While visiting my uncle in Kansas City in May of 2005, I was fortunate to be able to take a trip over the Mississippi River to Weston, MO, the home of Pirtle Winery. Located just a little over a half hour from the Kansas/Missouri border, Weston is a sleepy little town that is simply *loaded* with nifty shops, from myriad antiques, to a *very* interesting photo shop containing not only lots of old cameras, but *wonderful* pictures from many Broadway shows, to a Celtic shop.

Pirtle WineryPirtle Winery, just off Main St. is housed in a former Lutheran Evangelical Church that was built by German immigrants in 1867, is easy to get to and very picturesque.  Wine production currently takes place in the press house, which is on the bottom floor of the building, but they are building a new production building across the street, which should be finished sometime in 2006.  The tasting room and store are on the second floor, and you can browse the many local crafts and foods while sipping a glass of their wine.

Pirtle Winery VineyardNestled against the hand-laid stone foundation is a cozy arbor festooned with grape vines, with tables and chairs for you to enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Take advantage of the basket deal, which gives you a basket containing a bottle of wine and glasses, a loaf of crusty bread, cheese and a bread board and knife, and have a Tuscan lunch in the arbor.

If you like formal fare, take yourself across the street to The Vineyards, a 4-star restaurant housed in an antebellum home. They specialize in lamb, duck, veal and their own special cut of filet of beef. Chef Cheryl creates lucious cuisine using fresh fish flown in daily, local beef, and herbs from her own garden. Combine that with a bottle of Pirtle Blackberry wine, and you’ve got a meal fit for a king!

In the middle of 2005, the Pirtle family decided that they had outgrown their cramped wine-making facilities housed in the basement of the old church, and decided to expand the ‘works’. They cleared a space across the street down the hill from the Vineyards, and by the time of this report, will have opened their state-of-the-art facility that will undoubtedly allow Pirtle to improve and expand their already impressive operation.

Vicky Rowe
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