Mount Pleasant Estates, located just minutes outside of St. Louis in the rolling hills of Augusta wine country, is rich in history. As the oldest winery in the Augusta Appellation, Mount Pleasant is a testament to Missouri's long-standing contribution to the global wine industry.
In 1859, two brothers from Germany, George and Frederick Muench, established Mount Pleasant Winery as a commercial wine business. The beauty of the rolling hills of Missouri River Valley reminded them of their homeland and showed exceptional potential for creating excellent wines.
The Muench brothers built the cellars in 1881, using the wood and limestone from the area. These cellars are still used today to age Mount Pleasant’s estate-bottled wines and internationally award-winning Augusta Ports.
This year, Mount Pleasant was recognized with 18 Beverage Testing Institute Awards, a tribute to their dedication to growing the best quality grapes in Missouri. In 1980, Augusta was chosen to be the first government-appointed wine-growing district in the nation. The first American Viticultural Area (AVA) became known as the Augusta Appellation.Keeping the winery in the Dressel family, Chuck Dressel's family purchased Mount Pleasant from their uncle, Lucian Dressel, in 1992.
Mount Pleasant TodayMount Pleasant is the oldest and the most well-established winery in Augusta. The winery grows 12 grape varieties on 78 acres. Over the past two decades, Mount Pleasant has won numerous prestigious awards and achieved high point-ratings for its wine.
Visitors to Mount Pleasant Estates enjoy tasting wine in the spacious 4,000 square foot tasting room and sipping wine on the terrace with spectacular views of the Missouri River Valley.
There is entertainment year round including cellar tours, wine classes, winemaker dinners, holiday-themed events, live music on the patio, and more. Mount Pleasant, the pioneer in sustainable viticulture for the Missouri wine industry, celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009.
Mount Pleasant’s Sustainable Viticulture
Mount Pleasant Estates is the largest winery in Missouri to practice sustainable viticulture.
Mount Pleasant uses an integrated system of wine-grape growing that is economically viable, socially supportive and ecologically sound. Mount Pleasant curbs herbicide and fungicide use, both of which can have a negative impact on the crops and pollute the water table.
The winery has also implemented IPM (integrated pest management) programs to limit the need for pesticides. They incorporate calcium, carbon and compost amendments in their soils and use mechanical procedures to decrease insect damage and promote water-holding capacity in the soils. Winemaking and vineyard staff have even used some creative methods to grow delicious grapes sustainably, including raising earth worms for castings which are incorporated into fertilizer.
A knife-insertion system has been created to inject microorganisms straight into the ground due to their photo-sensitivity.
Mount Pleasant realizes the importance of a healthy growing environment and plans to return the land to a condition as good as, if not better than, when they opened.
For more information on Mount Pleasant Estates, or for a list of upcoming events, visit their website.