Mount Pleasant Estates, the oldest winery in the first American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Augusta, Missouri, was home to a recent Dinner on the Deck last Saturday, October 6. Mount Pleasant Estates is a pioneer in sustainable viticulture for the Missouri wine industry, and grows 12 grape varieties on 64 acres
The event included tastings beforehand, where we sampled the Mount Pleasant Norton, Merlot, Claret, St. Vincent Estates and their Chardonnay. I went with a class of 2007 Norton and my husband chose the 2008 Merlot Estates, which he raved about all night.
Next we took a wine tour of both their wine cellars. Below Whitney Brickner, Event Manager, explains how this cellar built in the 1990’s holds Mount Pleasant Winery’s white wines in French Oak.
We then headed to the original cellar at Mount Pleasant Winery, dug by hand by the founding brothers George and Frederick Muenchwith in the 1880’s. Yes, you read that right – hand dug! Whitney told us the steps: dug by hand, laid the floor, put dirt back in, laid the ceiling bricks, and then dug out again. This cellar is used to age estate-bottled wines and international award-winning Augusta Ports. Also, notice at the very end of the cellar there is a fireplace, that is still lit to offset the carbon dioxide that builds up in the cellar.
Another cool old antique (I love old stuff!) is the Mount Pleasant Winery’s brandy still used before prohibition to manufacture Grape Brandy – one part brandy to five parts wine:
Due to the cold October evening, dinner took place in the Crush Lounge, one of the original buildings built in 1881. Another cool thing I noticed about this room was the two murals by folk artist Dee Dann, who lived in New Haven Missouri in the 1800’s. Searching Google, I found out Dee Dann at one time lived in this New Haven, Missouri house that is now Miller’s Landing Bed & Breakfast. If you like folk art, the B&B also has several murals of hers (see the link to the B&B).
Now on to the food! The dinner started with a basket of very delicious sun-dried tomato bread. The first course that was served was Pear Salad Spinach with poached pears, gorgonzola, pecans and raspberry vinaigrette. I am definitely adding this to my recipes to try list.
The main course was Double Cut Smoked Pork Chop paired with a Mount Pleasant Claret. The center cut chop was slow smoked, and paired with braised red cabbage, sweet potato gnocchi. The Claret had a deep garnet with a violet rim and is a dry-yet-fruity medium body red wine with very good depth and intensity of fruit.
The last course that was served Pumpkin Cheesecake was fresh cinnamon whipped cream. Very good and very rich! Another thing that was nice about this dinner, is that Mount Pleasant provided us with to-go boxes allowing us to enjoy the food for another night.
And the evening was finished off with a coffee:
Overall a great night! Check out more events at Mount Pleasant Estates on their website: www.mountpleasant.com.