7/6/2010 We have recently visited a fairly new winery in Cape Girardeau twice, once on Mother's Day and once on Father's Day.
The location of the Hunter Valley Winery is special for us as it is located near Trail of Tears State Park and over the hill from the cemetery where my husband's mother, grandmother, and great-grandparents are buried. His family owned part of the property where the Trail of Tears State Park is located and the State made them move in order to build the park. The family was devastated to be taken from their land and moved to nearby land. Two of the family members even took their own life because of the loss of land.
One of the family homes sat where the entrance to the park is now located and the other home sat where the conservation building is located.
The winery does not offer a full food service, but does allow picnic baskets.
The food choices available are served in these cute baskets. The first is an olive dip and bread basket.
The second is a sausage and cheese basket, which includes crackers and grapes.
The best features of this winery are the music events and the relaxing atmosphere.
I keep telling my non-drinking friends that they too can come and participate at wineries without drinking. Although you are not allowed to bring in any other alcoholic beverages (they offer other beverages than wine), one can bring a picnic basket, sit back, relax, and enjoy some great music and fellowship.
The first time at Hunter Valley, we thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor setting. First, we spent some time under a table covered with a bright colored umbrella while listening to music on the outdoor patio. Then we took time to stroll down to lay on the grass overlooking the lake. There is also a deck with tables by the lake or one can take a stroll across the field to a more private deck by the edge of the woods. The field of vines can be seen from almost all locations.
Last, we checked out the upstairs of the building and found a nice little porch overlooking the outdoor patio. It was fabulous to be able to relax with the view of the lake and vineyard before us, the gentle sun warming our faces, and music coming from below. I'm ready to do that again!
The second time we visited the weather was warmer and the band was inside the building (second floor). It is a nice setting and the people around us were friendly, but I did miss the outdoor experience that we had the first time.
It is my suggestion that the best time to visit this winery would be in the Spring and the Fall when the musicians are able to play outside.
The wine tasting and the bottles of wine we purchased satisfied the palette. I'm not a huge wine connoisseur, so I am afraid to comment too much about wine expertise, but we did like it a lot.
The winery is owned by Jim , Lea Anne & Hunter Casteel.