Sprawled atop rippling Missouri foothills, Seven Springs Winery's 160 acres affords guests views of forests stretching out before them that change colors throughout the seasons. Amongst the lush, green landscape, the vineyard springs up with rows of grapes, wine-bottle bushes, and a welcoming tasting room. Wine tastings let guests experience a wide range of Seven Springs Winery's reds, whites, and blushes, including varietals such as chardonel and pinot noir. The vintners and knowledgeable bartenders also welcome aficionados and the wine-curious to sip a glass of wine, sangria, or microbrew from the covered porch or patio, and a selection of soups, sandwiches, cheeses, breads, and dipping oils can be called upon to enhance the experience.
There's no entrance exam for Vino Cellars. As the wine lounge's website puts it, "No one will care if you can't say cabernet correctly. So go ahead and ask." And that level of accessibility runs throughout the entire shop, from the comfortable open seating to the complimentary tastings to the notes that describe every bottle's weight, palate, and mouth-feel. Such touches help guests find their way through the 150 varietals—imported from boutique-style producers across the globe—so they can pick the right pairing for a steak or the right milk-substitute for a bowl of Cheerios.
Pairing is a theme that runs through almost everything at Vino Cellars. Themed wine dinners match up five wines with four-course meals. The regular menu's small plates of shareable flatbread pizzas and sliders can also be mixed and matched with different libations. But Vino Cellars doesn't stop with wine and food. The shop spreads its gourmet knowledge to house-made bottles of flavored olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars.
Grown sustainably on Augusta’s verdant hillsides, the fruit of Mount Pleasant’s voluptuous vines has soaked up a slew of accolades. Wine 101 classes in tasting, food pairing, and cork firing edify duos of aspiring aficionados with a one-hour onslaught of grape-centric wisdom, along with a complimentary souvenir wine glass. Students will learn to pair wines with cheese and chocolate and practice trapping even the wildest varietals in bottles. Indulge in a selection of delicious sips while honing the five S’s of proper tasting—seeing, swirling, sniffing, sipping, and savoring—before honoring instructors with the optional sixth S: snuggling.
Jim Traver has come a long way from the basement?metaphorically, at least. For years, he fine-tuned his winemaking experience, working as a high-school math teacher during the day and enjoying crafting wines as a hobby in the basement of his home. When he eventually began bottling, labeling, and selling his wines, he had long since perfected his technique, which he now applies to a whole portfolio of wines crafted onsite at Traver Home Winery. These wines range from the super-popular Dog's Breath Red, a light and fruity wine, to the jammy Marechal Foch with notes of blackberry, currant, and meandering guitar solos.