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Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn

 April 2006 Newsletter

To our Guests & Friends,
As you will see when you read this issue of the newsletter, March was a particularly busy month at Hermann Hill Village. Highly skilled concrete workers had to face many challenges. But with the cooperation of Mother Nature, who provided ideal weather for the job at hand, the concrete work was completed on schedule.

(You will notice an asterisk (*) throughout the newsletter. This indicates a reference to Hermann Hill's Three-Mile Walk. Information about the walk is on our web site.)

Million dollar cement pump hired for Village project
When people see the work going on at Hermann Hill Village for the first time, they often comment about how big a project it is. However, last month when a brand new, $1.5 million, 55-meter, concrete pump pulled up the driveway at the Village, we knew we had latched onto something really big.

The pump, from Mid America Pumping in Eugene, Missouri, is the third largest in the world, and pouring the concrete flooring in the cottages at Hermann Hill Village was this pump's maiden voyage, so to speak. Designed in Germany and built in White Bear, Minnesota, by Schwing America, the pump makes its way from job to job hooked up to a Mack Truck cab and chassis.

The boom of the brand new, $1.5 million, concrete pump spanned nearly 200 feet to reach the job site at Cottage #3. Also pictured are Cottages 4 and 5.

Dean Kern operates the flow of concrete from the pump to Cottage #3 by remote control.

Pump operator Dean Kern, an 8-year veteran of pouring concrete and member of Local 513 in Jefferson City, called this job "very challenging." What made it difficult was finding enough room, and stable ground, to park the equipment. Dean said, "You must be very careful about what's underneath." Another challenge was dealing with all the trees on the property. He described his as "a dangerous business". Operators are well trained, and Dean said the owners of the vehicle, Mike and Pam Rackers, hire workers who are drug free, competent and responsible. "They have a lot of faith putting one guy out on a piece of equipment like this," said Dean, about the million-dollar machine.

The 55-meter boom spanned nearly 200 feet to reach the site where the concrete had to be poured at Hermann Hill Village. Using a remote-control device that he operated from the deck side of the cottages and out of eyeshot of the pump, Dean controlled the flow of concrete from the pump to the work area. Then Brian Terry's concrete workers took over.
Brian, owner of OCI Concrete Specialists in Macon, Missouri, was in charge of the concrete work in the cottages, and he was the one who hired the concrete pump for the job. With an extensive background in pouring concrete and owning concrete plants and ready-mixed concrete businesses, he said his experience with these aspects of the concrete business were helpful in a complicated job like this. "It was about as complicated as you can get," admitted Brian.

Concrete flooring was selected for the cottages because it is quiet underfoot. However, weight, particularly on second-story floors, is an issue when you deal with concrete, so a lightweight rock had to be used. Also, the coloring of the concrete is a factor. When stamping concrete to look like wood, stone, or brick, the color has to be just right.

Brian admitted that a huge amount of planning and preparation went into a project of this magnitude. Using such a large concrete pump for the first time added an unknown component to the project. Concrete work was done in several phases. During Phase 1, the basement floors were poured with colored concrete and stamped to create the look of wood plank or notched slate. Phase 2 included using the 55-meter pump to pour all the upper floors with lightweight, colored, concrete and stamping in a planked design.

Workers hired by OCI Concrete Specialists spread concrete delivered through a hose into the bedroom/bathroom of Cottage #2.

Brian is pleased with the end result now that the floors in all five cottages are poured. Working conditions were ideal during the month of March, and "the job was completed right on schedule on March 22," Brian happily reported.

To view more photos of our progress at Hermann Hill Village, click on the Hermann Hill Village page. Samples of different types of flooring that can be created with concrete using the stamping process can be seen on OCI's web site at

Hermann artists open studios for Artists of Wine Country Tour
Six Hermann artists will open their studios and galleries to visitors on April 29 and 30. Some will demonstrate their craft. The studios will be open from 10 to 5 on Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sunday, and the artists will be selling their work on site. Admission is free.

A printed tour guide with artist profiles and a map showing the locations of the studios will be available on tour dates only at Colorful Brushes* at 126 E. Fourth St., the studio of watercolor artist Catherine Mahoney.

Catherine is a life member of the National Watercolor Honor Society and holds memberships in several other prestigious organizations. She is a national award-winning, multimedia, "en plein air" artist. For the past 16 years, Catherine has conducted "Young at Art", creative summertime workshops. A 20-foot historical mural of Gasconade County that Catherine produced in oil is permanently installed at the courthouse* in downtown Hermann. Other works by Catherine can be viewed and purchased on her web site at

My Father's Signs on Hollyhock Alley
will be open during the
Artists of Wine Country Tour.

A short walk from Colorful Brushes is David Ludig's My Father's Signs studio on Hollyhock Alley. Dave describes this unusual structure as a "patch-work, Pennsylvania Dutch style barn, crafted from five local, headed for the torch, out-buildings." Inside, the walls are covered with Dave's colorful, German Schutzen Targets, often portraying Missouri River Valley wildlife. Also displayed are Dave's scrimshaw on bone that have a Native American feel and samples of his custom-carved wooden, sidewalk Santas.

Just around the corner from Dave's studio is Artur Hohl's studio and gallery* at the corner of Market and Second St. Artur creates beautiful porcelain wheel-thrown pottery: vases,
bowls, teapots, dinnerware, and ceramic wall portraits. Although Artur trained as a jet engine mechanic and studied political science in Berlin, an evening class in ceramic art changed the direction of his life. He said that his love of working with clay convinced him that pottery is for him "the most natural and satisfying of occupations."

On the other side of town are the studios of Anita Landrum and Betty Stiers. Anita paints in acrylic, pastel, and watercolor. While she is mostly self-taught, Anita pursues her education and interest by taking classes and workshops, reading books on art and artistry, and studying the works of other artists. Anita is an inspiration for those who want to express their ideas through art, and her door is "always open" to those who want to bring their paints and brushes and work along with her.

Basket maker Betty Stiers has lived in Hermann all her life, but her studio has rarely been open to the general public. Betty truly lives her art because each room in her home is filled with her creations. Her work includes market baskets, hip and egg baskets, and pie baskets. Betty has taught basket making for years at her home in Hermann and at state conventions, and she attends classes to learn new techniques. She holds memberships in several basket-making associations and is the author of basket patterns that are sold throughout the country.

Betty Stiers displays a variety
of her handmade baskets.

About a half mile from Hermann is the sculpture studio of Joey Los at The Cottage Restaurant & Gallery. There she creates decorative paintings and remarkable metals with natural and painted finishes. Joey studied art in St. Louis, the Netherlands, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her work has been featured on several occasions in St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles magazine. While visiting Joey's studio, be sure to stop by the fine art gallery that features the artwork of the restaurant's owners Sidney and Al Miller and Connie Keith. Read more about the restaurant and gallery by clicking The Cottage Restaurant and Gallery.

German School Museum reopens
After a winter of repairs and refurbishing at the German School, Historic Hermann has reopened the German School Museum* and a brand new museum shop. A new logo has been created for the organization and is featured on T-shirts and canvas tote bags that are for sale at the shop. In addition, the artwork of several local artists is available for sale. For several of the artists who don't own shops, this is a good opportunity for visitors to be able to purchase their work.

Potter Artur Hohl and basketmaker Betty Stiers, who will have their studios open during this month's Artists of Wine Country Tour, sell their items from the museum shop. Don and Joyce Riedel of the Gourd House, who were featured in the Day Trip section of our August 2005 newsletter, are also among the artists whose works are available. Others who are represented in the shop are mother/son artists Joy Hausman and Greg Hausman, along with Tom and Julie Van Horn. Works by these artists will be familiar to anyone who has attended the annual Kristkindl Markts at Stone Hill Winery* and the Hermannhof Winery Festhalle* in December.

The museum is open April through October from 10-4 Tuesday through Saturday and noon-4 on Sunday. It is closed Mondays. For additional information about Historic Hermann and the German School, visit

Benefit reception to be held April 29
The public is invited to a reception on April 29 as part of an on-going fundraiser to help support several restoration and improvement projects in Hermann. Sponsored by Historic Hermann, Inc., the festivities will include music by the Apostle Band, hors d'oeuvres, and a cash wine bar. In addition, an auction will be held. Guests may bid on antiques, creations by local artists including a Grimble Box and paintings, and services such as a bouquet of fresh flowers every week for 20 weeks, hand-cranked, homemade ice cream, and a performance by the four-piece Loehnig Band.

The reception starts at 6 p.m. at the Hermannhof Winery Festhalle*. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and can be purchased at the Visitor's Center, German School Museum* and First Bank* in Hermann. Ticket holders are eligible to win one of 25 door prizes that will be given away during the evening.

And, if you haven't had the opportunity to purchase a "One-of-a-Kind Experience" that are being offered as part of Historic Hermann's fund-raising efforts, visit to see what's still available for sale. These unique packages will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis through the end of June. A special package that includes Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn is among the "Experiences" being offered.

Noted St. Louis string quartet to perform in Hermann
The Arianna String Quartet will perform a free concert at the Hermann United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. on April 28. The event is open to the public.

This prestigious group of musicians has been hailed as one of America's finest chamber ensembles. Formed in 1992, members of the group were appointed to the faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as Artist Teachers and Quartet-in-Residence in 2000.

In an interview that aired on Classic Radio 99.1 FM on March 24, one member of the quartet referred to the ensemble as "St. Louis' own quartet". The musicians play a series of four concerts in St. Louis and then travel throughout the United States performing much of the same classical and contemporary music they play at home.

The quartet also plays a series of concerts designed for the family hoping to involve "children of all ages". One of the quartet's missions is to introduce the younger generation to this classical art form. They hope to inspire youngsters to listen to, and ultimately play, classical music. Prior to the 7 p.m. performance in Hermann, there will be a master class for several young string ensembles beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Hermann Arts Council is sponsoring the event. For information about upcoming events sponsored by this organization, visit their web site at

Stone Hill Winery named Best in the East
For the fourth time in five years, Stone Hill Winery* has found its way to the top of the medals podium at the Wineries Unlimited Seminar and Trade Show held each year in Lancaster, PA.

Stone Hill Winery earned the top award for "Best Native Varieties Wine" with 2002 Norton and also captured the five-year achievement award for having the "Most Wines in the Top Ten" since the Best of the East portion of the event began in 2000.

Wineries Unlimited is the largest such event for the wine industry east of the Rockies with attendees from more than 30 states and provinces representing the elite of the Eastern/Midwestern wine industry.

Stone Hill Winery, located just down the hill from Hermann Hill, produces a port wine made from grapes grown in our Norton vineyard.

Hermann Hill Village update
March was a very productive month at the Village highlighted by installing and connecting underground utilities, seeding the hillsides with native Missouri wildflowers, laying erosion control mats, completing the stamped concrete floors with logos for all five cottages, and installing privacy walls for all decks and patios.

Furniture is ordered for all twelve units, and we hope to have at least some units open by the end of May or first part of June.

Kitchen cabinets were installed in Cottage #2 once the concrete floor
was in place.

To view more photos of our progress, and for reservation information,
click on the Hermann Hill Village page.

Hermann Hill Village

May newsletter: The sounds of summer: dedicating the new amphitheater.

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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