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Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn

 November 2005 Newsletter

To our Guests & Friends,

Our November and December newsletters will feature the gift and specialty shops in Hermann. They appear on our new web site Gift and Specialty Shops page. Included in the write up of each shop are photographs, hours of operation, and helpful information for our readers.

The shops and any locations mentioned in the newsletter marked with an asterisk (*) can be found along Hermann Hill's three-mile walk route. Information about the walk can be found on our web site.

Preparing for the Christmas shopping countdown
There are only 45 shopping days left until Christmas. But fear not. The shops in Hermann can help you check off the names on your Christmas list faster than Santa can wink his eye.
Consider fine chocolates from The Chocolate Box, a good book from Buy the Book*, a train set from The Train Haus*, something for the home from The Tin Rabbit, a German import from Blanche's*, jewelry from Seasonal Treasures*, or a floral arrangement from Special Occasions*. And don't forget about the antique shops that were featured in our July 2005 newsletter and the museum shops at the Hermann Museum at the German School* and Deutschheim State Historic Site*. All are well stocked and ready for your visit.

The Tin Rabbit
The Tin Rabbit is one of many gift and specialty shops in downtown Hermann.

While the official start of holiday shopping is considered to be the day after Thanksgiving, you can get a head start at The Tin Rabbit. Their annual Christmas Open House is on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 5-8 p.m. and will continue through the weekend.

Those mentioned above are a partial listing of the gift and specialty shops in Hermann. Watch for more to be featured in the December newsletter.

Record harvest at Hermann Hill vineyard

Harvest Stone Hill Port Wine
Hermann Hill's Norton grapes are picked by hand for Stone Hill's 2005 port wine.

Hermann Hill had a record Norton grape harvest, which resulted in 6.6 tons being delivered to Stone Hill Winery* the second weekend in October. Harvesting grapes on the steep slope below the inn is no easy task, but our able-bodied employees, and a few helpful guests, got the job done in good order. Because we had such a large crop, the entire bottling of the 2005 Stone Hill Port will be from Hermann Hill grapes.
Jon Held, general manager at Stone Hill Winery, gave us the rundown on what takes place between the harvest and the time the Port is ready to drink. He told us that when the grapes arrived at the winery, they were de-stemmed and crushed into a rotary fermenter, inoculated with yeast, and allowed to ferment until they reached the perfect amount of residual sugar for Port. A specially selected grape brandy was then added to raise the alcohol to 19 percent. The addition of the alcohol (fortification) immediately kills the yeast causing fermentation to cease, and the sugar and alcohol levels are, therefore, stabilized. All this took place about three days after fermentation began. The mix is then pressed, and the Port is put into stainless steel tanks for clarification and stabilization. At some point, likely in the spring, it will be barreled down and allowed to barrel age for one year.

Stone Hill Port Wine
The 2005 Stone Hill Port is being produced using only Hermann Hill Norton grapes.

Jon claimed that the biggest challenge during the entire production of the 2005 Port will be to keep Terry Hammer patient during the slow barrel-aging process. "This will be tough," he said. But, we're sure it will be worth the wait.

To read more about Port production, see our March 2005 newsletter.

Holiday Fare on the Wine Trail

Holiday Fare on the Wine Trail
These two women sample the dessert and wine pairing at Adam Puchta Winery during last winter's Chocolate Wine Trail event.

When the frost is on the pumpkin, the mood turns festive in Missouri wine country. New wines are snuggly cellared for a long winter's nap and the larder is full of harvest bounty. So now it's time for a celebration. For vintners in and around Hermann that means good food and good wine shared with family and friends.

The Hermann Vintners Association is sponsoring a special holiday event November 19 and 20. Winemakers and chefs along the Hermann Wine Trail have been experimenting with food and wine pairings in preparation for the Holiday Fare Wine Trail. This moveable feast will take place at six area wineries: Robller in New Haven, Bias near Berger, Hermannhof and Stone Hill* in Hermann, and OakGlenn and Adam Puchta on the outskirts of Hermann.

"Everyone has really gotten into the spirit of this event," says Patty Held-Uthlaut of Stone Hill Winery. "Some wineries will be serving favorite family recipes; others have invented new dishes for the occasion." Winemakers have selected what they consider their best wines to pair with the food item they will be serving.

Traveling to each course, visitors drive through some of the most scenic parts of Missouri. The Wine Trail meanders along the Missouri River for some 20 miles between Hermann and New Haven, leading visitors down country lanes and through picture-postcard villages.

Watch for other Wine Trail events planned for 2006. In January, "Wine 101" will feature wine tasting in the cellars and a behind-the-scenes look at winemaking. The always-popular "Chocolate Wine Trail" is held in February and the "Very Berry Wine Trail" takes place in July.

Holiday Fare Wine Trail tickets cost $15 per person, and advance purchase is recommended. Tickets may be purchased online at Additional information is available on the Hermann Wine Trail web site at, or by calling the Hermann Welcome Center at 800-932-8687.

Lighting the lights of Christmas
The Lantern Parade, the kick-off event of the Christmas season, is held the day after Thanksgiving. With lanterns in hand, revelers of all ages march through the historic district to the Hermann City Park* for the lighting of Weihnachtstrasse, or Christmas Street.
The traditional festival of lanterns had its beginnings in Germany. Legend has it that on a cold and windy November day, a German knight named Martin of Tours crossed paths with a beggar who was hungry and freezing. Martin had no food or money to give so instead he took off his coat, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar to keep warm. That night, Jesus appeared to Martin in a dream wearing the same half-coat that Martin had given the beggar. This powerful dream was a turning point for him. He felt he could no longer serve God as a military man and instead became a disciple of Christ. Throughout Germany, a traditional festival of lanterns continues to recognize Martin's generosity and compassion.

Lighting the Lights
Pat and Mike Forster were among the revelers in last year's Lantern Parade.

The third annual Lantern Parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. Anyone is welcome to participate. Members of the Live Nativity and carolers riding in vintage wagons also will join the parade, and there will be lots of music and laughter. Costumes are optional for anyone walking in the parade. A reception at the park will follow the lighting of Christmas Street.

Anyone who would like to participate is urged to contact Sheri Hausman by phone at 573-486-2024 or e-mail,, so that enough lanterns are available for everyone. Walkers will gather outside the Hermannhof Festhalle* at First and Schiller streets prior to the 7 p.m. starting time.

The Hermann Arts Council is sponsoring the Lantern Parade. For information about this and other holiday events being planned by the organization, check the web site at at To learn about other community events, check the local calendar on our web site.

The perfect gift -- a stay with us
Want to give those special people on your Christmas list, or any time of the year, a gift they'll never forget? Why not give them a gift certificate for a stay at Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn or Hermann Hill Village? Gift certificates apply to stays at both locations.

We hope to have online availability for the cottages at the Village posted shortly. But, we will not begin confirming reservations until after the first of the year when we have a better idea of completion dates. However, you can book at the inn anytime. In addition, we will deliver your Same Time Next Year envelopes to either property during your next stay.

Hermann Hill Village update
We spotted our first American bald eagle soaring above the river bluff almost touching Cottage #2's upper deck. Watching for eagles from your hot tub will surely be one of the things that separates Hermann Hill Village from other lodging properties. We are carefully considering our options on deck privacy fencing for the hot tubs, hoping to allow great views to the west for those spectacular sunsets while still affording privacy for guests in their hot tubs.

Hermann Hill Village
The exterior of Cottage #2 is nearly complete. A bald eagle recently flew so close to the cottage that it nearly touched the upper deck overlooking the Missouri River.

We now have a footing and foundation for Cottage #4, walls on #3, and roofs on #1, #2, and #5. The goal is to get the exteriors completed before bad weather sets in, and then we can complete the interiors this winter.

To view more of our progress, click on the Hermann Hill Village page.

Hermann Hill Village

December newsletter: Catching the holiday spirit.

Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn
711 Wein Street - P.O. Box 555 - Hermann, Missouri (MO) 65041
Phone: (573) 486-HILL (573-486-4455)  |  Fax: (573) 486-53733
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