The photograph above shows a Concord grape cluster in its infancy. The grape berries above are about the size of pinheads by early June. The vines form buds in March and undergo bud break later in spring. Those buds form the new growth of the vine's canes, leaves, and feathery clusters. The grapes will continue to grow larger, juicier, and sweeter as the season progresses until harvest time in September.
Note that the Concord grapes have green skin at this time. Around mid-July the grape skins will develop purplish-red coloration in response to sun exposure. This changing of color is called veraison, a French terms that refers to the onset of grapes ripening and developing color. Steady sunshine and hot dry weather is preferred throughout summer until harvest so that the grape skins attain a deep rich color (for a rich wine color) and sweet juice that aids fermentation.
Guests who take our winery and wine cave tours during spring through early fall before harvest often have the opportunity to take a vineyard stroll, if the weather is suitable. The vineyard visit enables tour guests to see the current state of grape development and learn about work we're doing in the vineyards at each stage of the season. Visit the home page of the website or our Facebook page to book tickets for an upcoming tour.
Under The Stars Wine Dinner - Limited seating.
Thursday, May 20, 6-9 pm
Advance reservations may be placed by calling 816-500-6465.
Fence Stile's popular wine dinner series continues with Under The Stars, an outdoor dinner and drinks experience on the spacious flagstone patio. Wine dinners are $65 per person with limited seating to ensure personalized experience and social distancing. Fence Stile's owner-winemaker Shriti Plimpton hosts the multi-course wine dinners prepared by chef Pete Dulin.
The April wine dinner sold out! RSVP today!
Amuse bouche: Chilled coconut and corn soup
Paired with seasonal cocktail
First course: Grilled asparagus, pick of the garden, toasted almonds, polenta with roasted garlic and Gruyere cheese, and lemon-mushroom Velouté sauce
Paired with Seyval
Second course: Mushroom-lentil Pâté de Campagne (vegetarian country pate), roasted beets and carrots, French farm bread and herb butter
Paired with Chambourcin
Third course: Raspberry-mango semifreddo with peach compote
Paired with Baciami (spring-summer seasonal wine debut)
Thursday, June 17, 6-9 pm - Dinner Under the Stars (only a few seats left)
Partner Profile is a series of blog posts that highlight retailers, restaurants, and other partners that carry Fence Stile wines. The Pairing Crossroads Wine & Grocer is a unique bar, specialty grocer, liquor store, and charcuterie-themed restaurant under one roof. Owners Jeff Jones and Mat Adkins, a lifelong citizen of Kansas City, opened The Pairing in February of 2020 in the Crossroads Arts District.
Describing the concept for The Pairing, Adkins says, "Whether you’re looking to have a drink at our bar or just grab a six-pack on your way home from work we have a little something for everyone."
Adkins always knew he eventually wanted to have a place of his own. "After years of working in the business, I met my now business partner Jeff Jones and that’s when things really started to become a reality," Adkins says. "Ultimately, I just wanted something unique like this city had never really seen before. I’m really proud of what we’ve put together here at The Pairing."
The Pairing carries a diverse selection of wine as well as craft beer and spirits, especially whiskey. "We don’t have the largest selection in town but we most certainly have one if the most unique," Adkins says. "You have your traditional liquor stores and then there’s your specialty shops like Cellar Rat, Big Mood, or say Bier Station. I’d like to think we’re sort of a hybrid of all those."
The shop carries a large selection of natural wines, including Fence Stile's piquette. Their selection also ranges from skin-contact "orange" wines like Fence Stile's Late Harvest Tramonto to conventional wines for any occasion. Adkins says, "We carry mostly unique brands you won’t find in the grocery store markets."
Featuring Fence Stile's wines at The Pairing fits with their retail philosophy. "We put a big emphasis on local products at The Pairing," Adkins says. "Local wine can be tricky though so we had to be more selective in that category. Simply put, Fence Stile was just a good fit for our concept."
The Pairing contributes to the diverse, locally-owned community of bars and restaurants in Kansas City. "I’m lucky to be a small piece of that scene now," Adkins says. "Whenever possible we like to focus on brands that are still independently owned, the mom and pop producers of the world. We also love supporting our local community whenever possible whether that be providing a venue for local music, art space for artists, or cross promotion with other local companies and brands. At the end of the day the most important thing is community and doing what we can to continue to enhance the Crossroads Arts District."
Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery is proud to partner with and support like-minded local businesses. Drop by to view their selection and pick up a bottle or two. They carry cheese, chocolates, and many other foods, including vegan and vegetarian specialties. You can also give them a call to request a specific Fence Stile wine.
The Pairing, 1615 Oak St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, MO. 816-882-2751, pairingkc.com
Wine Cave Clearance Sale - Save in January
Fence Stile is clearing wine from the wine caves to make room for more bottled wine! During the Welcome to 2021 Wine Sale from January 8-10, 2021, only, save 21-percent on a case of wine. Selected cave clearance wines only, mix-and-match. No other discounts apply. Wines available for the sale include Reserve Vidal Blanc, Seyval, KAIscape, Becca's Blend, Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, Sejour, and Piquette.
More savings are available during the Cave Clearance Sale for the remaining weekends (Thursday-Sunday) in January. During these weekends, cases of select wines (12 bottles or more, mix-and-match) from the wine caves will be available at a 15% discount (instead of 10%). Wine club members receive a 20% discount off cases of clearance wines. No other discounts apply.
2020 proved to be a year unlike any other for Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery. After celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2019, who knew that the winery would face one of its most challenging years in business?
We thank you, our guests, long-time friends, first-time visitors, wine club members and partners. You visited, supported us, bought wine and food, attended wine dinners, shopped online, shipped wine, helped with harvest, and showed up throughout an atypical year. Support local, shop local, drink local – these slogans mean little without action. Thank you for being there. As this year draws to a close, we take a moment to look back at our accomplishments and work completed before charging into 2021.
Becca (pictured on the far right), the mostly-retired winery dog, turned 14 years-old on February 20, 2020. She was just a wee goldendoodle pup who got her paws muddy when the first vines were planted in 2006 at Fence Stile. Kai (on the left) celebrated her third birthday on March 3rd. Her role as winery dog was on “paws” for most of 2020, but she hopes to return when viable sometime in 2021.
We celebrated Leap Day, February 29, with a Library Wine Tasting and other special events. Fence Stile debuted its Leap Year Time Capsule, a specially-adapted wine barrel where guests and the Fence Stile team added items. The barrel will be opened again in 2024 at the next Leap Day.
We celebrated our 11th anniversary in April 2020 virtually and by sharing photo submissions of past visits to Fence Stile from our guests and friends.
Year of the Pandemic
People and businesses learned to adapt to the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic during the long stretch of 2020. The year was challenging for everyone. Fence Stile was no exception. We remained resourceful, flexible and determined to operate despite the inevitable slowdown in traffic. Fence Stile remained open as a business throughout the year, changing our service and safety protocols to protect the well-being of our guests and team. During spring, we temporarily closed the Tasting Room and served guests through our walk-up window. Guests were able to enjoy wine and food on the spacious patio during mild spring weather. We launched a Salute the Heroes initiative in April to recognize the tremendous work so many have done to help the public and assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. By summer, we opened the Tasting Room with limited capacity and protocols in place.
We reduced the size of our tours to 10 people or less, kept a log for contact tracing, maintained socially-distant spacing between tables, and managed occupancy and group sizes. We offered virtual wine tasting, virtual Wine Wednesday interviews with guests from the wine and food industry, and Zoom-based happy hours! Wearing masks and gloves and continuous cleaning became second nature for our team while upholding high standards of guest service and hospitality. We look forward to seeing everyone’s smile in 2021!
We acquired five new oak barrels and three J. Rieger & Co. bourbon whiskey barrels to expand our barrel-aging program. We can’t share what’s in the works yet, but we’ll have some intriguing red wine variants, white wine and bourbon whiskey barrel-aged wines developing for release in 2021-2022.
Next year we will resume barrel-aged wine tasting with winemaker Shriti Plimpton. Events will be posted throughout 2021 on our website, Facebook page and Local Wine Events. Tour guests will taste selected samples of barrel-aged wine and port drawn from the barrel in our wine cave. Our winemaker will present a guided tasting with notes on the craft behind the barrel-aging process.
We bottled quite a few wines from past vintages that were released in 2020. Check out the releases below.
This year we released brand new wines and new vintages of Fence Stile classics. In February 2020, we debuted 2019 Chambourcin Piquette, the first Missouri-made piquette (above, left) produced and released in the state. Read more about this lightly effervescent, unfiltered, all-natural piquette in our blog and in Feast magazine.
We also released the 2018 vintage of Reserve Chambourcin which hasn’t appeared on the wine list for nearly two years. We only produce Reserve Chambourcin and Reserve Vidal Blanc in years when we have superior quality fruit from harvest. In other words, we don’t make vintages of these wines every year. Winemaker Shriti Plimpton determines during the harvest crush if the qualities – flavor, color, aroma, tannin – of the grapes and juice is fine enough to reserve a small quantity and craft these wines. After careful barrel-aging, the 2018 Reserve Chambourcin was ready for release. The wine embodies Fence Stile’s focus on producing quality vs. quantity as a craft Missouri winery.
Several new vintages on the wine list include Fire Pit Red, a dry Norton-Chambourcin blend, semi-dry white Becca’s Blend, semi-sweet Vignoles, and KaiScape, a crisp citrusy off-dry blend of Vidal Blanc and Seyval. We also updated the label for KaiScape to feature winery dog Kai. The current vintage of Loft Red features a slightly deeper color, berry-forward flavor, and smoother finish than its predecessor. Our latest bottled French-style dry rosé, remmuS, exhibits the soft pink tint of cherry blossoms, a hint of strawberry flavor, and a crisp finish.
As part of our craft wine focus, we released a small batch of six cases of 2019 Cabernet Dore (above, middle) produced in the orange wine, or skin-contact, style. This release sold out within days. Read more about this unique wine and estate grape on our blog.
Parliamo, a sweet winter spice white wine, and Sweet Moments, a semi-sweet rosé with hints of strawberry and cotton candy, were new end-of-year additions (above, right) to the sweet side of our wine list. We expanded our specialty dessert wine list to include 2014 Deliciar, a Vidal Blanc white port-style wine, 2016 Viagem, a port-style wine made with Chambourcin, and a new vintage of Ishq, a late harvest Vidal Blanc.
Wine Cocktails and Wine Sangrias
We developed a seasonal series of wine cocktails that proved popular and are still available (while supplies last), including our Apple Wine Whiskey cocktail, Chocolate Cherry Vodka Wine cocktail, and Blackberry Cinnamon Vodka Wine cocktail. Our popular bottle wine sangrias flew out the door. The sangrias continue to be available by the glass or carafe in our Tasting Room, and by the bottle for to-go sales through March 2021. Our winter sangria is Spiced Apple. Look for the return of seasonal sangrias like Guava and Harvest Blackberry Lemon during warm weather months.
We launched our successful wine dinner series that sold out for nearly every event. Guests dined on the patio with socially-distanced tables for the summer and early fall Under The Stars events. We continued with Hearth and Vine-themed wine dinners in the Tasting Room during cooler fall weather. We will resume the wine dinners in March 2021.
2021 Wine Dinner Schedule
Guests visiting the winery this year may have noticed the shiny solar panels installed on the roofs of the Tasting Room building and vintage building. Installed in early 2020, the panels are another investment in sustainable operations at Fence Stile that reduces energy costs and our carbon footprint.
Fence Stile also purchased a Calderoni machine (or harrow) for use in the vineyards. The harrow operates similar to a tiller except the blades rotate horizontally like a helicopter. The harrow gently and carefully tills soil along the rows of grapevines. Breaking up the soil enables more moisture and minerals from rainfall to reach the vine’s root structure. We’re also better able to manage weed control (reducing competition with the vine’s roots) with a long-term more sustainable approach not dependent on herbicides.
We launched a partnership with New Roots for Refugees to operate as a community-supported agriculture (CSA) pickup for their weekly fresh farm produce subscriptions. Nearly a dozen guests and subscribers receive fresh produce and herbs during the summer and fall season.
We added new retail distribution partners in 2020 that carried our wine on their restaurant/bar menu and/or stocked us in their shop. Those relationships included Wind Shift Brewing, Affare, The Antler Room, The Pairing, The Campground, Buffalo State Pizza Company, Fox and Pearl, Nimble Brewing, Crane Brewing, Inn at Crescent Lake (under its new ownership), Upriver Urban Exchange, Bubbles Wine & Spirits, and Made in Kansas City’s new Summit Fair store in Lee’s Summit.
Fence Stile also collaborated with several local breweries, who used fresh juice and grape pomace from the 2020 harvest in limited-release beers at Strange Days Brewing in Kansas City’s River Market and Diametric Brewing in Lee’s Summit. We also co-hosted Grain and Grape, a Fence Stile Wine, Beer and Food Pairing at Boulevard Brewing's Beer Hall.
The Elms Hotel & Spa partnered with Fence Stile as a local source for natural ingredients used in its Vino-Perfect Body Treatment at the historic hotel this past spring. We also hosted a Winery Comedy Tour show on our patio this past summer. In October, we began selling local honey from Full Moon Farm based in Lawson, MO, and produced by wine club members Steve and LeAnn Pogue and their family.
Once Chambourcin harvest is complete in late September, most of the grapes are weighed, de-stemmed, crushed, and pumped into a stainless steel tank. We also added some grape clusters with whole berries. Yeast is added to the must to initiate the process of fermentation. Grape must refers to freshly crushed grape juice, pulp, stems, skins, and seeds. Fermentation spans roughly 10-14 days as the yeast feeds on natural sugars in the must, produces alcohol as a by-product, and transforms juice into wine.
The winemaker's work continues with punch-down of the must during fermentation. As the photos below and above indicate, solids in the must rise to the top of the tank and form a cap above the liquid. Fence Stile's winemaker-owner Shriti Plimpton "punches down" the cap daily using a metal tool called a punchdown that resembles an over-sized potato masher. She punches down each tank of red wine during the two-week fermentation period. The purpose of the punch-down is to break up the cap and submerge it, allowing wine to better extract color, tannins, flavor and aromas from the grape solids.
Skins, seeds, and even stems are included in the must for two reasons. First, the juice extracts color from the Chambourcin grape skin to yield a wine with a deeper hue. As the photos indicate, the 2020 harvest produced grape juice with a vibrant purple color that looks promising for the wine's appearance. Second, the skins, seeds, and stems contain tannins which adds structure to wine. Tannin, a natural substance found in plants, contributes slight bitterness or astringent flavor, and can leave a sensation of dryness on the tongue. Tannin is also a natural antioxidant which protects the wine from bacteria. Red wines with a higher presence of tannin often have a smooth texture and grow more complex as they age. Tannin is present in oak so wines aged in an oak barrel tend to accumulate more tannin.
Fermentation and punch-down began within a day or so after the grapes were picked and crushed in the fall. Afterward, the 2020 Chambourcin was pressed to separate the wine from the must. The wine was split into small batches and transferred into barrels for aging. We have a mix of barrels with free-run wine and pressed wine, allowing us to blend barreled wines when the winemaker determines the wines have reached that stage. For a second year in a row, we've retained the Chambourcin pomace (skins, seeds and stems remaining) and produced piquette (read more about our 2019 piquette here). The 2020 piquette has been bottled and now ages in our wine cave near the recently-barreled 2020 Chambourcin.
Fence Stile's selection of red, wine, rosé and sparkling wines offer many options to pair wine with food for holiday get-togethers and special occasions. The old adage of pairing red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat and fish is an oft-cited rule of thumb. However, our wines may be paired with a wide variety of foods - appetizers, cheeses, meat, fish, vegetable-based dishes and even dessert. Follow our suggested pairings for ideas as you plan and prepare food for the holidays or any meal at home.
Loft Red - A light semi-dry red that pairs well with casual foods like pizza, burgers, short ribs, and barbecue, or when nibbling on Brie and fresh berries. Not in the mood to cook? Try pairing Loft Red with pork- or beef-based takeout Chinese and Thai noodle dishes.
Chambourcin - A dry red with an oaky presence and hints of vanilla and baking spice. Pour this wine with grilled steak, mushrooms, roasted or braised meats, roasted root vegetables with a red wine sauce, and pasta with red sauce. From prime rib to pork loin, Chambourcin will please the palate of most dry red wine fans who enjoy a touch of oakiness.
Backpack Red - A dry blend of Chambourcin and Norton with light oak and notes of cherry and spice. Mild tannin. Pair with lamb, pasta with ragu sauce, ratatouille, a hearty vegetable stew, grilled salmon, and fowl like roasted turkey, duck with cherry sauce or roasted goose. For vegetarian dishes, try it with empanadas stuffed with spiced potato and caramelized onion, eggplant grilled or sauteed with a savory herb tomato sauce or garlicky soy sauce glaze, or a savory root vegetable casserole with mushroom gravy. Nosh on savory cheeses, crackers and charcuterie with a glass of Backpack.
Fire Pit Red - A dry, bold yet smooth blend of Chambourcin and Norton. Chocolate aroma leads to notes of cherry and kiss of vanilla with a slight smokiness and smooth finish. Pair with roasted or grilled vegetables served with lentils, grilled meats and sausages, chicken mole, chipotle-rubbed pork loin, and game meat with a cherry- or berry-based wine sauce. Roast acorn, kabocha or butternut squash, fill the roasted halves with seasoned black beans, caramelized onion, and diced roasted jalapeno, and top with shredded cheese. Enjoy with a glass of Fire Pit Red!
NorCyana - We're sold out of this Norton wine aged in a bourbon whiskey barrel. If you have any at home, pair it with grilled or roasted meat, fresh cherries or a cherry sauce with game meat, pasta with fire-roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic, herb marinated portobello caps topped with blue cheese or cheddar cheese, venison, or dark chocolate in dessert.
Reserve Chambourcin - The vibrant purple hue of this remarkable dry red catches the eye. Intense plum and black cherry notes sing out. Smooth and rick, an initial wave of oaky tannin leads top notes of sweet tobacco and peppery herbs followed by a long dry finish. Treat guests and yourself to this premium red and dine on prime rib, burnt ends served with a fruity barbecue sauce, grilled steak with blue cheese or herb compound butter, rosemary-rubbed roasted pork loin with plum-cherry compote, Chinese roast duck with plum sauce, beef, cheese or vegetable enchiladas with a fruity, intense sauce, or berry cobbler drizzled with chocolate sauce.
57 Red - A magnificent blend of California and Missouri wine grapes. Aromas of blueberry, plum and blackberries precede notes of toasted oak, violets, vanilla and tobacco. Savor this wine after dinner with a plate of firm robust cheese. Go big with a porterhouse steak, twice-baked sweet potatoes topped with pomegranate and walnuts, or your favorite red sauce-based lasagna with garlic bread.
Sweet Enchantment - Pair this sweet Concord wine with cheddar, aged cheeses and candied nuts for an appetizer. For dinner, enjoy Sweet Enchantment with pork chops and a jalapeno jelly glaze, barbecue, or spicy seafood. Our Concord wine has a classic jelly flavor that complements peanut butter and chocolate for dessert, or try it with fall-spiced poached pears and chocolate truffles.
WHITES AND ROSÉ
57 White - Our premium white sings with the spirit of California wine country and the heart of Missouri vineyards. Complex and layered, swirl the glass of 57 White and encounter notes of green apple, passion fruit and melon balanced with vanilla and a light oaky spice. Break out a bottle for your best friends and favorite family members as the gathering begins. Pair with charcuterie, light soft cheeses, white fish, roast chicken, turkey with gravy, rosemary pork loin with roasted garlic aioli, chicken spiedini, or even rich cheese and spinach enchiladas.
Reserve Vidal Blanc - A clean refreshing dry white that easily marries with light creamy cheeses and herb crackers for starters. For a light course, enjoy Reserve Vidal Blanc with fresh pear sliced on a spinach salad with a lemon-herb dressing. The balance of acidity will hold up to light fare like roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, white fish, and sauteed Brussel sprouts with toasted almonds.
Seyval - Lightly oaked with hints of vanilla and spice and a citrus finish, consider enjoying a glass with fresh oysters, steamed shellfish, or crab legs with clarified butter and a splash of fresh lemon juice. Also pairs with soft cheeses, delicate white fish, chicken, turkey, pasta with a light creamy white sauce, or a winter citrus salad.
Beccas Blend - Semi-dry blend of Vidal Blanc and Seyval with green apple and melon notes, medium body, and initial whisper of sweetness with a crisp short finish. During the holidays, pair this wine with Waldorf salad, selections from a fresh fruit platter, fruit kabobs, a spinach and goat cheese tart, or baked ham. Not too dry and not too sweet, Beccas Blend is a perfect wine to bring to a party, gift to the host, and get the festivities started.
KAIscape - An off-dry blend of Vidal Blanc and Seyval. More crisp and tart than Beccas Blend. Drink this while noshing on a cheese platter, charcuterie, mixed nuts, olives, and fresh vegetables from the crudités platter dunked in ranch dressing.
Vignoles - Semisweet white wine with pineapple, melon and green apple notes in the forefront. Initial sweetness is followed by a touch of acidity to revive the palate. Pairs extremely well with spicy dishes from Mexico, Thailand, India and China. Would also work with baked ham and pineapple, spicy shrimp, a turkey sandwich with orange marmalade, orange-cranberry dressing, or any dish you'd pair with a German Riesling.
Vidal Blanc - Sweet but not cloying, this wine is surprisingly versatile. Pair with bold, rich, tangy cheese like Roquefort or blue cheese, smoked nuts, or appetizers with a dash of heat. Break out the pepper jelly, pour it over soft cream cheese or warm Brie, dig in with a cracker and wash it down with Vidal Blanc. Honey, caramel, and toffee flavors in this wine make it a natural pairing with pecan pie, peanut brittle, apple cinnamon pie and tarts, sweet-and-spicy candied nuts, tiramisu and coffee-flavored desserts.
remmuS - Our French-style dry rosé is ideal to enjoy during warm weather. Don't overlook the versatility of remmuS for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday meals, where tables are loaded with a wide array of savory and sweet dishes. remmuS is crisp and clean, bearing hints of cherry and strawberry. It's perfect with that charcuterie platter you've been showing off on Instagram, fresh strawberries and kiwi, or a slice of creamy Brie. Dry rosé offers balance to the sweetness of steamed shrimp and crab legs. The crispness of remmuS can cut through smoky pulled pork and barbecue ribs with savory sauce on the side. Or, just toast friends and family with this easy sipper while waiting for food to arrive on the table.
SPARKLING, DESSERT AND SPECIALTY WINES
Captivation - A dry sparkling white wine with peach and floral aromas and citrus and melon flavors. As a general rule of thumb, pair sparkling wines and Champagne with foods that are fried and/or rich. The effervescence cuts through the fried flavor and richness. Pair with fried appetizers, crab rangoon, fried shrimp, or loaded mac-and-cheese topped with crispy fried onions. Or simply savor the delightful bubbles before or after a meal.
Sejour - Sweet and sparkling, this rosé works as a counterpoint to spicy charcuterie, spicy shrimp, short ribs with spicy-savory barbecue sauce, and Szechuan chicken. Nibble on chocolate-covered strawberries or dessert crostini (sweet cream cheese with fresh raspberries atop toasted baguette slices) with this wine.
Enticement - Sweet with a gold hue, Enticement kicks in with delicate notes of orange blossom and crisp, clean fruitiness. Enjoy with angel food cake topped with poached apples and pears and orange zest, or wash down cream puffs with this sparkler. For a savory bite, try a leftover sliced ham or turkey sandwich with spicy mustard on Texas toast.
Piquette - A dry sparkling beverage made from the secondary fermentation of Chambourcin grape pomace. Effervescent with crisp tart cranberry, pomegranate and spicy notes. Light and lively with similarities to a sparkling rose, our piquette is the first produced in Missouri. Try it with a plate of baked ham, strawberries, cranberry dressing, candied nuts, poached pears in a red wine syrup, or poached shrimp.
ISHQ (pronounced Ishk, means "love" in Persian) - Super concentrated sweetness with a full, syrupy body. Made from late harvest Vidal Blanc grapes that dance with the taste of golden raisins. Sip on this with sweet or savory bread pudding, ginger spice cookies, or fresh figs.
Tramonto - A late harvest Vidal Blanc skin-contact wine that smells sweet, but is distinctly dry and complex. The nose has notes of beeswax, raw almonds, and orange rind. Its bold taste unfolds with waves of fig, dried orange peel, almonds, and nuttiness with a long finish. Take your time to savor this after dinner with a handful of roasted chestnuts, chocolate-covered toasted almonds, or old-fashioned pumpkin pie. This unique wine works with savory dishes, too. Try it with a creamy pumpkin bisque topped with toasted slivered almonds, roasted squash drizzled with brown butter, ravioli stuffed with squash and sage, or Chinese roast duck.
Now that harvest is complete, Fence Stile winemaker Shriti Plimpton oversees the fermentation process to transform grape juice into wine. Grapes from the vineyards, such as Cabernet Dore, have been picked, destemmed, and crushed. The methods to crush and press grapes for juice vary based on the volume of grapes, winemaker’s technique and intended goal for the wine.
Cabernet Dore, a variety planted in 2016 at Fence Stile, is a white wine grape. Its parentage includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Norton. Despite the abundance of red grape varieties in his lineage, Cabernet Dore mostly resembles Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
Lucian Dressel, founder of Davis Viticultural Research in California, wrote in Midwest Wine Press:
Cabernet Dore’s fruit, canes, leaves and growing habits (very upright) are virtually identical to Sauvignon Blanc. The wine itself is like a tamed down Sauvignon Blanc with all of the nice muscat -like characteristics but none in excess.
Fortunately however, Cabernet Dore’ has also inherited the cold resistance and disease resistance of Norton. It grows on its own roots, so it is phylloxera resistant.
The smaller yields of Cabernet Dore in 2019 and 2020 presented an opportunity for Shriti to experiment with the first two harvests of this grape at Fence Stile. The 2019 Cab Dore was harvested and crushed by hand. Typically, juice is separated from the skins, seeds and stems during the pressing stage. In this case, those solids from the must were combined with the juice during fermentation. This “orange wine” technique enabled the juice to have skin contact during fermentation. The result yielded a dry wine with an orange or peach hue instead of a straw gold or light gold color. Further, tannin was extracted by the juice from the skins, seeds and stem, adding a nutty, tannic component to the flavor profile. A small batch of six cases of 2019 Cabernet Dore wine (pictured above) were released in summer 2020 and quickly sold out.
Juice and must from the 2020 Cabernet Dore harvest has undergone fermentation (pictured above) as another small-batch craft wine. Carbon dioxide bubbled as the wine released gas and the yeast fed on natural sugar in the juice. These photos show Shriti pulling a sample from the tank to evaluate the color, flavor and aroma. Unfiltered at this stage, the wine has a cloudy appearance with a prominent pear aroma and creamy mouthfeel. This vintage of Cabernet Dore will continue to age and develop in the tank until Shriti determines it is ready to filter and bottle for a 2021 release. More winemaker’s notes will be published once the wine reaches its final form.
Virtual Wine Tasting
We offer virtual wine tasting events through Zoom for guests interested in exploring Fence Stile's wines from the comfort of home while maintaining social distancing. Order wine from Fence Stile and schedule a date/time for a wine tasting. We'll deliver your wine order to your home.
Fence Stile's owner-winemaker Shriti Plimpton and chef will guide you through a discussion of wines you select. We'll discuss sensory notes on flavor and aroma, share vineyard notes on the estate grapes, and explore wine-food pairings.
Call us at 816-500-6465 to learn more!
Self-guided Wine Tasting at Fence Stile
Fence Stile will offer wine tastings in a slightly different format in the Tasting Room until further notice. The changes are designed to minimize the duration and proximity of contact between our team members and guests for the sake of social distancing. Rather than conduct wine tastings at the bar, guests will be seated at a table. Guests select wines from our menu that they would like to taste. We'll pour the wines and bring them to your table along with a formatted guide with prompts to explore each wine's sensory (aroma, taste) notes, body, and other characteristics. It's a fun way to discuss and compare wine with others and discern which wines you enjoy best.
Call us at 816-500-6465 to schedule a wine tasting and table reservation. We will offer wine tastings for walk-up guests as well.
Wine by the bottle and glass are also available in the Tasting Room and patio.
Tasting Room Open - Service at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery
Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery's Tasting Room is now open.
We offer limited seating capacity under guidelines for social distancing and heightened sanitary measures to safeguard our guests and team. We will continue to offer curbside service and patio service that offers social distancing and safe practices.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this transition to reopen. Please exercise patience with our team as we take a careful approach that may result in service a bit slower than usual. We look forward to your visit.
Tasting Room Service
Advance reservations are highly recommended for a limited number of tables for seating. Call 816-500-6465 to RSVP with date, time, and number of people for your visit. Occupancy will be limited.
Patio, Cellar Garden, Deck, and Outdoor Service
Advance reservations are highly recommended for for seating at a limited number of tables. Call 816-500-6465 to RSVP with date, time, and number of people for your visit. Occupancy will be limited to maintain social distancing at tables and outdoor spaces. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on (as long as you practice social distancing between groups) and picnic or relax in designated areas.
Curbside Service and Patio Pickup
Call us at 816-500-6465 to place orders for wine and food. Let us know if you prefer curbside delivery or will pick up orders at our patio window.
Sangria To Go
Some exciting news! The state of Missouri has granted a temporary waiver through May 15, 2020, that enables Fence Stile to sell sangria to go, if accompanied by a food order. The patron must order and purchase a meal simultaneous with the liquor purchase. Starting this week, we are now offering panini (or chef special) and white wine sangria combos. Sangria flavors include our best-selling spiced apple, lemon blackberry, and tropical guava. The spiced apple sangria has hints of cinnamon and tastes like apple pie. The lemon blackberry uses a concentrate made from blackberries harvested from our berry patch last summer.
Call 816-500-6465 to order sangria and food for curbside pickup!!
Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery is launching a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share program in partnership with New Roots for Refugees.
For more than a decade, New Roots for Refugees has supported families from the refugee community in establishing their own farm businesses primarily selling through farmer’s markets, Farm Share, and wholesale to local restaurants. New Roots is a collaboration between Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Cultivate Kansas City.
How the Farm Share Works
The Farm Share program allows customers to invest in the New Roots farm and farmers by paying upfront for several weeks of vegetables throughout the season. For the Fence Stile Farm Share, we are taking enrollment for the following two seasons. We need at least 10 subscriptions for each season to make it viable for New Roots to launch this program with Fence Stile as a pickup location. You may select the early or late season, but it's even better if you pick BOTH seasons. You get one week free if you sign up for both seasons and enter the code VEGGIELOVER at checkout.
How to Sign Up
1) Go to the Farmigo site for New Roots. Select Fence Stile as the pickup location.
2) Select the Early Summer or Late Summer Vegetable Shares. If you sign up for BOTH seasons, you get one week free by entering the code VEGGIELOVER at checkout.
3) Select your payment plan.
4) Set up an account with Farmigo. This allows you to log in and make payments, receive New Roots' weekly newsletter, and purchase additional items through the farm store as available.
5) Select your payment method (check or debit/credit card) and pay your deposit.
6) Read the Farm Share Newsletter every week for updates, pick up your share weekly from Fence Stile, and enjoy the bounty!
What the Farm Share Includes
Early Summer Vegetable Share – May 20-July 30 – $23/week (+ tax)
Heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, various types of eggplant, okra, melons, cucumbers, onions, green onions, kohlrabi, green beans, mustard greens, summer squash, basil, mint, dill, potatoes, arugula, Swiss chard, purslane, kale, Burmese roselle, yard long beans and noodle beans, Asian cucumbers and edible gourds.
Late Summer Vegetable Share – Aug. 12-Oct. 22 – $23/week (+ tax
Lettuce mixes, arugula, kale, collards, swiss chard, cabbage, winter squashes, edible gourds, carrots, potatoes, radish, onions, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, Chinese celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, herbs (same as above, plus lemongrass), pea.
When Do I Get My Farm Share?
Farm share boxes can be picked up at Fence Stile on Friday (3-7 pm), Saturday (11 am-7 pm), or Sunday (11 am-5 pm). Farm Share boxes will be stored and kept cool in Fence Stile's wine cave until pickup. We recommend picking up ASAP for freshness. Call us at 816-500-6465 to schedule pickup and place orders for wine.
Farm Share Add-ons
Each week, Fence Stile will include notes and recipe ideas for suggested ways to use produce in your farm share. Once Fence Stile is able to harvest from our vegetable garden, we'll offer additional produce and goods for sale that can be added to your farm share. You may also purchase wine, house-made mustard, jam, jelly and other local goods from our pantry. We'll send an email newsletter to farm share participants with weekly specials.
Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery’s Salute the Heroes initiative recognizes the tremendous work so many have done to help the public and assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through April, Fence Stile is offering a 15-percent discount on bottles of wine to those in the following fields. Bring an ID badge or paystub with you at time of pickup. Any current Wine Club members working in these fields will receive a 20-percent discount on bottles of wine.
• First responders and healthcare - Medical professionals, eldercare, EMT, police, and firefighters
• Hospitality - Restaurant, bar, hotel/motel industry workers
• Service industry - Delivery drivers, sanitation, and grocery store workers
A portion of proceeds and all tips from these sales will be donated at the end of April to nonprofit organizations in need of support for their COVID-19 response. Please call 816-500-6465 to place an order and schedule carryout or curbside pickup. Wine selection available at fencestile.com.
In accordance with official guidelines, Fence Stile's Tasting Room will only be available for carryout and curbside pickup of wine orders through April 24th until further notice. We will not offer wine tasting, tours, or other services at this time. Here's how you may purchase Fence Stile wine. Every sale means a great deal to us.
• Please call us at 816-500-6465 to place orders by phone.
• Wine shipping is available via Vinoshipper.
•Purchase Fence Stile wine at these local retailers. These wine sales help us as well. Call to verify hours and wine availability, if you're seeking a favorite. Thanks for supporting local businesses.
The Pairing: Crossroads Wine & Grocer, 1615 Oak St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-882-2751, facebook.com/thepairingkc
Bubbles Wines & Spirits, 7411 N. Oak Tfwy., Kansas City, MO 64118, 816-436-8987, bubbleswineandspirits.com
Lukas Wine and Spirits Liberty, Highway 152 and Flintlock Rd., (Next to Best Buy, west of Liberty), 816-291-3322, www.lukaskc.com
Mike's Wine and Spirits KC - Westport, 1110 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO 64111, 816-561-3500, mikeskc.com
Whole Foods Market, 301 E. 51st St., Kansas City, MO 64112, 816-708-3700, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kansascity
Willow Spring Mercantile, 249 E. Broadway St., Excelsior Springs, MO 64024, 816-630-7467, shopthemercantile.com
Happy Hour, 19341 E. Highway 40, Independence, MO, 64055, 816-795-5335, happyhourinc.com
Dear friends of Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery,
We're adapting to quickly-changing conditions as federal and local announcements are made to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We continue to observe and follow precautionary measures with cleaning and handling food and beverages. Please note several key changes that significantly alter our services, and how you may continue to patronize Fence Stile as a small business.
Our Tasting Room will remain open with reduced hours until further notice. Current hours are Thursday: 3 pm - 7 pm, Friday: 3 pm - 7 pm, Saturday: 11 am - 7 pm, Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm.
Reservations / Guest Capacity
Fence Stile's spacious Tasting Room and patio enables guests to maintain a safe social distance, but we are adapting to new federal and local guidelines. All guests should make reservations by calling 816-500-6465.
We will limit guest capacity to 10 people each for tastings and seating in our Tasting Room. We will also manage seating capacity on the patio and other spaces. Please remain safe at home if you are in the high-risk population or feel ill for any reason. We want you to visit Fence Stile for years to come!
We will not take reservations by social media messages or email in order to have a streamlined process. We will manage attendance for the safety of patrons and our staff. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Winery and wine cave tours
Limited to 8 people. Save $5! Tour price has been reduced to $30/person. Tour dates and times are listed on the Fence Stile website and our Facebook page events. Please RSVP for a tour at 816-500-6465.
Wine Orders To Go / Online Purchases
Guests may continue purchasing Fence Stile wine in several ways.
Tasting Room Pickup: Guests may visit the Tasting Room to purchase bottles of wine. Please call or text 816-500-6465 ahead to order and purchase. We'll have it packaged and will schedule a pickup time.
Half-case Wine Special: Through April, Fence Stile offers a 10-percent discount on half-case wine orders (six bottles, may mix and match). Please call or text 816-500-6465 ahead to order and purchase wine. We will not take orders via social media messages or email. We'll have the order packaged and will schedule a pickup time for carryout or delivery to your vehicle. Also, Fence Stile will be happy to store your half-case order in our Wine Cave for future pickup. Take advantage of savings today.
Curbside Pickup: Guests may opt for curbside pickup of bottled wine orders. Please call or text 816-500-6465 ahead to order and purchase. We will not take orders via social media messages or email. We'll have the order packaged and will schedule a pickup time for delivery to your vehicle. Please call or text upon arrival. Tips are appreciated.
Wine orders may also be placed online via Vinoshipper for shipment.
Please purchase Fence Stile wine from local retailers. Here is our current list of retailers.
If your local liquor store doesn't carry Fence Stile wine, ask them to contact us at 816-500-6465 to place an order of your favorite wine. Small local businesses like ours also need your support. Thank you!
Gift cards are available for online purchase. Buy them now and gift to others as a thank you, birthday gift, or to treat yourself later this year.
Thank you in advance for your patience as everyone adapts to change. We continue to find the best means to serve our friends and guests. We are grateful for your support and the relationships we've built as we approach our 11th anniversary in April.
Take care of yourself and others. Sunny days are ahead. We'll see you soon.
Shriti and the Fence Stile team
Dear guests: We remain open during our regular operating hours: Thursday: 3-7 pm; Friday: 3-7 pm; Saturday: 11 am-7 pm; and Sunday: 11 am-5 pm. We will keep guests updated about changing hours, plans, and service as events develop.
We have a spacious Tasting Room and large outdoor patio so that visitors may gather in small groups and maintain social distance for the health and safety of themselves, others and our team.
We are open to hosting private groups outside of these hours by appointment. Also, we only book tours of no more than 8 guests for our winery and wine cave. Call us at 816-500-6465 to make a reservation.
As always, your health and safety is foremost as we provide hospitality.
The Elms Hotel & Spa now partners with Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery as a local source for natural ingredients used in its vinotherapy beauty treatments at The Elms.
Vino-Perfect Body Treatment (75 min. Treatment| $160): "Wine down" with this seasonal body treatment. Organic pomace (crushed grape skins, pulp & seeds) gives an invigorating exfoliating treatment to uncover gorgeous skin that feels soft, supple and renewed. Followed by a wine-infused mud that will slow signs of aging, detoxify and provide antioxidants to protect the skin. You will leave wanting a glass of 88 Red at The Elms, or pop over to the Tasting Room at Fence Stile after your pampering.
Contact The Elms at (816) 630-5500 to learn more about Vino-Perfect Body Treatment.
In Feast Magazine: Fence Stile Vineyards & Winery Has Produced the First Missouri-Made Piquette. Read about our Piquette Chambourcin that will be released on Feb. 29.
Piquette was commonly made by harvest workers in France, but the beverage dates back to ancient Roman times. Pomace refers to grape skins, seeds, and pulp left after pressing grapes for juice. Grape juice is used to make wine. Meanwhile, workers rehydrated and fermented pomace and pressed it again to yield a sparkling beverage (technically not wine since no juice is used) that is typically lower alcohol. Piquette is young, lively, fresh, and effervescent, easy-drinking and refreshing as a light, dry sipper.
Our Piquette Chambourcin is unfiltered to retain its body, color and subtle spice and tart notes from Chambourcin grape skins. Once poured, piquette has a hazy appearance. No sulfites or preservatives were used in production or bottling so Piquette Chambourcin is all natural.
Only about 20 wineries in the U.S. are currently making piquette, building on the growing interest in natural wine. While piquette from California, Oregon, Maryland, and other regions are available in limited markets, Fence Stile is the only winery in Missouri producing piquette to our knowledge.
We're excited to release Piquette Chambourcin and get feedback from our guests. As the weather warms, we think you'll enjoy this tasty sipper on our patio and in our Tasting Room.
Seasons greetings and happy holidays. As 2019 draws to a close and the New Year approaches, we took a look at the past year to take stock of what we've accomplished and experienced.
First and foremost, Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party in April, uniting with friends, wine club members, frequent guests, and the public. We added new Wine Xenos glassware and T-shirts, released new wines, and offered a drawing for a Fence Stile oak barrelhead. We also added new flute glassware for sparkling wine.
What does Wine Xenos mean? Xenos (zee-nohs, rhymes with fructose), is a Greek word that refers to a stranger or guest. When a stranger arrives, a host is xenial and treats them as a guest, extending hospitality to visitors. The spirit of xenos matches the welcoming motto of Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery. We like to say, “Good fences make good neighbors, a Fence Stile makes neighbors, good friends!”
Established in 2009, Fence Stile opened its doors in a modest 600 square-foot tasting room and winery that is located on the south side of the fire pit on the patio. Next door, the current modern tasting room, winery, and wine caves have been in operation since 2015. Over the past decade, we expanded the original six acres of vineyards, which were planted in 2007, to a full ten acres. Here's to the next ten years!
In April 2019, we released Tramonto as a late harvest dry Vidal Blanc craft wine. Read more about this small-batch wine. We also released 2018 NorCyana in July 2019, a Norton aged for 18 months in a bourbon whiskey oak barrel. This wine continues to be a strong seller, bearing characteristics of oak and bourbon in its aroma and taste. Learn more about Norcyana.
We also made some improvements and additions to the estate. We added a water fountain to the pond next to the Tasting Room, creating a water feature that lights up at night. The fountain has been stored for the winter so look for its return in the spring. Behind the scenes, we upgraded our chiller. This upgrade increases our ability to control the quality of wine with fewer additives.
Last spring, we added lighting and light poles (photos below) to the upper terrace of the patio. Other projects included updating the kitchen with new cabinets and tile to make it more functional and attractive. We also added garden beds to the south near the blackberry bushes. We are eager to begin planting in spring so the kitchen has fresh produce grown on the estate. Further, we installed light poles in the parking lot that will cast ample illumination. The light in the parking lot will be handy spring through fall, when we once again expand Tasting Room seasonal hours later in the day from March through November.
We hosted several wine and food events, including a Farm and Market multi-course rosé dinner (photos below) and a benefit dinner for the March of Dimes featuring a guest chef from The Savoy. We also collaborated with The Elms on two wine-pairing dinners to highlight our wines and the food of Elms chef Nash deJesus. We catered food for our growing Wine Club at members-only quarterly wine pickup parties, a birthday party, wedding, bachelorette party, and Vineyard LifeStile Market Day. We also hosted North Kansas City Hospital, Centurions, Lockton, and other groups for private events. Finally, our chef catered a three-course meal paired with Fence Stile wines at Inn on Crescent Lake in Excelsior Springs.
We also hosted an Acoustic Music Series in our Wine Cave over the summer, featuring artists Joy Zimmerman, Bob Morrison, and Laura Lisbeth. Each artist performed solo for an audience in a candle-lit setting with amazing acoustics that proved to be magical and inspiring.
We took a summer field trip with guests on the Excelsior Springs Chamber Trolley to Fair Share Farm in Kearney. Farmers Rebecca Graff and Tom Ruggieri led us on a tour of the farm and their fermentation operations. Speaking of the Chamber Trolley, we're pleased to work with them and other local/regional businesses as part of the Trolley Winery Tour. Visit Fence Stile and other wineries on a 2020 trolley tour!
This year we expanded our network of retail and restaurant partners. Additional locations where you may find Fence Stile wines include The Antler Room, Fox and Pearl, Wind Shift Brewing, Oak and Steel, The Pairing, Bubbles Wine and Spirits, Lukas Liquor - Northland, Happy Hour, and Inn on Crescent Lake. We appreciate our long-term partners including Willow Spring Mercantile, Made in Kansas City, Whole Foods, Grain to Glass, and, of course, The Elms. Check this page for the complete list of locations that carry select Fence Stile wines. Call ahead to determine which wines they carry, or request that they carry your favorite.
We also collaborated with Strange Days Brewing, located in Kansas City's River Market, to produce Over the Fence. This saison beer was made with Chambourcin grape must and pomace from the 2019 harvest. Brewer Damon Arredondo did a fantastic job to marry this Belgian farmhouse ale style with spicy notes to the fruity, peppery character of the wine.
We introduced the Vineyard LifeStile line of salt and sugar scrubs and house-made mustards, jams, and jellies. The VLS line includes notecards, scented candles, and coasters bearing images from Fence Stile wine labels. We plan to continue and expand this brand with sustainable products as we grow. Learn more about the Vineyard LifeStile.
Over the summer, we spent a day with Cat Neville, publisher of Feast magazine and producer of the tasteMAKERS video series. Cat and her crew shot video (photos below) of Vidal Blanc grapes grown on the estate and used to produce many wines of various styles at the winery. The video will be edited and used for an educational video series about Missouri wines and tourism underwritten by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. Fence Stile was honored to be one of four wineries chosen and featured in this video, due out in 2020.
Becca the goldendoodle (below left) went into semi-retirement. She enjoys lazy days at home and occasional visits to the Tasting Room. Meanwhile, Kai (below right) has been working in her second year as a part-time social greeter. She thinks it is mandatory that all guests pet her. Kai's actual job is to make the rounds and greet guests. We think she has a promising career ahead of her.
Last but not least, we made plenty of new friends this year. Thanks to all of the guests who visited Fence Stile via Barley Bus, KC Limo, and the Chamber Trolley. We also appreciate first-time guests who discovered Fence Stile on their travels, or visited from The Elms, Inn on Crescent Lake, and other local businesses. Of course, we value the support and friendship of our Wine Club members and long-time friends and partners.
Best wishes for the holiday season. We'll see you in 2020!
The end of the year draws near and a new year approaches. Winter months are a natural time to relax, reflect, and gather at Fence Stile Winery with loved ones and friends. Fence Stile's Tasting Room offers a cozy spacious place to eat, drink, and socialize for casual gatherings, parties, or simply for well-deserved down time. Here are ten reasons to plan a visit to Fence Stile. See you soon!
10: Relax by the fireplace in our Tasting Room! Sip on a glass of your favorite wine, sparkling wine, fall/winter sangria, or mulled wine. Grab a spot by the fire and let tensions melt away. We now have Fence Stile logo flute glasses to enhance your sparkling wine experience. If you do a sparkling wine tasting ($5) of Enticement, Captivation, and Sejour, and buy a bottle of sparkling wine afterward, then the tasting fee is waived. If you purchase three bottles of sparkling wine, we'll include a Fence Stile logo flute glass ($5 value). Guests may also purchase logo flute glasses ($5 per glass) for celebrating at home.
9: Live Music. Enjoy free live music by talented local artists on Saturday afternoon. Here's our upcoming lineup:
December 14, 2-4 pm - Chris Edwards
December 28, 2-4 pm - Brad Allen
January 4, 1-3 pm - Jim Thomas
January 18, 1-3 pm - Joy Zimmerman (pictured below)
8: Board games! We have board games, such as Yahtzee, giant Jenga, and bag toss, in the Tasting Room. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite board game from home. Wind down with some gaming, snacks, wine, and fun.
7: Food and drink: We have weekly Chef's Specials that range from soups to frittatas to hearty dishes like red beans and rice. The vegetarian-friendly menu changes each week and features flavor-forward seasonal dishes that pair well with wine. We also have cheese, olives, crackers, bread and other items on our Nibbles menu. Guests may also bring food, whether it is a picnic basket, snacks, pizza or a favorite dessert. No outside beverages allowed.
6: Winery and wine cave tour with candle-lit wine tasting - Enjoy a 90-minute tour of the property, the vineyards & the winery. Finish with a candlelit tasting in the CELLAR57 club room & the wine caves. Keep the tasting glass & enjoy 10% off bottles of wine purchased after the tour! $35/person. Reservations required. Check our calendar or Facebook page for additional dates in 2020. Tours are typically scheduled on Saturdays at 11:30 am.
Sat., December 21, 11:30 am
Sun., December 22, 12 pm,
Sat., December 28, 11:30 am
5: Kai the goldendoodle does her job best as social greeter when we have guests. She doesn't get paid (well, maybe the occasional treat). Frequent pets, hugs, and undivided attention from guests are her job perks. Kai is in the Tasting Room on most Saturdays and Sundays as her schedule allows. Guests may also bring their dog to the estate. We're pet-friendly and have room indoors and outside.
4: Vineyard LifeStile - Shop and explore our Vineyard LifeStile line of gifts and accessories. We have scented candles, notecards, sugar and salt scrubs for skincare, homemade jams, jellies, and spicy mustard, and more. We can assemble a custom gift basket to include a bottle of wine, glassware, and Vineyard LifeStile items to make thoughtful gift-giving easy for wine lovers.
3: Make an easy getaway! Based in Excelsior Springs, Fence Stile is located 40 minutes from Kansas City and near surrounding Liberty, Kearney, Richmond, and other locations in the greater metropolitan area. Escape from chores and demands of the workweek. Take a break and enjoy a day trip to Fence Stile's Tasting Room. We're located near Van Till Winery in Rayville and Excelsior Springs-based Four Horses and a Dog Winery, Dubious Claims Brewing, and our friends at Willow Springs Mercantile. Spend time with us and support local businesses!
2: Plan a romantic adventure or special occasion. Visit Fence Stile's Tasting Room for a romantic day filled with wine, chocolate truffles, and a special meal (contact us for catering at email@example.com). Celebrate retirement, birthdays, bridal party, anniversary and other life moments in a spacious, scenic setting. Plan a spa da to pamper yourself and a loved one. After all, the winery is located near The Elms Hotel and Spa, where they shuttle guests to Fence Stile, and Inn on Crescent Lake, a charming bed-and-breakfast mere minutes away from the winery.
1: Wine! Of course, our selection of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wine draws guests to our Tasting Room. We're known for dry to semi-dry wines, but offer semi-sweet, sweet, and dessert wine on the menu. Guests may also choose from our seasonal sangria, mulled wine, and wine cocktails, beer and soft drinks. Celebrating our tenth anniversary in 2019, Fence Stile produces wine from grapes grown and harvested on its ten-acre estate. We're proud to showcase the potential of Missouri-grown grapes that defy stereotypes of regional wine. Visit Fence Stile, taste our wines yourself, and find a new favorite.
Just in time for the holidays, Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery has added flutes to our glassware selection. Let the puns begin. Yes, we're a "glass" act. Look "glassy" while enjoying a flute of sparkling Enticement, Captivation, or Sejour. Don't hate us because we're flutiful. Okay, seriously, our sleek flutes feature the Fence Stile logo and a multi-faceted stem for a solid grip. Abso-flute-ly amazing. Keep the bubbles flowing with our effervescence-enhancing glassware.
Spend some time at Fence Stile's Tasting Room on Small Business Saturday, November 30, and relax from 3 to 4:30 pm to the sounds of Flutrio, featuring members of the KC Flute Choir performing classic works and holiday music. Might as well sip on sparkling wine in a flute while listening to flute music, right?
Remember, if you do a sparkling wine tasting ($5) of Enticement, Captivation, and Sejour, and buy a bottle of sparkling wine afterward, then the tasting fee is waived. If you purchase three bottles of sparkling wine, we'll include a Fence Stile logo flute glass ($5 value). Or purchase a pair of glasses ($5 per glass) to practice your flute playing and celebrate with bubbles at home. Of course, stock up on sparkling wines from Fence Stile for special holidays like Snow Day, Cookie Baking Day, Chill Tuesday, Holiday Shopping Done Day, Holiday Guests Finally Left Day, and You Deserve It Day. Cheers to you! Happy Holidays from Fence Stile!
Shop for hand-crafted jams, jellies, and other goods at Fence Stile's Vineyard LifeStile Market Day on Saturday, November 16, 1-3 pm, and Friday, November 29, 4-6 pm. Now's the time to also stock up on wine for upcoming holiday events and gatherings.
Visit the Tasting Room to sample jams and jellies made with grape juice from the 2019 harvest. Vanilla pear jam, fall harvest jelly, Concord jelly, and green tomato relish (made with summer tomatoes from our garden) are just some of the canned goods. We also have our popular house-made spicy mustard and honey mustard available. Limited quantities are available of these made-from-scratch tasty treats. They're great additions to the table for the holidays or as a thoughtful holiday gift.
We will also have Vineyard LifeStile candles in a variety of scents, including lavender and fresh linen. These candles burn for many hours. Made from recycled Fence Stile wine bottles that still bear the wine label, the candles are a wonderful way to bring light into someone's life or to add cozy charm to your abode.
Shop for Vineyard LifeStile note cards, coasters, and mulling spices for red and white wines. Our scented scrubs are made with fine-ground grape pomace, shea butter, essential oil, and sugar or salt. Use the scrubs to exfoliate and moisturize your hands, leaving your skin feeling soft and revitalized.
Remember, Fence Stile can create custom baskets for gift-giving. Select a bottle of wine, choose glassware, and add a few Vineyard LifeStile items. Gift cards may also be included in the gift basket or purchased separately. We will include 2 for 1 tasting cards with gift card purchases. Of course, we'll wrap the gift basket for you. Contact us in advance to order gift baskets for your workplace, family, or friends.
Harvest is done. This year's harvest season took place on Sundays and a few weekday harvests throughout September. White grapes, such as Vidal Blanc, Seyval, and Vignoles, were harvested first and de-stemmed, crushed, and pressed. White grapes are generally processed on the same day of harvest to capture the freshness of flavor, aroma, and ripeness. Fresh juice settled into the tanks to stabilize at a cool temperature.
Red grapes take longer to mature, develop skin color, and reach an optimal balance of sugar and acid levels. As a result, red grapes are always harvested later in the season. Once ready, red grapes including Chambourcin and Concord were picked and crushed. In the case of Chambourcin, the must (crushed skins, pulp, seeds, and juice) isn't pressed for juice on the same day as harvest and crush. Instead, the must is pumped into tanks. Red wine gains its color from the juice's extended contact with grape skins. Exposure to the seeds, skins, and even stems increases tannins that will give red wine more structure and depth. Pressing the Chambourcin must takes place a few weeks after harvest and crush. Post-harvest, the winemaker's work begins on the next crucial step once juice from white grapes and must from red grapes is in the tanks.
Fence Stile owner and winemaker Shriti Plimpton adds yeast to begin the fermentation process. Depending on the grape, different yeast is used to interact with the juice (or must) to shape the flavor, aroma, and body of the wine-to-be in development. Yeast feeds on the natural sugar in the grapes. High levels of sugar are desirable. Sugar levels are measured by brix, a unit of measurement. Brix measurements in the twenties are desirable. More available sugar gives the yeast more sustenance to feed and produce alcohol as a byproduct, and, in turn, transform grape juice into wine.
Seyval, Vignoles, and Vidal Blanc underwent fermentation and the early-stage transformation into wine under Shriti's watchful eye. The wines will develop and age in stainless steel tanks and perhaps a few select oak barrels for many months until bottling in late winter or early spring the following year. Currently, Fence Stile hosts Fermentation Tours in September and October that take place in the winery. Visit the website's home page or our Facebook events for available dates/times. Call the winery at 816-500-6465 to RSVP. Occurring only during harvest and post-harvest, the tour offers a rare, limited-time opportunity to taste the 2019 wines at an early stage as they develop from week to week. The tour enables guests to taste these wines next to finished wines from past vintages for comparison. As the winemaker, Shriti also provides an easy-to-follow explanation of her work and provides a peek behind the curtain to demystify the winemaking process.
Red wine grapes, such as Chambourcin, requires additional work on the must. The skins of the crushed grape must float to the top of the tank containing the wine in development. That floating must forms a "cap." Once yeast is added and fermentation begins, the "cap" needs to be punched twice a day, daily, for up to two weeks or so. Punching the cap with a long-handled punch (kind of like a plunger) enables the yeast and early-stage wine to have greater circulation with the must. In some cases, hoses are also connected to the upper and lower parts of the tank so that the wine may circulate atop the must via a sprinkler or pump-over (See photos). With each tank of red wine, Shriti climbs atop the tank with a metal punch and/or paddle. She physically moves the cap to facilitate better circulation and skin contact.
This year, Shriti has segregated Chambourcin must into three separate tanks. One tank filled with crushed grape must receives additional mixing via a pump-over of wine and twice-daily punch downs. A second tank of crushed must is punched down twice a day. The third tank includes both crushed grape must and a percentage of whole grape clusters that is punched down twice a day. She's separated the Chambourcin into separate tanks and processed them with various approaches to determine how the tannins, flavor, and body of each batch will develop. These batches may result in separate wines or may be used to create a more layered blend of wine, depending on the results. Regardless, the post-harvest fermentation and physical management of the wines in the tanks requires forethought, planning, patience, and work. Shriti's willingness to experiment and adapt to each year's harvest underscores her winemaking philosophy and practice at Fence Stile. She works with what nature provides to fully express the grape's character with each vintage of wine. This work also underscores a commitment to produce small-batch craft wine with a focus on quality vs. quantity.
We're excited to see how the Chambourcin and our other wines from the 2019 harvest evolve. Visit the Tasting Room to learn more about the Fermentation Tour, Winery and Wine Cave Tour, and to taste our current vintages of wine.
On a side note, our thanks goes out to the many volunteers who helped us with this year's harvest. We couldn't have completed harvest without them!
Released in July 2019, NorCyana is a dry red Norton aged in bourbon whiskey oak barrels for 18 months. The result is a big bold red with prominent bourbon, oak, and blackberry blossom aroma. Notes of black cherry and blackberry lead to a hint of black pepper and tannin on the finish. The wine is a brilliant violet hue.
Pair this wine with steak, brisket, burgers on the grill with blue cheese, grilled or roasted portobello mushrooms, duck with a cherry bourbon reduction sauce, and pasta Bolognese. This wine will hold up to smoked meats and lamb. Try it with grilled or roasted vegetables dusted with fresh chopped rosemary and served on a bed of caramelized onions and rice pilaf.