Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hermann, Missouri – A German Village in the USA

Santa Cruz Wine Grapes CA Taken by the Fun Tour Guru

Prestigious Wine Country, Community Events, Bike and Hiking Trails


Hermann, Missouri is a popular tourist attraction and Rhine Village that connects people to the old world of Germany with wine, shopping, bike trails, and other unique events. Hermann, in fact, is where I had my very first wine country experience. I attended Maifest along the beautiful bluffs of the Missouri River, and to this day, I am fascinated by the common links between California, Missouri, and Germany

It is not uncommon to spot the German influence in many American towns. A tourist takes the train to visit Hermann, Missouri, located along the river bluffs of the sprawling countryside. It might be the geography, the famous wine trail, or the historic inns, which reminisce of staying in a village by the Rhine, that attract visitors. There are many opportunities to keep active in Hermann. Germans love to celebrate with fun events, a tradition true to Hermann.

Vineyards on bluffs of Missouri River at OakGlenn Winery Courtesy of OakGlenn Winery
Hermann is located 3 hours east of Kansas City; 1.5 hours west of St. Louis, with convenient access by Amtrak railroad or car; or 4 hours northeast of Branson by car.

The town’s celebratory spring event is the Hermann Maifest, held annually on the third weekend in May. Maifest features a wine and bier garten, German entertainment, a parade, crafts, and a quilt show. This is an event where people come to make lasting memories.

Hermann, Missouri Courtesy of Visit Hermann Tourism
 The other popular event in Hermann is Oktoberfest, which is active every weekend in October. Be sure to see the Wine Country Art and Talks held with local artists on the third weekend.

Missouri Wine Country   

Hermann has one of the oldest wine trails in the U.S. In 1830, German settlers from Philadelphia grew grapevines on the rugged hills “out west” next to the river, which were not good for any other crops. This was only the beginning of the town’s long, prosperous wine history.
Missouri Routes Courtesy of MO Wine Trails
Wine enthusiasts can recall internationally-renowned horticulturist George Hussmann, a founding father of the American wine industry. Hussmann owned the property where OakGlenn Winery is today, and once called it “Schau-ins-land” (meaning “look into the country”). Today visitors may see a 16-panel display of George Hussmann’s life in the Pavilion.

Story of George Hussmann 

Young George Hussmann - Founding Father American Wine Industry - Picture Courtesy of OakGlenn Winery

Hussmann was born in Meyenburg, Germany, a village near the North Sea in 1827, and grew up in Hermann. He was instrumental in getting the Missouri grape growers to provide phylloxera-resistant rootstock to France during a critical period, and created hybrids of vines that could tolerate the hot, humid summers and freezing winters of Missouri at his nursery in the 1860s. Hussmann and state entomologist Charles V. Riley worked together to create this solution for France. 
Hussmann penned The Cultivation of the Native Grape and the Manufacture of American Wines in 1866, and was the first Professor of Pomology at the University of Missouri, where three of his six children went to school. Hussmann was also sent as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention and drafted “An Ordinance Abolishing Slavery in Missouri” shortly after the Civil War.

Original Vines OakGlenn Winery, Missouri By Photographer Karl Kischkel
 In 1879, James Simonton, the new owner of Huichica Rancho, hired Professor of Viticulture George Hussmann to manage his Talcoa Vineyards and battle phylloxera. This is where he relocated and eventually developed the resistant rootstock that helped save the Napa Valley wine industry.

With 75 years of notable work achievements in the wine industry, two monuments stand today in Montpelier, France in honor of Missouri grape growers for saving the French wine industry. Hussmann is buried with his wife in Napa Valley, CA

Two Popular Wineries on the Missouri Wine Trail

OakGlenn Winery            (573) 486-5057  
With exhilarating countryside views, OakGlenn was owned by George Hussmann, German vintner and horticulturist. Visitors enjoy the 16-panel display of his life story.

Stone Hill Winery             (573) 486-2221  
This winery and restaurant is one of the most visited attractions in Hermann, complete with tours, underground cellars, and a fascinating gift shop. 

Bike Riding and Hiking Trails Near Hermann  

The popular Katy Trail is a 225-mile “rails to trails”project that follows Lewis and Clark’s path up the Missouri River. The trail is flat and scenic, and features organized kid-friendly bike rides.

Attractions for Everyone 

History, Antique Shopping, and Art 

  • Deutschheim State Historic Site is full of German culture and tradition, and showcases those who first settled in Missouri in the 1800s.    (573) 486-2200
  • Kunstlerhaus Art Gallery & Pottery features the works of Hermann, Missouri artists.       (573) 486-2303
  • Buy German sausages from the Swiss Meat Market.       (573) 486 2086

Wilkommen to Hermann, Missouri’s prestigious Rhine Village with the oldest wine country trail in the U.S., offers biking and hiking trails, antique shopping, and historic Bed and Breakfasts.

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Connecting the links of our wine regions ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Editor’s Note:  Thank you to the following organizations for background information. Grapes Picture is the property of Fun Tour Guru, the remaining credits is as follows.  Please contact for permission to use. 

This is an updated of the previous written article by Donna West at in 2009. It is not a sponsored post.

Picture Credits go to Photographer - Karl Kischkel and  OakGlenn Winery

Visit Herman MO
Hermann, Missouri

Hermann Wine Trail

[ Ad ] Copy of George Hussmann Book
The Cultivation of the Native Grape and the Manufacture of American Wines


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