COMMERCE, MO (KFVS) - River Ridge Winery, situated in a century old farm house, and nestled in the hills above the Mississippi River, is owned by Jerry Smith, winemaker, and his wife, Joannie. The hand tended French Hyrid and Vinifers grapes grown on the hills behind the winery, produce wines of the highest quality.
Jerry purchased the 80 acre farm and began planting grapes in 1980. Joannie, ironically, began the Christmas tree and Yule Log Cabin the same year. They later met and married February of 1993. Work began refurbishing the old farm house to become the winery. The doors opened September 17, 1994.
Every year brought a new project in the expansion of River Ridge. The wine production building, The Fermentation Room Cafe, pavilion, two tiered patio with firepit, moving the Yule Log Cabin to the bigger cabin, opening the Little Log Cabin for overnight guests and planting the Vinifera vineyard were major steps in River Ridge growth. The River Ridge staff now consists on 15 wonderful, full and part-time employees and still growing.
Wine production has topped 4000 gallons. Their goal of producing the best wines that Missouri soils can grow is being obtained with the Vinifera vineyard. Unusual and sometimes considered not possible, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay are thriving in River Ridge's vineyard.
River Ridge Winery is open 364 days a year. Individuals can hike a short distance to stroll the vineyards, or discover the tranquility of their pond. The Fermentation Room café offers a relaxing meal in their dining room, pavilion or winery grounds. The meal is always prepared to order from fresh ingredients. Browse their unique gift shop where one can find a great selection of fun gifts, wine accessories and gourmet foods.
Visit between September and December and you'll want to stop by The Yule Log cabin Christmas shop just four miles from the winery. The Yule Log Cabin has over 100 beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The selection is absolutely enormous! They estimate 100,000 ornaments of all styes and themes. While half of our trees are decorated with elegant style and color combinations, the others have popular themes. The Hunting, Fishing and Western looks have lots of items for the 'ManCave'. The Beach look is always fun. Gardening, Farming, Patriotic, Family, Wedding, Sports and Occupations will provide a special ornament for everyone on you list. Be sure to pick up a bottle of Holiday Rose and a jar of Holiday Rose Jelly, made from the same grapes as the wine.