Get Thee To a Winery!

Area vintners serve happiness in a bottle

Fortunately for our fortified group, the blossoming Bias Vineyards & Winery/Gruhlke's Microbrewery (3166 Highway B, Berger; 800-905-2427 or www.biaswinery.com) provides plenty of intoxicating beverages (four beers plus seasonal offerings and many wines, most of which are around $10) — and plenty of intoxicating fun — during this, the ninth month. Such as the Saturday, September 9, Croquet Tournament & Barbecue: Bring your own grill, and let the old-fashioned fun begin! Also, there's a $20 prime-rib dinner (on Saturday, September 16) and a chili cook-off on the last day of the month.

While they're near Hermann, the Young WINOS would be remiss if they didn't pay a visit to Stone Hill Winery (1110 Stone Hill Highway, Hermann; 800-909-9463 or www.stonehillwinery .com), which stakes the claim of Missouri's oldest and most award-winning winery. Here, in the month of September, take part in daily tours ($.50 to $1.50) and the Fall Fever Days (Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10), during which cases of wine are on special all weekend. But be careful: That Hermannsberger is easy-drinking — maybe too easy-drinking, if you catch our drift. Relatively dry and quite fruity, Hermannsberger has probably been responsible for many an overnight stay in Little Germany. To plan ahead in case such a thing happens to you, visit www .hermannmo.com and www.hermannmissouri .com for information about lodging options in this picturesque, Old World town.

And with that, we conclude our summertime wine tour for those suffering from the quarter-life crisis. Of course, there are many more vineyards across both states just ripe for the Young WINOS to visit — such as Les Bourgeois Vineyards (573-698-2133 or www.missouriwine.com), located at 14020 West Highway BB in Rocheport, Missouri, a town that is also home to a bed & breakfast/cooking school called the Yates House (573-698-2129 or www .yateshouse.com), and Native Stone Winery (4317 Native Stone Road, Jefferson City; 573-584-8600 or www.nativestonewinery.com), which features a Lewis & Clark two-mile-roundtrip historic hiking trail.

For more information about Missouri's wine country, visit www.missouriwine.org, and to learn about other inns, visit www.bbim.org. And happy winery trails to you!

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