Have you heard about this elk dinner?

It's All About Elk

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:

Chefs Adam Lambay from Chaumette, 
Rex Hale from The Cheshire Hotel and Bar360,
Lou Rook from Annie Gunn’s,
Josh Galliano from The Libertine,
Matt Bessler from Schlafly Bottleworks  
and Dewayne Schaaf from Celebrations (Cape Girardeau)
create a festive elk supper, with our fantastic wine pairings and Schlafly beer!

 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!

Each chef will prepare and serve their own favorite elk dish and side dishes, and desserts will be served in a family-style setting under tent at the picturesque Hinkebein Elk Farm in Ste. Genevieve County.
Tickets & Directions:


Chaumette June News: Letter From Hank

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.Chaumette grapes in June

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 harvestbut 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.

Wine Enthusiast MagazineI’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 hereJennifer’s background as a Court of Master Sommeliers Certified SommelierSociety 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!

spit-roasted Rain Crow Ranch pork loin  with local strawberry & herb compote;

spit-roasted Rain Crow Ranch pork loin
with local strawberry & herb compote; photo courtesy Nancy Stiles, RiverfrontTimes

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:

#MOvineyards RT

green growth no filter

@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!


Hank Signature

What Chaumette Has Been Up To

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”

Chaumette Huguenot Red and Mosaic

We released Huguenot Red & Mosaic in our Tasting Room this May!

Chef Adam and Rex on Fox 2

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.

Route Du Vin Wines

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!

Adam teaching



Chef Adam taught a cooking class at the Dierberg’s Cooking School

Mother's Day at Chaumette





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!




Beatje Farm Tastings


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!


KMOX Food Fight 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!

Sunday Brunch at Chaumette


In March, we began serving Sunday Brunch every Sunday from 10am-2pm. Always yummy! Reservations: 573-747-1000






In February, we introduced our Rosé.





Lambay's India at ChaumetteLast 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

Chaumette has so much more in store for you this summer. Stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn!


Chaumette May News: Letter From Hank

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.

sporadic bud break

sporadic bud break

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.

little bit longer to come around

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.

blind node

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.


Hank Signature

Chaumette April News: Letter From Hank

Spring at Chaumette

Spring is finally here!

Happy Spring! At last we are getting some warm temperatures at Chaumette, however from a purely viticultural standpoint, I am glad that the cold temperatures have lasted as long as they have. Because of these cold temperatures, the buds on the grapevines look like they did in mid-winter. “Normal” bud break for Chardonel is around the middle of April. In our disastrous weather year of 2012 we had bud break on March 22nd and a killing frost on April 12th. The delay of any signs of new growth this year are certainly welcome, because the later we have bud break, the less the chance of frost damage.

Nothing happens metabolically in a grapevine until temperatures exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, things start to change. Dormant buds begin to swell in preparation for bud break. There is, however, a second factor that affects bud break. Day length affects the emergence from dormancy for all woody plants. Believe it or not, there is a mechanism in grapevines that recognizes the gradual increase in day length that will initiate the emergence from dormancy even if it remains cold. This reaction works in conjunction with rising temperatures and will not trigger emergence from dormancy by itself. Extremely high temperatures at this time of year can trigger an acceleration of bud break. That happened in 2012. In the period leading up to March 22nd, 2012, we experienced two weeks of high temperatures in the 80’s that triggered bud break. While it has been inconvenient and unpleasant, from a viticultural standpoint, I am thankful that we have had a cold spring.

Chaumette Vine in April

Construction on the new villa suites building (suites #25 and #26) continues at a rapid pace. We expect to have the roof in place the first part of next week. This will increase the number of bedrooms within the villas and suites at The Villages at Chaumette to twenty-five. Hopefully this increase will help reduce the size of our waiting list this summer.

our '10 Vintage Port

our ’10 Vintage Port

We were thrilled to support the KWMU National Public Radio event Talk, Toast, Taste once again this year, held at The Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. Our 2010 Vintage Port was selectedto be served with the dessert course, and we were delighted that The Four Season’s Executive Chef requested additional port to be used in the preparation of the poached pear dessert. Yes, the pears were poached in our port, and it made for an absolutely splendid food and wine pairing! 

Thank you all for joining us our Annual Spring Winemaker’s Dinner last weekend, and it was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces! Winemaker Mark Baehmann, Executive Chef Adam Lambay and Events Director Keith King and his team outdid themselves once again. The meal was delicious, the wines extraordinary, and Jackie and I felt very proud of our team.

We had our first wedding of the season a couple of weeks ago at The Barn at Chaumette, and we are so excited to be in the midst of wedding season once again! Hosting these joyous life occasions means a great deal to us, and we always look forward to this time of year!

 first wedding of the season

In additional wedding news, we have added airbrush makeup services to the menu of services at The Spa at Chaumette, with bridal parties in mind, and we are also in the process of installing additional lighting in The Barn parking area.

newely released '13 Unoaked Chardonel & 13 Dry Rosé

newly released ’13 Unoaked Chardonel & 13 Dry Rosé

We’ve lots of exciting things happening at Chaumette within the next month or so! We just released our 2013 vintage Unoaked Chardonel and Rosé, we now offer Brunch on Sundays, Chef Adam has rolled out terrific spring menus at our Grapevine Grill, live entertainment on Saturdays begins in May, and we will be hosting our Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch on Sunday, April 20th! 

Best of all, spring is here, and we look forward to enjoying it with you very soon!


Hank Signature


Chaumette February News: Letter From Hank

Cold Winter Greetings! Last month I described dormancy and our concern about primary bud death as a result of our sub zero temperatures. I am delighted to report that Mark Baehmann went out into the vineyard and collected buds from numerous blocks and we experienced almost no bud damage, which tells me that our vines were in good physical condition going into the cold weather. Naturally, this report is a great relief.

winter pruning

winter pruning

Our pruning efforts are moving ahead under the direction of Billy Hudson, our Vineyard Foreman. I am particularly pleased by Billy’s attention to spur spacing and maintenance of correct bud counts. When I speak of spacing, we are looking for the width of a hand between each spur rising from the horizontal part of the vine, the cordon. Bud counts are determined by evaluating the volume of last year’s canopy.  

spur spacing width of a hand is ideal

spur spacing width of a hand is ideal

spur on a cordon

spur on a cordon

In cases where we had a full canopy, we are leaving two buds on the spur coming out of the cordon. In cases where the vine lacked vigor, we are leaving only one bud. We describe this process as creating the architecture of the vine for the following growing season. We have learned that spacing and bud count are vitally important to production levels. If we were to leave additional spurs at a growing location, it would result in multiple shoots in the springtime. Interestingly enough, the ultimate result would be less fruit even though there were more shoots. The same is true of leaving too many buds. By leaving just the right number of buds on a single spur with the correct spacing between spurs, the plant is able to focus its energy on the existing buds, producing larger clusters and the correct number of clusters per shoot.

Wintertime is quiet and picturesque around here, so it is a great time to come to Chaumette. Villas are available for overnight rental, and we have even more time to visit with guests in the Tasting Room this time of year. Join us for an overnight stay and a spa treatment, a Saturday evening dinner in The Grapevine Grill, an Indian meal at Chef Adam’s “pop-up” restaurant, Lambay’s India at Chaumette, or a romantic Valentine’s dinner next weekend. We look forward to seeing you soon!

bring your sled and cross county skis!

bring your sled & cross county skis!



Hank Signature

Chaumette January News: Letter from Hank

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Last month in this column, I talked about dormancy. The news this month is low temperatures. At Chaumette on the coldest day, I saw minus 8 degrees out my window, and I was sure glad that I was not growing vines from the vitis vinifera family. You will remember that vitis vinifera includes all of our European friends like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noirand so forth. What we grow are interspecific hybrids and one native grape, Norton. The hybrid grapes have been bred to be resistant to cold temperatures as well as being slow to wake up from dormancy. In preparation for this month’s newsletter, I referenced my viticulture textbooks to be sure that I was correct on certain temperature levels.

January 8, 2014

January 8, 2014

Vitis vinifera grapes start sustaining damage below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and the damage is progressive all the way to minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit for most vinifera varieties. At 8 degrees below zero, not only is there bud death but also cane death and also trunk death. It is likely that vitis vinifera grapes will be killed to the ground line or snow line if there is snow at minus 8 or below.

I have heard similar temperature occurrences in years past in Missouri that have resulted in losing entire vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon. When I describe the damage from low temperature episodes, I’m referring to the part of the vine that is above ground. These temperatures do not kill the entire plant. The root system remains viable and in the spring will send up a new sucker to become a new plant. The problem is it will then take three years to get the first small crop. In essence, the vineyard has to start over.

The grapes that we grow at Chaumette are much more able to withstand cold temperatures, but we do expect some damage. The first test we will perform next week will be to remove single buds from various parts of different vineyard blocks. Using a razor blade we will slice these buds in half. Grapevine buds are called compound buds, because they contain three separate primordia. Within the compound bud, there is a primary bud primordia, a secondary bud primordia, and a tertiary bud primordia. In the spring in most cases only one of the three buds will swell and produce a shoot. The three potential shoots will emerge in order of primary, secondary, and then the tertiary. So, if the first primordia emerges and a deer bites it off, the secondary bud of the compound bud then emerges as a replacement; if there is a late frost and that shoot is killed, the tertiary bud will then emerge with a third shoot. Every bud has three chances. 

3 primordia in compound buds

3 primordia in compound buds

Back to our dissection. The primary bud primordia is about double the size of the secondary which is larger than the tertiary. We will examine a cross section of all three of the compound buds with a magnifying glass to determine whether or not they are viable. If all three are green and healthy looking, we know that we have no damage, and the primary bud will emerge in the spring. On the other hand, if we see a brown primary bud and a green secondary bud, we can count on a much smaller harvest, because the secondary is considerably less fruitful; in fact it might produce only 50% of what would be produced by the primary bud.

So keep your fingers crossed as we do our dissections. We want to see a minimal loss of primary buds. I would like to say no loss of primary buds, but I think that is unlikely, since we did experience minus 8 degrees for our hybrid plants.

Adam's Lamb Biryani

Adam’s Lamb Biryani

In other news, we are delighted to open Chef Adam’s “pop-up” restaurant on Saturdays this February and March in our Barrel Room, Lambay’s India at Chaumette! For years, I have enjoyed Adam’s Indian featured dish on our Grapevine grill menus, and what’s more is that it pairs so well with many of our wines, such as our aromatic off-dry Vignoles, our semi-dry Chardonel and our fruit-forward red blend, Mosaic! We hope you will join us on a Saturday evening for a delicious Indian dinner!


Hank Signature