|Adam Puchta Winery is the oldest family farm winery in Missouri. In 1839, John Henry Puchta arrived in the Frene Valley near Hermann from Bavaria, Germany. On 600 acres of land, his growing family planted vineyards and, using native stone, built a home and traditional arched wine cellar. John Henry's son, Adam, established the Adam Puchta and Son Wine Company in 1855, and the winery flourished under the guidance of the Puchta family until Prohibition closed its doors. The Puchta family continued to farm the land until 1989, when fifth- and sixth-generation Puchtas, Randolph and his son Tim, re-opened the winery, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in October, 2004.
Tim oversees the day-to-day operations, but says, "Dad is still the patriarch." Tim's wife Vicki is active with the salesroom and business operations, and their sons Spencer and Parker, the seventh generation, are often seen riding mowers and helping around the grounds.
A booming business at Adam Puchta Winery required it recently to undergo a dramatic expansion. In addition to increasing their vineyard base, the Puchtas have constructed a new building to handle a holding capacity of 100,00 gallons. Production currently runs at 46,000 gallons, up from 18,000 gallons just two years ago. Other changes will include an entrance for two-way traffic and additional picnic areas.
Adam Puchta produces 13 wines. According to Tim, Vignoles, a blended Riesling-style wine, is the number one seller. "Jazz Berry just flies out the door," says Tim. Two port wines include the more traditional Vintage and the Signature, which Tim describes as a ruby-style, young wine with lots of chocolate and raspberry. He says the lower alcohol content makes Signature appealing to a wide range of palates.
One of the best things about Adam Puchta Winery, according to Tim, is that they have fun with the wine tasting. "We offer different bite-sized foods geared to go with our wines. To me, food is wine, and wine is food. That's the way I was brought up. I try to make the wines as if they're going to go down with meals." Tim feels that drinking wine is a lifestyle. "This is part of everyday life in Europe. That's what I'm trying to bring about on our premises," he says.
Adam Puchta wines have fared well in state, national, and international competitions. The 1997 Norton won the Governor's Cup in 2000, the highest honor a wine can receive in the state of Missouri.
The winery's tasting room and gift shop, located in the original homestead, are open year round. Summer hours are Monday-Saturday from 9-6, and Sunday from 11-6. Winter hours are Monday-Saturday from 9-5, and Sunday from 11-5.
Adam Puchta Winery is located just eight minutes from downtown Hermann. Take Hwy. 100 west for about two miles from the city limits to Frene Creek Road. Turn left onto Frene Creek Road and watch for the entrance on the left.
For additional information call 573-486-5596, or visit the website at www.adampuchtawine.com.