At 225 miles, the
It runs along the former rail bed of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Following the
We began our adventure in
Further along the trail we reached the spot where Daniel Boone held court under his "Judgement Tree," and we learned about how he moved here at the age of 65, because
After about 18 miles on our fat tire bikes on the packed gravel trail, we decided two things: (1) 18 miles on gravel on these bikes = about 36 paved road miles on our road bikes, and (2) it was time for lunch at a vineyard.
We headed to the historic German
Back in the 1800s German immigrants flocked to the hills around the Missouri River, because the area reminded them of the
The winery had then, and still has, the largest complex of arched cellars in the country. In 1920, Prohibition halted wine production. All wine barrels and wine making and bottling equipment in the country were destroyed, and vinyards were either uprooted or left untended. The ingenious owners of Stone Hill filled their cellars with sterilized manure and turned them into a mushroom farm. Prohibition was repealed in 1933, but the
The tour was followed by a stop in the tasting room, where our jovial pourer gave us and education about the grapes used for each wine, and urged us to try all 11 of the wines she poured. We bought a couple bottles of our favorite wine from the tasting (which we wished we had last night to go with our cheese and crackers), then we headed down the hill and over to
On our second day we rode the section of the trail which every rider we talked to listed as their favorite.
We started in the charming little town of
After our ride, we lunched in a café in Rocheport with great food and great reading material. Dick browsed a book about
We then made our way to the winery, established in 1983 by a doctor with a wine making hobby whose friends told him his wine was so good he should sell it. The winery is crammed into a building that used to be a restaurant. It has none of the charm of the historic Stone Hill winery—the cellar here just looks like a very clean basement. But, the Le Bourgeousie tour was very interesting, and we learned much more about wine making and bottling processes. (We are always intrigued by machinery, and wine bottle sanitizing, filling, corking and labeling is more complicated than we had imagined.)
The tour ended with an opportunity to taste some of the wines (of course). We tasted the Le Bourgeousie versions of a few of our favorites wines from Stone Hill, and ended up leaving without purchasing any more wine. (The stuff in our car seems to be expanding to fill the space. We simply can't run out of room our second week on the road!)