MARQUAND, MO (KFVS) - It's been said that good things take time. If you've never been to Marquand it's worth the time it takes to get there.
Nestled up in the southeast corner of the Mark Twain National Forest, it's a picturesque town of 200 that is enjoying a bit of a revival. In the center of things you'll find a park with a quaint little garden, a new depot that pays homage to Marquand's railroading roots and yes, there's a bridge. This is, after all, Madison County.
It took us some time to find Jay Hansmann. We eventually found him on a hill overlooking Marquand. After a mild summer, it was finally time for Jay to harvest his grapes and begin the process of turning them into wine.
"This is my passion," he said.
Hansmann and his wife Vicky bought Durso Hills Winery three years ago. They produce 20,000 bottles of wine, in 21 varieties, a year.
"We have sweet wines and really dry wines," Hansmann said.
The only place you can buy a bottle of their award winning wines is at the Bistro the couple opens four days a week for lunches and dinners.
"Sometimes we have more people here than live in Marquand," he said.
If you look at the outside of the Bistro, you'll see where bricks are missing. They were ripped off by a tornado that mowed through Marquand in 2002. Some things, like that building and the post office, survived. Other buildings, like the fire department, did not.
Hansmann became interested in wine while serving hard time in prison. That's right, prison. Twenty years ago he was the money man in a drug ring that operated in Bollinger County.
"I never was addicted to the drugs. I was addicted to the money," he said.
Eventually the feds found out and Hansmann was arrested and sentenced to 100 months in prison. He served 85 months. During his time in prison he began reading about wine making and got really interested in the business. By the time he got out of prison, he knew that he wanted to try working at a winery.
Hansmann worked at a couple of wineries in Ste. Genevieve County and then decided to strike out on his own. He moved to Marquand, bought the winery and now spends most days turning grapes into wine.
"Prison taught me patience," he said.
He never was a patient person and knows that a good wine takes time. Hansmann and his employees take the grapes to a building where they ferment for days and then across the street where barrels of white, red, blackberry, even peach wine, are bottled.
It's taken time for Marquand to pick up after that tornado and reinvent itself. It took hard time for Hansmann to find his passion. But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. His life mirrors the wine he makes. A good one takes time.