Mount Pleasant Winery
|Mount Pleasant Winery|
|Location||Augusta, Missouri, USA|
|Key people||George Muench (founder), Frederick Muench (founder), Colin Pennington(winemaker), Phillip Dressel (Vice President), Charles Dressel (President)|
|Varietals||Cabernet Sauvignon, Norton (grape), Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot noir, Vignoles|
|Distribution||Regional, some national, some international|
|Tasting||open to public|
Mount Pleasant Winery was founded in 1859 by immigrant Georg Muench. The Muench brothers chose this area because it reminded them of their former home in Germany. The winery had to close in 1920 because of Prohibition.
It was reopened for production in 1966, the second winery in the state to open in the current era. It has the third-largest wine production in the state. All wines are produced and bottled at the estate. In 1980, the Augusta AVA was the first American Viticultural Area designated by the United States government. The winery is situated on a south-facing bluff overlooking the Missouri River Valley. It has 85 acres (34 ha) of vines in cultivation, growing 16 varieties of grapes. The winery has constructed a public winegarden and terraces that use the view to good advantage.
In 1991, the owners were fined a record $185,000 by the State of Missouri, the maximum possible, for illegally importing an excessive amount of California grape juice for inclusion in its wines. The owner's appealed the fine to the court, which agreed with the owners contention that the importations were not in violation of the law, and rescinded the fine.
The following year, the winery's owners, Lucian and Eva Dressel were divorced, and as a result the winery was sold at auction. The winery stayed in the Dressel family, as the winning bid of $660,000 was made by Lucian Dressel's brother, Phillip, who promptly announced that Lucian would continue to manage the winery. P. Charles Dressel became the majority owner of Mount Pleasant Winery in 2004.
Today, Mount Pleasant is the oldest and the most well-established winery in Augusta. The winery grows 12 grape varieties on 85 acres (34 ha). Over the past two decades, Mount Pleasant has won several prestigious awards and achieved high point-ratings for its wine.
Products and Awards
The winery produces a variety of red and white table wines, with semi-dry, dry, and sweet styles. It also produces fortified wine (using the "port wine" designation) and sparkling wine. Grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chambourcin, St. Vincent, Vidal blanc, Rayon d'Or, Merlot, Vignoles, Pinot noir and Norton.
Mount Pleasant Winery has won numerous international awards for its wines. Its highest rating in Wine Enthusiast magazine was 92 points for its 1994 Belle Yvonne Bordeaux Blend.
Mount Pleasant has also been recognized for its practice of sustainable viticulture, an integrated system of wine grape growing that is economically viable, socially supportive and ecologically sound. Mount Pleasant Winery was named a finalist for the St. Louis Business Journal's Heroes of the Planet Awards in the October 30, 2009 issue.
Mount Pleasant Winery opened a second winery in the city of Branson, Missouri on April 11, 2008. Mount Pleasant Winery’s 9,200-square-foot (850 m2) location in Branson is located on 2 acres (0.81 ha) on Green Mountain Drive. The ledgestone building offers patrons the chance to shop, sample Mount Pleasant’s numerous award-winning wines and bottle their own wine from a specially designed 600-gallon French oak barrel. Mount Pleasant built their Branson location with a focus on sustainable practices. The building runs entirely on hydro-electric power and the structure is built partially into the ground to reduce energy consumption.
- Lindecke, Fred W., "Missouri winery fined for importing too much California juice", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (September 22, 1991) p. 3B
- Pollack, Joe, "Mt. Pleasant's actions tarnish industry", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (October 22, 1991) p. 4D
- "Bad debt squeezes St. Charles winery; Sale of property schedule for June 12", Kansas City Star (June 3, 1992) p. C2
- VandeWater, Judith, "Mt. Pleasant Winery sold to vintner's brother", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 13, 1992) p. 8C
- VandeWater, Judith, "Mt. Pleasant Winery to go on auction block after default on deed", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 2, 1992)
- Gillerman, Margaret and VandeWater, Judith, "Winery auction's a family affair", St Louis Post-Dispatch (June 15, 1992) p 1
- Weil, Tom (3 October 1982). "Corncob capital of the world". The New York Times.