|Röbller Vineyard is located in New Haven, Missouri, just 15 miles east of Hermann. The winery was established by Bob and Lois Mueller in 1988, with the first vintage being offered to the public in 1990.
"Passion is finding what you love and doing it," says Bob, a retired tool and die maker. "This is my passion." For the 25 years prior to opening Röbller Vineyard, Bob called himself a "backyard" winemaker who made wine for family and friends at his St. Louis home. But, all that changed when he and Lois found acreage in the heart of the wine country of Missouri. "I found a beautiful spot of countryside and, with a bit of help, transformed a cornfield into an enchanting winery and vineyards. My family, loyal staff and I have worked tirelessly to cultivate our vines, hand-harvest their grapes, and through chemistry, with a little luck, transform them into the magic inside this bottle."
The Muellers produce about 5,000 gallons of wine annually from their 15-acre vineyard. Of the dozen wines available, Vidal Blanc, a semi-dry white wine similar to a Riesling, has been the best seller since the winery opened.
Bob considers Traminette, an off-dry white wine, to be his pride and joy. It is made from a hybrid grape developed at Cornell University. Its vinifera parent is a Gewurztraminer, a traditional Alsacian wine with a spicy, floral flavor. "When I sniffed it in the tank it reminded me of rose petals," says Bob. The 2002 vintage won a gold medal at the San Diego International Competition. It was the first year he made the wine. The 2003 Traminette won silvers in the International Eastern Wine Conference Competition and at the Missouri Wine Competition. Because if its success, Bob now has more than 600 Traminette vines planted.
The winemaker's greatest achievement, however, was winning the first-ever Governor's Cup at the 1993 Missouri Wine Competition. His 1991 Norton Reserve took the highest honors in the state. "Was it beginner's luck?" wonders Bob, stating that it was only the second time he had put this red wine in a barrel.
The winery is recuperating from a devastating fire that destroyed the barn in May, 2004. All of the harvesting equipment was lost, along with a tractor and other inventory. Turning this into a positive, the Muellers say they will be getting new and upgraded equipment. The winery was undergoing an expansion project when the fire occurred, so progress has been slowed. However, once completed, the new facility will include added storage space, a lab, larger restrooms, and a large party room with a fireplace that will accommodate up to 100 people. The old oak flooring is from the former Langenberg Hat Company in New Haven. The room may be rented for private parties.
Bob and Lois invite customers to bring the entire family to enjoy the surroundings. Picnic baskets are welcome, but snacks can be purchased at the salesroom. Guests may party in the pavilion, on the covered deck, or on the terraces. The Jammin' at the Vineyard calendar of events lists monthly festivals held at Röbller from April through October. See the website for details.
To get to Röbller Vineyard from Hermann, travel east for approximately 15 miles on Highway 100 through New Haven. Watch for the Röbller sign just east of the water tower. Winery hours are from 10-6 Monday-Saturday and noon-6 on Sunday during Daylight Savings Time. The remainder of the year hours are from 11-5 Monday-Saturday and noon-5 on Sunday.
For more information about Röbller Vineyards, visit the website at www.Röbllerwines.com, or call 573-237-3986.