In fact, when I woke up the next morning and looked out on the deck at our house, there was still hail on the deck from the night before, and the temperature was 41 degrees. Luckily, the damage to the vines was confined to shredding some leaves, bruising shoots on the west side, which is the direction from which the wind was blowing, and the loss of few shoots. Standing in the window watching the storm was a pretty scary moment. The intensity of the storm made me think that there would be devastating results. Thankfully, that was not so. Mother Nature is certainly unpredictable, and this year it has been made abundantly clear.
I’m pleased to announce that our Marketing Director Jennifer Johnson was interviewed by Wine Enthusiast Magazine about a story about esoteric wine terms, that can be read by clicking here. Jennifer’s background as a Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier, Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist in Wine and contributing writer for Feast Magazine came in handy when explaining the meaning behind “barnyard,” “umami” and “chewy,” among other obscure wine terms!
Jennifer had a brief appearance in FEAST T.V.’s May episode featuring our Chef Adam Lambay, as he prepares some of his delicious dishes that pair well with Missouri wines, and beware as you watch ~ you’ll grow hungry quickly!
Thanks to all of you who joined us for our chef collaborative with The Restaurant at The Cheshire’s Chef Rex Hale and our Chef Adam Lambay in St. Louis! It was an absolutely delicious event, and please join us for Part 2 of Country Chef, City Chef on Sunday, August 17th here at The Barn at Chaumette with an initial stop at Baetje Goat Farm, where we will meet Owners Steve and Veronica Baetje! Chef Adam and Chef Rex will be preparing another superb dinner using ingredients from our local farmer friends! Here’s a nice article from Riverfront Times.
It was fantastic to see you at our Mother’s Day Brunch, and we hope that you’ll be back to enjoy our Annual Father’s Day BBQ at our Barn! Bring your frisbees and your fishing poles, and enjoy a day with your Dad while Chef Adam prepares a barbecue feast!
Lastly, we loved receiving a shout-out from Pine Ridge Vineyards, a Napa Valley producer when we posted this unfiltered photo in this tweet:
@ChaumetteWinery: gorgeous green new growth in the vineyard!! #nofilter #MOwine @VisitMO visitstegen http://instagram.com/p/olo4jngMZr/
Have a wonderful June, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Spring is here and at Chaumette we have been working hard this winter preparing for the upcoming busy season. We have hosted & participated in great events in the past months that we hope you were able to attend. For more information about what is going on at Chaumette, take a look at our calendar. We have also had mentions in great publications! Here are some of the things we have been up to this in the past few months:
May 27th we were featured in prolific culinary & travel writer Ann Pollack’s blog “St. Louis Eats & Drinks”
We released Huguenot Red & Mosaic in our Tasting Room this May!
May 19th was part one of the Country Chef City Chef hosted at the Cheshire. Chef Rex Hale and our Chef Adam created some delicious dishes! Stay tuned for part two, August 17th! Check out the highlights in the article written by River Front Times. See this video of the Chefs giving a sneak peak of the menu on Fox 2.
May 17th and 18th was the Annual Route du Vin wine trail Progressive Dinner, it was a great time and you can already buy tickets for next year’s Progressive dinner here!
Chef Adam Lambay and Marketing Director & Certified Sommelier Jennifer Johnson were on May’s FEAST TV and Nine Network talking about Missouri Wines and great wine pairings here!
Did you catch us on Great Day St. Louis? If you missed it, here is a link to segment talking about all of the treasures Ste. Gen has to offer!
Chef Adam taught a cooking class at the Dierberg’s Cooking School
Our Annual Mother’s Day Brunch was a hit!
Sauce Magazine mentioned our .75 mile hike on a logging trail from us to Charleville Vineyard & Microbewery.
On Easter we had a beautiful, flowery Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch!
Starting in April, every Saturday afternoon, is a complimentary cheese tasting and the opportunity to purchase Baetje Farm’s amazing artisan, internationally award-winning goat cheeses!!
April 5th we had The Wine-maker’s Dinner where we released our Traminette, Chardonel, Rosé, Norton, and Chambourcin!
Chef Adam competed in a new St. Louis cooking competition, the KMOX Food Fight, late March. Check out this interview Hancock & Kelley did with Chef Adam. He was a semi-finalist! His winning dish: grilled diver scallop, ajiponca glaze, avocado, arugula, cucumber salad, yuze verjus vinaigrette. YUMM!
In March, we began serving Sunday Brunch every Sunday from 10am-2pm. Always yummy! Reservations: 573-747-1000
In February, we introduced our Rosé.
Last but not least, in February & March, our talented Executive Chef Adam Lambay helped create Indian inspired “pop up” restaurants Saturday evenings that were a huge success! Now, every Saturday evening from 5:00pm-8:30pm Chef Adam gives us a taste of India with a delicious Indian dish every week. Call us for a reservation and we’ll save you a seat! 573-747-1000
Hello Everyone! The first stage in the annual viticultural cycle is bud break, or as some call it bud burst. As the name suggests, it is the swelling and opening of the dormant buds that have been closed, protecting the primordia of the current year’s growth. The process takes several days once it begins, depending on the temperature. If we have 80 to 85 degree temperatures every day and warm nights, the process can take only a couple of days. But if temperatures are lower and nights are cooler, it may take four or five or six days for the process of bud swell to bud break, with the presence of the first leaf.
In a normal year, whatever that is, all of the buds on a single vine will progress at about the same pace. This year, we are seeing several things that are much different. In a large number of vines, we are seeing one or two buds that have opened, and the rest have remained swollen but not open, and in some cases, they still appear to be dormant.
Normally, we would expect buds farthest from the cane to swell first and buds farther from the trunk to swell first. This year, in many instances, the basal buds, that is buds right next to the cordons are first to break, and the buds that we would expect to be first come much later. The bud break in 2014 can be described as spotty. The only explanation I have for this is the cold winter temperatures. I believe that the buds that have not opened are viable and will just take a little bit longer to come around.
In past years, we have seen some examples of a delay in bud break in younger plants or in vines where we have laid down a new cordon. We have also seen late bud break in some instances from a “blind” node. This is a node that has not produced a bud for one or two years and suddenly comes to life. These phenomena are often delayed bud break.
In prior years, we have waited to declare bud break until 75% of the buds have opened. This year, I would say 75% of the vines have one or more buds that have opened, and many vines have all buds opened, but there are still some that are lagging behind. Next month I will give a full update on bud break at that time and how the growth is progressing.
Thank you for joining us for our Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt ~ it was a glorious day, and we so enjoyed spending it with you! We hope to see you for our Mother’s Day Brunch May 11th, Chef Adam has an incredible menu he’s created for you and your family, and we have a special gift for all mothers who join us! Also, Chef Adam and Chef Rex Hale of The Cheshire Hotel in St. Louis will be collaborating for a very special dinner at The Restaurant at The Cheshire Monday, May 19th, and information is below. Chef Rex will join us at Chaumette in August for a collaborative dinner at The Barn, and we’ll announce more details about this soon!
Have a terrific month, and we look forward to seeing you soon.