We had a chance to visit Grafton Winery & Brewhaus earlier this year in April. Grafton Winery is only 45 minutes from St. Louis, making it one of the closest wineries to STL. The Great River Road was closed due to flooding, but we still enjoyed our drive through the rolling hills. Grafton Winery has great views of the Mississippi and is close to several nearby wineries and Pere Marquette State Park. We talked about coming back for hiking at Pere Marquette or biking on the 20 mile bike trail that connects to Alton.
Here is a photo tour of Grafton Winery. First up, the tasting bar:
Grafton Winery has a ton of outdoor seating (2 separate decks). Since it was rainy and cold when we went, the decks were empty (except for people like me coming out to look at the flooding!)
Shot of the Mississippi River almost up to the road in front of the winery:
You can see across the street that Piasa Winery was flooded:
Shot of one side of the winery. Which reminds me, if you are hungry eat their burgers! I had a Black and Blue burger that was so good, I forgot to stop and take a photo of it Click here for their menu.
One of my favorite wines at Grafton is Harbor Red which is a blend of 70% Cabernet, 20% Red Zinfandel and 10% Syrah. It’s full bodied dry red and very smooth. The grapes are from California. Their wine list includes everything from dry wine to sweet fruit wine.
Plenty of tables to hear the live bands that frequent the winery:
We were able to talk to owner Mike Nikonovich while at the winery and found out he is growing by leaps and bounds. Grafton Winery does not have their own vineyards and instead buys grapes from Missouri, Illinois, Oregon, California and from Paw Paw, Michigan. Mike said they used to do all of their own winemaking, but the wholesale business is growing so fast they couldn’t keep up. Last year they sold 10,500 gallons and this year they are on track to sell between 15-16,000 gallons. They really do have a wine for everybody, from dry to sweet and fruit wine.
You can also tell that the owners, Mike and Lori love to get to know their guests. Mike stopped at almost all the tables around us to make sure everyone was having a great time and that the food was what they wanted. Before becoming a winery owner, Mike worked at a steel plant for 20 years. During that time he and his wife, Lori, became good friends with the owners of several Missouri wineries and were encouraged to pursue their dream of opening a winery in Grafton, one of their favorite towns.
Our friends picked Harbor White, another delicious wine. It is a semi-dry white wine that is light, a little sweet and has a lingering finish.
Grafton Winery and Brewhaus is also a great spot if your significant other is a beer lover. They have 9 different beers that are handcrafted on-site and served in 16 oz draft pints. They make everything from a Nut Brown, American Pilsner, Red Ale to a Colaweizen, which is a European bled of 50/50 Hefeweizen and Cola.
You can purchase Grafton Winery wine in Illinois, Ohio and Missouri, plus online here.