Q: We recently ate at Chandler Hill Vineyards in Defiance. The lunch was very good; the slaw on the side was outstanding. May we get the slaw recipe?
— Jerry Ingenthron, Clayton
A: After the Civil War, former slave Joseph Chandler headed north to start a new life. A doctor's family deeded Chandler 40 acres, where he built a cabin and raised a large family. "My family was lucky to acquire what had been the Chandler property about 25 years ago," says Cindy Gillentine. "There's such rich history here."
Gillentine and her husband, Chuck, work with other family members who, along with outside investors, own what's now Chandler Hill Vineyards. It opened in 2008 and is on a quiet road not far from Highway 94 and just 5 miles from the Historic Daniel Boone Home and 15 minutes from Chesterfield Valley.
The vineyard overlooks the verdant Femme Osage Valley, and views from the spacious tasting room and open-air deck rival those in Napa Valley. "Only later did we learn that Joseph Chandler himself grew grapes right here," Gillentine says.
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The vineyard is open year-round; Gillentine says that regular customers especially love to come out during the winter. The tasting room and restaurant are open during the afternoons seven days a week and into the early evenings, often with live music, on Thursdays and Fridays. Hours vary and Chandler Hill is a popular venue for weddings and private events, so call ahead before visiting. On Sunday afternoons during the growing season, Chandler Hill hosts a farmers market.
Chandler Hills' coleslaw recipe originated with Gillentine. "It has a couple of ingredients that people don't expect but really like," she says. The lightly dressed cabbage has "just enough" toasted almonds and dried cranberries to make it stand apart.
Special Request is written by Kirkwood resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and "veggie evangelist" at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.