Branson is famous for its entertaining shows and thrilling attractions, but one thing you might not think of when Branson comes to mind are wineries and distilleries. However, Missouri’s wineries have received worldwide recognition and are worth a closer look.
Planning a toast the town tour in Branson? Here’s what you need to know:
Stone Hill Winery
601 State Hwy 165
Missouri’s oldest and most awarded winery is Stone Hill Winery. It has been in operation in the Ozarks since 1986 and entertains visitors with over 12,000 square feet of space. When you visit this winery, you’ll be taken on a guided tour where you’ll witness the step-by-step winemaking process, view a short film about the history of Stone Hill and enjoy free wine tastings. The wines range from the dry, full-bodied Norton, a red wine that has captured international recognition, to the sweet and fruity Pink Catawba and Concord. My favorite wine produced by Stone Hills is the Norton (Norton is Missouri’s state grape) but the cream sherry they produce is an award-winning dessert wine with unique flavors of oak and caramel and is worth a try. Tours at Stone Hill Winery start every 15 minutes and are completely free. Do bring some money, though, as I’m sure you’ll want to purchase some wine in the gift shop before leaving.
Mount Pleasant Winery
3125 Green Mountain Drive
Mount Pleasant Winery was founded in 1859 in Augusta, Missouri but opened its doors in Branson in 2007. The winery has several interesting things to do for visitors. First, they offer free wine tastings throughout the day featuring their award-winning Villagio (similar to a pinot grigio), Vignoles, and, of course, it’s Norton. The highlight of a visit to Mount Pleasant, though, is bottling your own dessert wine. You’ll have the opportunity to pour and cap your own bottle of port from a 600-gallon barrel. These bottles are a fantastic souvenir of your vacation in Branson. A free 15-minute wine tasting class is also available. It gives you a quick lesson in the basics of wine tasting, so even if you’re new to the wine scene, you’ll learn how to distinguish your chardonnays from your spumante. An hour class, with admission fee, is offered if you want a more in-depth wine tasting class. Mount Pleasant Winery features local artists every month and also hosts happy hour nights with live music.
Copper Run Distillery
1901 Day Road
Copper Run Distillery may not be a winery, per se, but if you’re toasting the town of Branson it is a must see. Located off the beaten path in Walnut Shade, Copper Run is the first legal distillery in the Ozark Mountains since prohibition ended in 1933. Their distillery concocts casks of moonshine and rum using century old methods. A 140 gallon, direct fire, copper pot still is the centerpiece of their operation, as is using the best local ingredients. Stop by for a free tour and tasting. If you’re able to visit on Sundays, you’ll be treated to live music and jam sessions.