Imagine yourself at sunset, standing among rows of grape vines, while you sample award winning wine next to your five-star hotel. No, you are not in Napa – in fact, you are not even in California. You are standing in the heart of Missouri wine country.
50 minutes west of St. Louis sits the town of Augusta, long known for its world-class vineyards, and the home of what will soon be one of the leading wine destinations in the world.
David and Jerri Hoffmann are the owners of the Hoffmann Family of Companies. They are no strangers to renovating what they consider undiscovered or undervalued towns, and when they moved to Missouri, they found the perfect location.
As one of the oldest grape growing regions in the U. S., wine is an integral component of the history, culture and economy of Missouri. The Missouri wine industry started around the town of Hermann on the banks of the Missouri River in the late-1830s, and by the mid-1880s, more wine was produced by volume in Missouri than in any other state.
Today, Missouri is home to more than 130 wineries, 425 grape growers, and has more than 1,700 acres yielding 3-4 tons of grapes per year. The wine industry in Missouri has $3.2 billion in economic impact annually, with more than 28,000 jobs supported, resulting in $1 billion in wages for Missourians. Furthermore, Missouri welcomes 875,000+ wine-related tourists each year, resulting in 1.16 million gallons of Missouri wine sold annually.
That is a lot of wine. And with eleven wine trails, nearly every region of the Show Me State has a winery to explore. But the Hoffmann’s are dreaming even bigger.
The Hoffmann’s plans to invest $125 million in the region, surpassing initial projections of $100 million. In addition to the more than 50 acquisitions they have already made, the Hoffman’s are planning a five-star hotel and a golf course, with more winery acquisitions likely.
The dealings are part of a plan by the Hoffmann’s, who grew up in the area, to remake the 290-person town of Augusta into the largest vineyards and winery development in the Midwest. David Hoffmann envisions Augusta becoming a national wine destination, similar to the famed Napa Valley region in California, or Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
Yet the scale of the Hoffmann’s ambitions isn’t limited to eastern Missouri. Their long game is to insert Missouri wine into the national conversation about the nation’s premier wine-producing regions and bring overdue acclaim to what they consider to be under-appreciated local winemakers.
Check out a full article highlighting the Hoffmann’s plans in the St. Louis Business Journal here. And the next time you want to raise a glass – come to Missouri and we will show you just how amazing our wines truly are.