River Ridge Winery, situated in a century old farm house, and nestled in the hills above the Mississippi River, is owned by Jerry Smith, winemaker, and his wife, Joannie. The hand-tended French Hyrid and Vinifers grapes grown on the hills behind the winery produce wines of the highest quality.Jerry purchased the 80-acre farm and began planting grapes in 1980. Joannie, ironically, began the Christmas tree and Yule Log Cabin the same year. They later met and married February of 1993. Work began refurbishing the old farm house to become the winery. The doors to River Ridge Winery opened September 17, 1994.
Every year brought a new project in the expansion of River Ridge. Major milestones in the growth of the winery include the addition of a new wine production building, the addition of the Fermentation Room Cafe, the completion of the Nunnelly Pavilion, the addition of the two-tiered patio with fire pit, the relocation of the Yule Log Cabin to the bigger cabin, opening the Little Log Cabin for overnight guests, planting the Vinifera vineyard and more recently, the installation of wine hut, second pavilion and beautiful terraced brick patios overlooking the main patio.
Keller Ford became General Manager and Assistant Winemaker in 2003. The River Ridge staff now consists on 15 wonderful, full and part-time employees and is still growing.Wine production has topped 4,000 gallons. Our goal of producing the best wines our Missouri soils can grow is being obtained with the Vinifera vineyard. Unusual and sometimes considered not possible, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay are thriving in River Ridge's vineyard.
You will always be greeted by a smiling face at River Ridge Winery 364 days a year. Plan to spend the afternoon if you can. Enjoy a relaxing meal in our dining room, under the pavilion or on the winery grounds. Your meal is always prepared to order from fresh ingredients. Browse our unique gift shop where you'll find a great selection of fun gifts, wine accessories and gourmet foods. If you visit between September and December, save time to visit the Yule Log cabin Holiday Shop just four miles from the winery. The combination of great food and live entertainment have introduced many people to the pleasure of celebrating life with food and wine.