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A beautiful twenty-minute drive from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, River Ridge Winery is situated in a century-old farmhouse, nestled within the hills where Crowley's Ridge joins the Mississippi River.  The winery is owned and operated by Jerry Smith, Winemaker, and his wife, Joannie.

The majority of the grapes, producing dry, semi-dry and sweet wines, are grown in the vineyard on the hills above the winery.  The remainder of the grapes are grown at Cloister Vineyard, SweetBrier Vineyard and Hahn Family Vineyard in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.  Varieties of wine include Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Vignoles, Cynthiana, Chambourcin, Vidal, Villard Blanc and Muscat.

The Fermentation Room cafe, housed in the winery building, has an interesting menu.  Your selection is freshly prepared when you order.  Inside seating is available along with numerous picnic spots on the grounds, patio, or pavilion.  They will pack a picnic for a hike to the vineyard, pond or the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.  You can enjoy live music on most weekends.

You can browse through their showroom of gourmet foods, unique wine and grape related items.  Visit the River Ridge Yule Log Cabin Christmas shop (October through December) or spend the night in a private, rustle log cabin.

They are open every day from noon (or earlier) to 6:00pm (or later) depending on demand.

Source:  River Ridge Winery. 21 Jul 2004 <http://www.riverridgewinery.com>.

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