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Tank Trip: Things to do in Hermann, Missouri

Cellar tour at Stone Hill Winery Visitors tour the cellars at Stone Hill Winery. | Photo courtesy Stone Hill Winery

Foodies have plenty to explore in Hermann, where the roots of Missouri’s wine-making heritage run deep. After touring charming wineries in and around the city and purchasing house-made sausages to grill at home, you’ll be glad you packed an empty cooler for this quick trip.

What to do in Hermann

Start with a tour of Stone Hill Winery, the state’s oldest, celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Here you’ll see oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks in vaulted underground cellars that during Prohibition were converted to a place to grow mushrooms. Jim and Betty Held reopened the winery in 1965 and were instrumental in the rebirth of Missouri’s wine industry, which today features more than 125 wineries. Sample some of Stone Hill’s award winners after the tour, including Cross J Norton, recognized last year by the American Wine Society as the country’s best native wine.

Just 2 miles outside the town’s center, Adam Puchta Winery dates to 1855 and claims to be the nation’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. During Prohibition, the family made the allowed 200 gallons of wine per year for personal use. Today, the sixth and seventh generations of winemakers produce award-winning vintages, such as Jazz Berry, a raspberry dessert wine honored in the 2021 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.

Adam Puchta is among 7 wineries along the Hermann Wine Trail, which organizes several events during the year. Next up: Berries & BarBQ Wine Trail in July, followed by the popular Holiday Fare Wine Trail in November and the Say Cheese Wine Trail in December. (Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.)

Deutschheim State Historic Site

Explore the daily life of German immigrants at Deutschheim State Historic Site. | Photo courtesy

Get a taste of the town’s intriguing history at Deutschheim State Historic Site, which preserves 5 structures that showcase the daily life and traditions of German immigrants. Guided tours include the 1840 Pommer House, one of Hermann’s oldest surviving buildings, and the 1842 Strehly House, where one of the first German-language newspapers west of St. Louis was produced.

Hermann Farm Museum black Shires horses

Tours of Hermann Farm Museum showcase the property’s historic structures, agricultural heritage, and its majestic black Shire horses. | Photo courtesy Visit Hermann

Don’t miss the Hermann Farm Museum, a 200-acre attraction that interprets 19th-century agriculture in Missouri with several weekend tour options, including the chance to get up close to the farm’s black Shire horses. You can also tour the 1847 Teubner-Husmann house to learn about the people who lived there, particularly George Husmann—considered the father of viticulture in Missouri—and sample spirits including bourbon and rye after catching a behind-the-scenes look at the Black Shire Distillery.

You may also like: Exploring Midwestern vineyards and wine trails

Where to shop in Hermann

Where there’s wine, there’s wurst, and you’ll find delicious sausages at Swiss Meat & Sausage Company about 12 miles south of Hermann in the village of Swiss.

The Fancy Pheasant

At The Fancy Pheasant, a modern-day general store, shop for wine, beer, snacks, and gifts. | Photo courtesy The Fancy Pheasant

Pick up snacks, spirits, and gifts at The Fancy Pheasant back in Hermann, and if you want something sweet for later, stop by Sugar Momma’s for a house-made pie and other treats.

Where to eat in Hermann

The Hermann Wurst Haus serves a hearty breakfast on weekends, in addition to its daily deli menu featuring top-notch German sausages.

Try the brisket grilled cheese—and a small-batch bourbon—at Fernweh Distilling Company, open Thursday through Sunday.

Savor the German Trio at Stone Hill Winery’s Vintage Restaurant: schweineschnitzel, sauerbraten, and sausage.

You may also like: Inviting small towns and cities to visit

Where to stay in Hermann

Hermann Hill

Fall colors paint the hillsides around Hermann Hill, which has a collection of 20 suites and cottages. | Photo courtesy Visit Hermann

Hermann’s 500-plus guest rooms include a host of bed-and-breakfast inns. Pampering prevails in Hermann Hill’s 20 premium suites and cottages. Rates start at $311.

The Soda Pop Suite is one of 26 themed rooms at Hermann Crown Suites. Rates start at $119.

You may also like: Unique lodgings for out-of-the-ordinary stays

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