Take a short drive west and you’ll find the Augusta Wine Trail, along Highway 94 in St. Charles County. Head east to Illinois and you’ll find more, including the Heartland Rivers Wine Trail and the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. (Not to mention, Missouri’s Hermann and Ste. Genevieve.) Many wineries let you bring a picnic, and several also offer nice cafés. Here are some of our favorites.
Augusta Winery: After a visit to the tasting room, enjoy their wines with locally produced cheese and sausage on the outdoor wine terrace or in the Wine & Beer Garden. Listen to the live entertainment on weekends through October, or check their website for special events such as mimosa and sangria weekends.
Where 5601 High Street, Augusta • More info 636-228-4301; augustawinery.com
Balducci Vineyards: The food is a big draw here, with its fresh-baked bread and delicious thin-crust pizzas. The 100-year-old farm and vineyard is situated on picturesque grounds with rolling hills.
Where 6601 Highway 94 South, Augusta • More info 636-482-8466; balduccivineyards.com
Blumenhof Vineyards & Winery: Located in the village of Dutzow, Missouri’s oldest German settlement, Blumenhof’s architecture captures that time. There’s a tasting room and live music Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Where 13699 South Highway 94, Dutzow • More info 636-433-2245, blumenhof.com
Chandler Hill Vineyards: Indoors you’ll find a beautiful tasting room, outdoors a 4,500-square-foot deck overlooking vineyards and a pond. Don’t miss the all-day Memorial Day event, featuring a 5K/10K and live music.
Where Chandler Hill Vineyards, 596 Defiance Road, Defiance • More info 636-798-2675; chandlerhillvineyards.com
Grafton Winery & Brewhaus: Travel the Great River Road to take in the view of the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers from the large patios or enclosed seating areas. The winery features wine tasting, live music every Saturday and Sunday, a microbrewery, themed dinners, murder mystery dinners and more.
Where 300 West Main Street, Grafton • More info 618-786-3001; thegraftonwinery.com
JO-AL Winery & Country Store: Sip the all-fruit wines with interesting names such as Sexy Redhead or Spice-A-Rita on the patio, or visit the old country store.
Where 10213 State Route 177, Mascoutah • More info 618-566-9463; jo-alwinery.com
Mary Michelle Winery and Vineyard: At the beautiful Pere Marquette Lodge inside Pere Marquette State Park, you’ll find the tasting room for Mary Michelle Winery of Carrollton, Ill. Sip wines on the fountain patio or riverview terrace.
Where 13653 Lodge Boulevard, Grafton • More info 618-786-2331; pmlodge.net
Montelle Winery: Enjoy sweeping views of the vineyards and countryside atop Osage Ridge, 400 feet above the Missouri River Valley. Montelle features a variety of wines and brandies that pair perfectly with their Klondike Café and Sunset Dinner menus. Dance to live music weekends through October.
Where 201 Montelle Drive, Augusta • More info 636-228-4464; montelle.com
Mount Pleasant Estates: Experience winemaking first-hand with a guided tour of Mount Pleasant Estates. Tours are free at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through October. Grab a Mesquite Smoked Turkey Melt and a bottle of chardonel and sit on the lovely deck.
Where 5634 High Street, Augusta • More info 636-482-9463; mountpleasant.com
Noboleis Vineyards: Noboleis features wines from locally grown grapes with views of the vineyards. Stop by for a lunch of sandwiches, pizzas and salads. On the weekends, you’ll find live music.
Where 100 Hemsath Road, Augusta • More info 636-482-4500; noboleisvineyards.com
Rustle Hill Winery: This beautiful winery along the Shawnee Wine Trail features music, art, a full restaurant, more than 65 beers and romantic cabins for rent.
Where 8595 New Highway 51 North, Cobden, Ill. • More info 618-893-2700; rustlehillwinery.com
Schorr Lake Vineyards: Situated on the edge of Schorr Lake, this winery features estate-grown table and fruit wines. Try them on the deck overlooking the vineyard, or catch a sunset over the lake.
Where 1032 South Library Street, Waterloo • More info 618-939-3174; schorrlakevineyard.net
Springers Creek Winery: Cozy up to a fireplace, or relax in one of two wine gardens. Hop off the Quercus Grove trail of the Madison Country Bike Trail System and enjoy live music.
Where 817 Hillsboro Avenue, Edwardsville • More info 618-307-5110; springerscreekwinery.com
Sugar Creek Vineyards & Winery: Relax on the wine terrace among fields of French and American hybrid grapes, and hear live music through November. If it’s a little chilly, head inside the Victorian home and warm up in the tasting room and visitor center.
Where 125 Boone Country Lane, Defiance • More info 636-987-2400; sugarcreekwines.com
Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery: Right across Highway 94 from a trailhead for the Katy Trail is the appropriately named Yellow Farmhouse. There you’ll find colorful Adirondack chairs, perfect for sipping wine or having a picnic, a covered pavilion with a big fireplace and live music on weekends. Picnic baskets welcome.
Where 100 Defiance Road, Defiance • More info 314-409-6139; yellowfarmhousewines.com
Amy Bertrand is the editor of the Home & Away and the Let's Eat sections of the Post-Dispatch. Follow her at stltoday.com/travelswithamy, @abertrand on Twitter and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/amybertrand.