Explore the Oldest AVA During Your Missouri Stay

Two glasses of wine on top of an old barrel outside a winery and vineyard.

Located 37 miles west of Saint Louis, Augusta is America’s first recognized wine region. This historic and scenic town has some of the country’s most fine wineries. Yet when it comes to visiting the wineries themselves, it’s best to enter with a better understanding of what the town offers. Join our team at Rjourney as we take a look at the history and offerings of the many wineries in Augusta, MO. 

A Brief History of Wineries in Augusta, MO

As the first wine region in the United States, Augusta has a rich and eventful history that helped it transform into the winery destination it is today. This includes times of prosperity and trouble. Let us briefly examine the founding and history of Augusta’s wineries


According to the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Augusta was founded in 1836 by Leonard Harold, a settler who followed Daniel Boone to Saint Charles County. While the town’s land was chosen for its river landing, by 1855, it had grown to be an agricultural hub for grain, livestock, and wine grapes. With the growing industry, Mount Pleasant Estates, the oldest winery in Augusta, was established in 1859. 

Significant Events

Significant events have hit the wine industry and the town of Augusta throughout its history. Some of the most important events in Augusta’s history include:

  • 1870. Carles Riley, Missouri’s state entomologist (expert on insects), saved the French wine industry with the shipment of rootstock, which was then grafted to French vine cuttings. 
  • 1872. Augusta’s role as a river port ceases with a flood, shifting the channel of the Missouri River. 
  • 1920-1933. Prohibition shut down nearly all of Missouri’s wine operations, the second largest in the nation at the time. 
  • 1970. The town was revitalized as a tourist destination as people started to explore the Missouri wine region. As a result, additional wineries, including Montelle Winery, were established. 
  • 1980. Augusta AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established and recognized by the federal government, making it the first recognized wine region in the United States.

Missouri Wine Tour

With a better appreciation of how Augusta, MO, became America’s first recognized wine region, it’s time to explore the wine offerings properly. The most popular kind of wine grapes that grow well in Augusta’s soil and terrain are Franco-American hybrids such as the following: 

  • Vidal
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Traminette
  • Chambourcin
  • Norton

Norton is recognized as the official grape of the state of Missouri and is known to be the most widely planted grape in the region. There has also been some experimentation with Vitis vinifera grape varieties such as Chardonnay. 

Augusta, MO, Wineries

When exploring the many wineries in Augusta, you will find many destinations to choose from. Whether you plan your meals around your visit or simply want to take in the vineyards’ sights, smells, and sounds, these excellent establishments are more than willing to provide what you desire. The four of the most popular wineries in the Augusta area include:

Augusta Winery

Founded in 1988, Augusta Winery is a fixture of the scenic town of Augusta along the Missouri River Valley. Due to its unique soil, climate, and historical significance, this award-winning winery is known for not only holding and offering wines that are grown on-site but also wines from across the world. 

Balducci Vineyards

Winner of the Missourian’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Winery for 16 years, Balducci Vineyards is a sprawling 76 acres of rolling hills and home to numerous award-winning wines made from Missouri-grown grapes.

At this well-known establishment, you can find live entertainment on the weekends, countless seasonal events, and various drinks and food offerings, such as sandwiches and craft beers. 

Montelle Winery

Montelle Winery is a family-owned and operated winery established in 1970 during the growth of Missouri wine tourism. Producing outstanding wines accompanied by live music, wine trolleys, and a breathtaking view dubbed “Halfway to Heaven,” Montelle Winery is a one-of-a-kind place to be in Augusta. 

Mount Pleasant Estates

The oldest winery in the Augusta AVA, Mount Pleasant Estates, is a sweeping historical cornerstone of the region. In one of the many tasting rooms, you can enjoy the many varieties of wine grown across campus or participate in one of the many regular on-site events. Mount Pleasant Estates also serves as a working museum of the history of the Augusta wine industry. 

Planning Your Next Trip Near Augusta, MO

Are you eager to visit the beautiful wineries of the Augusta AVA? Then begin to plan your visit. Since the majority of the wineries do not have lodging on-site, you’ll need to find an accommodation that provides comfort without breaking the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from, including camping. When you go camping, make sure you choose the length of your stay, the kind of camping you want, and a good time of year to camp. 

Stay Near the Missouri Wine Regions at Rjourney

Looking for the ideal campground for your next vacation? Look no further than to us at Rjourney. We offer a pair of RV campgrounds in Missouri with reliable access to Augusta and a wide range of on-site amenities and activities. You can find our Missouri resorts at the following locations: 

Book your Missouri camping getaway by contacting our team online today!

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