September News


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!!


Hank Johnson, Owner Chaumette Winery


Chaumette Happenings


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.

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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

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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!

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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 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 with any questions or to order wine for pick up or delivery. You can also order wine online on our website at  Lastly, thank you for all of the Wine Club referrals via our Refer A Friend Program!

See you soon!
Wine Club Manager

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