Before the enactment of Prohibition in 1919, Missouri was a world leader in winemaking. In 1848 the state's winemakers produced 10,000 gallons per year, expanding to 100,000 gallons by 1856.
In the 1880s, Missouri produced 2,000,000 gallons per year, the most of any state in the nation.
The Volstead Act forced the shutdown or abandonment of all wineries except that at St. Stanislaus Seminary, in Florissant, which was permitted to make sacramental wines. The wine industry was destroyed for decades.
Revival of the state's wine industry started in 1965 with the reopening of a winery in Hermann, followed by another in Augusta on the north side of the river.
Soon thereafter, winemakers began to reestablish Missouri vineyards and wineries along the river and throughout the state.
The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is helping to grow the wine industry. Research is going on across the state. In Columbia, CAFNR has opened an experimental wine laboratory. Southwest Center scientists are studying a promising wine-grape cultivar. Extension specialists are sharing economic tips to help farmers produce value-added products.
The Grape and Wine Institute is partnering with the state's wine and grape industry to develop best practices for Missouri soils and climate, create disease-resistant and high-yielding grape varieties, discover better insect and pest controls, promote superior rootstock development, and improve fermentation, production, storage, handling and service techniques.
A new generation of undergraduate and graduate wine experts will bring new technical and economic expertise to their communities. CAFNR Science and Agricultural Journalists, trained in a wine-focus curriculum, will tell the story, while Hospitality Management students promote Missouri "agri-tourism." Food Science offers an Enology Track in its undergraduate program.See More Information Here.