|"We're still a fledgling operation," says Nick Bommarito about the Hermann area's newest winery, Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery. This family-owned estate winery was established in 2000 by Nick and his children.
Nick became enchanted with the area back in 1990 when he helped Bob Mueller, owner of Röbller Vineyards, remodel his home near New Haven, Missouri. Nick was in construction back then and winemaking was a hobby. The Bommarito/Mueller friendship goes way back to when Nick and Bob attended kindergarten together in south St. Louis. And now they are neighbors again, well almost, by country standards anyway. The wineries are approximately five miles apart.
Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery currently has 10 acres of vineyards. Planting began in 1996 with the Norton and St. Vincent vines. Three acres of Vignoles were the last to be planted. Wine production is between 1,000-1,500 gallons annually.
"We won big at the Missouri competition this year," boasts Nick. Two silver medals were awarded for the 2001 Norton and 2003 Vignoles from only five estate wines produced by the winery. Bommarito's wine list features French Oak Norton, St. Vincent, Almond Tree Red, Vignoles, and Almond Tree Blush. All are available to sample and purchase at the tasting room. By law, no one under 21 may enter the tasting room because no food is prepared in the building. It is a wine facility only.
However, meals are available on an occasional basis that are prepared by Wine Country Gourmet. Chef/owners Gary and Sherri Meier offer their specialty grilled foods served up from the outdoor barbeque. Reservations are appreciated for large groups wanting to eat at the winery. Consideration is being given to hosting food and wine pairing dinners in the future. See the website for a listing of dining and other special events.
Tours of the vineyards and cellar are available. Picnicking on the grounds is encouraged. "Bring your friends and loved ones to enjoy our serene and peaceful settings," say the owners. The tasting room seats approximately 30 people, and its wood burning fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere during the winter months.
Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery is open year round on Saturday and Sunday only from noon-6. However, in May and October it is open every day from noon-6. The winery is located about 10 miles east of Hermann. Heading east from Hermann on Highway 100, turn right onto Grant Lane. The winery is less than a mile from the highway at 3718 Grant School Rd. For information visit the website at www.bommaritoestatewinery.com, or call 573-237-5158.