Northwest Missouri has another destination to add to the state's booming wine industry, and this one comes with a lot of bling.
Weston Wine Co., located at 519 Main St. in Weston, Mo., opened to the public May 9. Owners Jason and Colleen Gerke, who also own Jowler Creek Winery in Platte City, Mo., weren’t looking to open another winery, but they fell in love with the storefront space, which includes a private wine garden and an underground event room. The owner had contacted them about selling, and they couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“We loved Weston. We used to live in Kansas City and would escape up here on the weekends. When we had the chance to be in Weston, we decided, let’s do it,” Ms. Gerke says.
To differentiate Weston Wine Co. from other wineries in the area, the Gerkes decided on a fun, feminine theme.
“Most wineries, even Jowler Creek, are pretty masculine with the wood barrels and kind of that older feel to it. We just wanted to try something fun and totally different over here,” she says.
The store is decorated in pink and black with royal accents like crowns, tiaras and chandeliers. Each of their seven wine blends is named after a different diamond cut, like their semi-sweet white Princess Cut or their dry red King Brilliant Cut. Most of the grapes used are from Missouri, and the wines are bottled at Jowler Creek.
The theme is due in part to the clientele Weston Wine Co. caters to. Ms. Gerke says the store will specialize in bachelorette parties. On its opening weekend, the business already had a party of eight who had pre-booked on their website, westonwinecompany.com. She says they expect to host at least one or two parties each weekend.
Another girly aspect that’s unique to this winery is its wine-tasting experience. Visitors can come in and taste each of the seven varieties for free, or they can choose an upgrade. Traditionalists will enjoy a basic wine and cheese pairing called a Royal Homage to Fromage, featuring both classic cheeses like Dutch gouda and exciting varieties like Mango Chili Cheddar. For those with more of a sweet tooth, though, the Royal Confections wine and cupcake tasting is for you.
“I’m a huge cake addict. When we were kind of putting together the business plan we wanted to be as different as possible,” Ms. Gerke says.
She decided to team up with Sierra’s Cakes in Edgerton, Mo., to pair a miniature cupcake with each of the three white and three red wine varieties. The seventh rose wine was made into its own special cupcake flavor, reserved for bachelorette party guests.
“I know the idea is kind of out there, but when you taste them together I think it totally enhances both the cupcake taste and the wine taste,” Ms. Gerke says.
For instance, she says the Queen Brilliant Cut dry white wine has oaky, buttery undertones, so it’s paired with a vanilla cake with rich caramel icing. The Trilliant Cut sweet red wine is made with concord grapes, so it’s paired with a chocolate cake with Reese’s peanut butter icing to create a flavor profile reminiscent of peanut butter and jelly.
Weston Wine Co. currently is in the process of putting together a coming events list, but already has plans for a special Father’s Day event featuring a maple bacon cupcake. People also can join a “Reading Between the Wines” Club, which puts on quarterly events based around wine-centric books and movies. In addition to the seven wines they have now, Ms. Gerke says they plan on adding seasonal options to the wine list as the year progresses.
Although Weston already has another winery right down the road, Ms. Gerke says she isn’t concerned about competition. In fact, she welcomes the idea of more wineries in Northwest Missouri.
“I think it’s a good thing. I think the more we can get up here, the better. It’s gonna get people out of town or out of Kansas City, and that way they can make the drive and come up to a whole trail of them,” she says.
She adds, “I think each winery offers different wines and a whole different tasting experience, and so what I’d love to see is this whole region be like the new Hermann (Mo.). Instead of people saying, ‘I want to go to Hermann for the weekend or go to Napa on my trip,’ let’s just come up here. We’ve got awesome restaurants up here and great places to stay. You don’t need to go far away for your vacation.”
For more information about tastings, pricing, hours and reservations, call (816) 386-2345, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.