Wine Club Missouri Vineyard

Vineyards in Missouri

Our Wines

2010 Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a smooth wine popular in Bordeaux, France. Ours is a medium-bodied, dry red wine fermented and aged exclusively on Missouri white oak barrels. Savor caramel and vanilla tones and a velvety texture.


2010 Norton Reserve

Norton is the state grape of Missouri. We craft this native American grape to express luscious raspberry and coffee tones, with hints of vanilla.

Our Norton is a full-bodied, dry red wine fermented and aged exclusively in Missouri white oak barrels.


2010 Maries River Red

Nestled in the rolling hills of central Missouri lies the town of Westphalia, the "Pearl of Osage County". Settled in the 1830's the forested hillsides reminded the German immigrants of their native province of Westfalen in the Rhine River Valley. The tranquil Maries River ribbons through the Westphalia area past limestone bluffs, lush farmland, and picturesque vineyards.

Our Maries River Red is a sweet table wine, aged exclusively in Missouri white oak barrels.


2010 Naughty But Nice Chocolate

Chocolate and red wine, two sensual pleasures. Together they create a provocative combination, with a chocolate bouquet and seductive finish. But be forewarned, Naughty But Nice is certainly Naughty!


2010 Osage Innocence

My father-in-law, Innocence Hilkemeyer, was born and raised in Westphalia. In the evenings, Inno would crank up the record player, listen to Gershwin, and sip an evening cocktail while tomato sauce bubbled happily on the stove. I think he would have enjoyed our Vignoles, with its sweet grapefruit and tangerine flavors balanced with just enough bite. At least I like to think so.

Osage Innocence is a sweet Vignoes grown in our vineyard in Westphalia, Missouri.


2009 Norton Reserve

Norton is the state grape of Missouri. We craft this native American grape to express luscious raspberry and coffee tones, with hints of vanilla. Our Norton is a full-bodied, dry red wine fermented and aged exclusively in Missouri white oak barrels.

We add no sulfites during the production of our handcrafted wines (note: May Contain Naturally Ocurring Sulfites), so they are fresh, vigorus, and ready to drink. The Neuner Family wishes you cheers and hope you enjoy our wines.


2009 Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a smooth wine popular in Bordeaux, France. Ours is a medium-bodied, dry red wine fermented and aged exclusively on Missouri white oak barrels. Savor caramel and vanilla tones and a velvety texture.

Cabernet Franc

2009 Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Norton. This is a medium-bodied, dry red wine fermented and aged exclusively in Missouri white oak barrels. A spicy bouquet is initially sensed, follwed by deep berry tones. To taste, the Norton takes the lead but balances nicely with the Cabernet Franc, and a pleasant earthiness is achieved in this unique blend.

Suggested pairing: a fatted calf.


2008 Semi-Dry Riesling

A couple of things are striking in our latest Semi-Dry Riesling—racy citrus tones and balanced mouthfeel. Distinct citrus and stone fruit aromas and flavors are testaments to the fine interplay of crisp acidity and light fruitiness. The non-genetically modified yeast we use naturally enhances mouthfeel so the wine is neither too tongue-coating nor too thin. It takes high quality grapes and careful fermentation management to strike such balances in a delicate wine like this.

This wine would be labeled Halbtrocken (meaning “off-dry”) if bottled in Germany, and we used amber bottles traditionally used in Germany’s Rhine valley for such a wine. Riesling is known for its sensitivity to environmental forces during the growing season and during production. We do not know exactly what created the citrus tones in this year’s Rieslings, but it certainly is a welcome new characteristic. Chill and enjoy.

2008 Sweet Riesling

Fermentation is an exothermic process (it releases heat), but excessive heat can diminish the floral, fruity aromas of Riesling, and it can add harshness to a wine or stop fermentation all together. The stainless steel tank in which we ferment our Rieslings is fitted with a jacket, similar to a car’s radiator. Just as coolant is circulated throughout a radiator, cool water (from a well, cooled by its depth) circulates through the Riesling tank’s cooling jacket. The wonderful effectiveness of our tank cooling system once again proved itself for our Rieslings. Fermentation was slow and cool, resulting in a wine that preserved the positive attributes of the excellent fruit.

The attractiveness and fun of our Sweet Riesling is conspicuous. What is revealed upon careful tasting are floral and citrus aromas and tastes which evidence this noble grape’s relation to some of the finest Rhine wines. This is not a wine benefits from unsupervised activity, but, with a little attention, it can be sweet without losing its dignity.

2008 Norton Reserve

Norton is the grape that, in our opinion, undergoes the most changes in the transition from juice to wine. Our 2008 Norton Reserve was no exception, but the resulting wine is exceptional for its balance, wonderful aromas and tastes, and lack of undesirable characteristics many Norton wines harbor. Popping a ripe berry into your mouth and chewing with contemplation produces the wonderful taste of other ripe deep-purple grapes, with that particular Norton twang of earthiness and tart herbaceousness. Fermentation is fast and furious (but we keep the fermentation area cool by cranking up the air conditioning), and a foxiness seems to enter into the palette of flavors and aromas. Pumping into our Missouri white oak barrels with more fermentation to go, the wine’s youth causes a pucker, although the color is deep. A mid-winter sampling shows the tartness diminishing and things coming into balance. On bottling, a sample carefully considered delights with harshness gone, replaced with a balanced dryness acting as a foil for deep leather, coffee, and Norton (no other adjective will suffice) flavors.

Our 2008 Norton Reserve is lovely now, and we are sure its beauty will shine for a long time in the bottle. We could compare it to the ungainly fawn that becomes a brave stag, or to the tomboy with braces who becomes the town beauty—but that would be overkill. If you want to know what a really good Norton is like, try our 2008 Norton Reserve.

Norton Reserve

2008 Cabernet Franc

Ripe Cabernet Franc grapes might be the prettiest red-wine grapes. They are fairly small and colored a mysterious purple-blue hue that is softened by an almost imperceptible powdering of natural yeast on the skin. Tasting a ripe Cab Franc grape can offer some insight on the quality of the finished wine, assuming everything proceeds in textbook fashion during production. At harvest time, we imagine a straight line on a graph, starting with the ripe berries we are carefully handling and ending many months later with a wonderful finished wine in a glass. Such perfectly straight lines are uncommon in practice, however, and we are actually thankful for that.

Fermentation on our Cab Franc did not start off as quickly as it has in the past, and, given the high quality and strong popularity of previous vintages, we were a little concerned our graph line was veering off course. Fermentation in our Missouri white oak barrels did complete, and we racked the wine more than usual to preserve freshness. Also, we bottled later than usual. However, despite the articulations in our imagined graph, our Cab Franc aficionados will be relieved to learn that the line from “ripe berries” does indeed end at “great finished wine.”

Characteristics of its esteemed offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon, are evident, but our Cabernet Franc is softer and fruitier than most Cabs. It is dry but a true berry/raspberry juiciness balances the wine nicely. While it pairs nicely with a wide variety of red meat and marinara dishes, this is an excellent wine to sip without interference. Somehow, Nature wills things to work out for the best, and our Cabernet Franc is no exception.

Cabernet Franc

2008 Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son returneth. No joketh. We have been sold out of this unique fine wine for months due to unexpected high demand. We made a little more this year, but get yours while you can. Prodigal Son is a blend of our Norton and our Cabernet Franc. These two grapes behave very differently in the vineyard, they ferment differently, and their individual taste and aroma components are quite different. However, when blended in a proportion we determined in tasting trials with friends and family that happened to be around, the resulting wine truly exhibits the best qualities of these disparate grapes.

All of our wines are unique in many ways (no sulfites added, fermentation in Missouri white oak, etc), but this wine is extra special. Cabernet Franc is the first identified aroma, but Norton comes through as the glass is raised closer to the mouth. The Cab offers its soft vinifera raspberry characteristics, and the Norton offers its distinct bold berry and coffee flavors. An oak background cements the wonderful aromas and flavors. We feel as the sandwich pioneers who first paired peanut butter with jelly must have felt.

Maybe every new immigrant to America from Bordeaux should be given a bottle of our Prodigal Son as a refreshing transition from their land of Cabernet Franc to our land of Norton. Wherever you are from or wherever you are going, buy a bottle or stop by the Westphalia Inn to taste this exciting new wine. You’ll be glad you did.


2008 Maries River Red

The Maries River, which is a stone’s throw from our vineyards, has been fuller than usual lately, with the rains we have been having. There were even a couple of times when the river left its banks and covered the road to our wine production barn, cutting off the one way out. I guess there are worse places to be stuck.

Our Maries River Red is one of the few Concord wines with real dignity. As with our other reds, we ferment this wine in Missouri Oak and treat it with the respect given our signature Norton and Cabernet Franc wines. This unusual treatment provides a depth to Maries River red not found in most other sweet reds. Our Maries River Red is fruity and juicy, with flavors reminiscent of grape jelly. This grape jelly flavor, however, is more of an artisanal type than the commercial, grocery store type. The slight oak provides a touch of vanilla, and the light body and ruby color match the overall liveliness and fun of this wine.

When producing our Maries River Red, it is easy to picture farm winemakers of yesteryear—European immigrants who used their traditional, natural winemaking techniques to create wines with substance and delight from the humble native American Concord grape. Is it coincidence that one of the first large ships to carry German settlers to this country was named the Concord?

Chill this wine down and serve it in whatever clear glasses you have handy. The beautiful ruby color, fruity aromas, and dignified taste will be readily evident.

2008 Anna Rosé

If this wine were a human (stay with me here) it would be that young lady who everyone knows and likes. She’s not aggressive and she’s not a wallflower; she is comfortable in an intimate tête-à-tête as well as at a large shindig. She is a product of the blissful marriage of Monsieur Cabernet Franc and Mademoiselle Sweet Riesling, and she reflects both parts of her noble upbringing. The aroma of this wine (it is a wine, after all) is very tempting, the taste rewarding—black cherry and raspberry of the Cab provide the initial taste impression, with citrus/peach Riesling harmonizing and providing a pleasant lingering sweetness.

If you’ve seen one of us pouring tasting samples at a grocery store or festival, you may have noticed that we often suggest Anna Rosé to people who are not sure which of our wines they would like to try first. Some strive doggedly to deconstruct the wine to determine precisely why they like it, and some just smile and savor it. This is the wine to take to a dinner or party if you’re not really sure of the group’s wine preferences.

As we do every year, we base blending proportions on flavor rather than on color. We rely on the subjective more than the objective. Once again, the bright ruby hue is beautiful. Many rosé and blush wines are lighter in color, but our Anna Rosé is quite unlike other wines. She is a rare beauty who is eminently approachable.

Anna Rose

2007 Norton Reserve

The Norton harvest was especially interesting in 2007. Where we typically can hand pick about every bunch on about every vine, we had to be very careful in selecting grapes that were plump and juicy. The one-two punch of an Easter freeze and a very dry summer resulted in a dramatic reduction in viable bunches. We hand harvested over 2 days (September 29 and 30), and ended up with much less Norton than in 2006.

The stressful conditions, however, seems to have intensified the sugars and flavors in the grapes. As we picked, Terry noted the grapes seemed “smoother” than in the past. It is true—the tortuous growing season seemed to stave off pyrazines, the compounds that plague many Norton wines with herbaceous, vegetal flavors.

We did little more than let the juice do what it wanted to do. Fermentation was, as always, in Missouri white oak barrels, which further balanced out the wine. The result is a deep-ruby, dry wine with both smoothness and liveliness. The Norton is showing a complexity typical of vinifera but which is often concealed in this native grape. This is a full-bodied wine that expresses raspberry and coffee tones. You have to respect a vine that can create such a beautiful wine from such a challenging growing season.

After watching vine growth, harvest, crushing, pressing, transferring to oak barrels for fermentation, and bottling, it is hard to beat the satisfaction imparted from sitting down with a bottle of the Norton Reserve and sipping a glass. This satisfaction is heightened when looking over acres of future Norton Reserve planted in our southern vineyard.

2007 Cabernet Franc

This is one of two vinifera grapes (of European / Mediterranean origin) that Westphalia Vineyards makes into wine. Cabernet Franc grows well in Mid-Missouri, blends nicely with other varietals, and we believe is an excellent wine on its own merits. Before crushing, the grapes looked like a Dutch still-life—plump, fresh, uniform, perfect. They looked so delicious we couldn’t resist tasting them; they were as sweet and juicy as they appeared.

While Terry operated the tractor to tip bins toward the crusher/destemmer, Mary used a clean pitchfork to unload the bins into the hopper. Across the field, cows watched with curiosity. Air temperature hovered around 90°F with a light breeze from the west. The grapes were cool, which helped secure color intensity, preserve fresh flavors, and slow the forthcoming fermentation.

Primary fermentation made the production facility smell wonderful. When we pressed the grapes on September 21, it was evident they behaved a little differently from the native American or French-American hybrids with which we are more familiar. The color and taste, normally a little “rough” in young fermenting wines, were surprisingly elegant and smooth. We barrel tasted frequently to ensure the proper oak influence and balance. Like our other red wines, aging in select Missouri white oak barrels helped further balance the sugars and acids.

The finished wine is very close to the Cabernet Franc varietals in France’s Loire Valley. Decanting (or simply allowing the bottle or glass to “breathe”) is recommended, as this opens up the wonderful vanilla and raspberry bouquet. Our Cabernet Franc is not an aggressive wine—it is dry but not biting, with luscious plum and earthy tones. The wine has a superb creaminess and, although delicious now, will only improve with age.

2007 Maries River Red

The day after Paul and Irene Neuner’s son Gerhard Eric was born (October 25), Terry and Mary Neuner and I (Tim) began working with the Concord for our 2007 Maries River Red. This involved using our museum-piece rotary lobe pump to gently move the pressed juice into Missouri oak barrels. It was one of those days—sanitizing all the equipment took longer than expected, and the pump broke down midway through, requiring immediate and time-consuming repairs. A quick taste early in the day, however, hinted at another great vintage for this rustic wine.

When all the wine was safely in the barrels and the great mess was cleaned up, we wiped our brows and sat down for a more contemplative tasting. The young wine was fresh and very lively on the tongue. We knew the later addition of Cabernet Franc would, once again, make for a non-pretentious, fun and easily drinkable wine.

At the Missouri Grape and Wine Conference in February, Terry, Eric and I discussed the characteristics of our individual wines. We kept coming back to the conclusion that extraordinary wines could be created from the common Concord grape. For the 2007 vintage, Terry came up with a plan that both released the natural, native American expression of Concord and supported it with Cabernet Franc. Bottling a few weeks later (this time with pump and corker problems), we tasted that great blend once again.

The color is dark pink, and the bouquet is made slightly more complex by a hint of oak. The Concord expresses her natural foxiness but is kept in check by the raspberry notes of the Cabernet Franc. As a whole, this is a versatile “go to” wine.

This spring, I filled a bota with our Maries River Red chilled and went fishing with a buddy (although not on the Maries River, which would have been appropriate). Watching my bobber, I held up the bota and squeezed a stream of the wine into my mouth. The wasted time, the busted pump, and the misaligned corker were now a distant memory. In fact, I wanted to thank them for helping make this fun wine that pairs perfectly with being out in nature and drinking with friends.

2007 Prodigal Son

You may be familiar with the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is the story of a man with two sons (not so coincidentally Terry has sons Eric and Paul, living in San Diego, California).  The younger son asks for his share of the family inheritance early, so the father divided his estate between them.  This son left for distant lands where he squandered his inheritance on “wild and riotous living” (OK, the correlation with Eric and Paul starts to break down here, at least the squandering part!). At his lowest point, the youngest son is working as a pig herder and sleeping in the sties with the animals.  He decides to return home and throw himself on the mercy of his father. 

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.” 

Upon seeing the younger son, the father is overcome with mercy and compassion, hardly gives him a chance to repent, and throws a celebration rejoicing in his safe return home.

"The father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."

The older son, having remained dutiful and trustworthy, becomes jealous at the favored treatment of the unfaithful younger brother and the lack of acknowledgement of the elder’s fidelity and faithfulness. But the father responds:

"My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."

Okay, so it is not a perfect analogy!  Perhaps we should think of the two sons not as Eric and Paul, but as Norton and Cabernet Franc….

Some of the most renowned (and expensive) wines from Bordeaux are Cabernet Franc blends.  A famous Cabernet Franc blend, Cheval Blanc, made cameos in the recent Hollywood movies Sideways and Ratatouille, and Slate Magazine’s Mike Steinberger dubs the 1947 Château Cheval Blanc “the greatest wine on the planet.”   In France, Cabernet France is usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (an offspring of Cab Franc) or Merlot.

Cabernet Franc vines can grow well in Missouri as well as in France, and Terry thought it would be interesting to blend the French grape with the all-American Norton grape.  We were a little apprehensive about how well these wines would get along due to their different characteristics and flavor components.  Ever the scientist, Terry blended the wines methodically, eager to bring out characteristics of both “sons.”   In the finished wine, a bouquet of complex, warm spiciness is initially sensed, with deep berry tones following.  In tasting, the Norton takes the lead but has a pleasant harmony with the Cabernet Franc, and a lively earthiness is produced by both grape varieties.

By bottling time, our Prodigal Son had further established a character of its own, yet traits of its parents are clearly evident.  We chose a Burgundy bottle rather a Bordeaux bottle to reflect Prodigal Son’s more casual personality.

Like the biblical parable, this wine has thrown itself on the mercy of the father (our winemaker and Dad, Terry), who rather than asking repentance celebrates its membership in our family of wines. 

Suggested pairing: a fatted calf.

2007 Riesling Sweet

Our goal in crafting this wine was a higher residual sugar that our semi-dry Riesling, but not so sweet to become cloying and out of balance. A long, cool fermentation in stainless steel maintained a floral bouquet, and extensive bench trials led us to the perfect amount of residual sugar.

We also tested to make sure the acid and alcohol levels were in line with the sugars. We believe we hit the levels just right. The sweetness seems to make its attractive stone fruit flavors fuller, yet remaining light on the tongue. It is a fun but not frivolous wine; its lightness and attraction are built on a grape with much history and nobility. It is believed that a little sweetness in a wine prepares the palate for food better than dry wines. This is the wine for outdoor dining in warm weather—chill a bottle and take it to the picnic.

The color of the wine is more gold than straw. A traditional green hock bottle was used. “Hock” is derived from Hochheim, an ancient town on the Main River in Germany.

2007 Riesling Semi-Dry

After much research (if you call tasting a lot of Rieslings work!) we took a novel approach in crafting our Rieslings. First, we used a non-genetically modified yeast, uncommon in the winemaking industry. Second, we used cold water sourced from deep within the Osage County subsoil to cool our stainless steel fermentation tank to the exact temperature needed for this yeast culture. We also fermented a small amount in new Missouri oak. We hoped these measures would encourage what we like in Riesling (honey and peach tones with pleasant acidity) and discourage what we don’t like (indistinct flatness or biting acidity). We believe these natural efforts paid off, and we stayed true to our goal of traditional, handcrafted winemaking.

After the rather quick, vigorous fermentations of our red wines, the slow fermentation of the Riesling at first worried us. We knew that a slow fermentation in white wines helps preserve aromatics, but we feared the fermentation would stop before the sugars were consumed. The fermentation did eventually stop, but at a very nice place, leaving about 1.5% sugars remaining. This ever-so slight sweetness is balanced by a zippy finish. The hint of oak adds no buttery characteritics, instead adding vanilla tones to the peach and honey flavors. We are proud of the results.

Our antique amber bottle selection reflects traditional packaging for a semi-dry German Riesling.

If you like dry white wines, you will love our 2007 Riesling Semi-Dry.

2007 Anna Rosé

Riesling always walks a fine line in balancing sugar and acidity. Our Riesling is fermented in a chilled stainless steel tank to encourage this balance and to maintain the traditional floral aroma compounds. Similarly, Cabernet Franc is enhanced with judicious fermentation in oak. Our Cabernet Franc is fermented in small lots of carefully selected Missouri oak barrels.

The 2007 Anna Rosé is a blend of these two famous varietals. Color took a backseat to taste and aroma sensations in our winemaking efforts. It was simply good fortune that the color ended up a lovely, deep pink hue, certainly darker than typical Rosés. The primary goal of our blending trials was to maintain Riesling impressions while fusing Cabernet Franc’s beneficial personality. We wanted the characteristic Riesling zing to express itself while offering just a peek of oak from the Cabernet Franc. It took some time, but our efforts were more than rewarded. The nobility and grace of the honey tones in our Riesling are accented by the playfulness of the Cabernet Franc’s bright berry sensations.

Curious about the name? In mid-January, several family members and friends gathered on the production floor to determine the ideal blending proportions. While newborn Anna Rose squirmed in the laps of her parents Mary and Joe Rakestraw, Terry offered the adults various blends. We all took notes, discussed our thoughts, and debated the ratios. Holding up her glass to the light, Anna Rose’s grandmother Vicky admired the winking ruby hue of her favorite blend. At that moment we determined that a clear bottle would suit this entertaining wine, and Westphalia Vineyard’s Anna Rosé was christened.

The wine was carefully blended and bottled on April 6th and is ready to drink now. Slightly chilled, this wine can be enjoyed year-round, and looks as pleasing in the glass as it tastes on the pallet.

2006 Norton Reserve

Harvest was very promising; the summer was excellent with plenty of sun and rain just when it was needed. Clusters of those little Norton berries were just the right size, and the vines showed signs of full health. Terry, Eric, Paul, Tim, and many family members and friends had dark purple hands for weeks after harvesting this deeply pigmented grape. Fermentation in Missouri oak was fairly fast (typical of Norton), and, after several rackings, the wine showed early excellence. Color was brilliant and the oak complimented rather than overpowered. No sulfites were added which demanded a very sanitary cellar. The wine was handled gently, with no filtration or additives. Bottling was a family affair, on St. Patrick’s Day. Drink now or within a couple of years for fresh berry, vanilla, and pepper tones indicative of a handcrafted, natural Norton.

2006 Cabernet Franc

Thankfully the Cabernet Franc fermented slowly, bringing out a myriad of sensory elements. A familiar varietal in France but uncommon in this country, we could not stand to have this fun wine blended. It was not filtered, which might diminish brilliance in color, but this created another layer of flavor and aroma. This wine likes some oak, and we pulled it out when the perfect oak amplification on delicious stone fruit, jasmine, and slight anise was obtained. This is a graceful varietal we will certainly continue to produce. Bottled on March 6, 2007, with Paul Neuner manning the corker.

2006 Maries River Red

A risky venture that was worth the gamble. Knowing the dignity of the vineyard we did not add yeast to the crushed and destemmed berries. Also, fermentation was in fine Missouri oak barrels, another unusual treatment for this “lowly” grape. Fermentation was nice and slow, with racking tastings revealing a real winner. This wine is the culmination of many told-recipes Terry has heard, and it worked out great. It is our sweetest wine, but it only as sweet as Nature intended, since the natural yeast present on the grape skin dictated the outcome of this exciting wine. At bottling, we knew demand would be high after sampling, and we were correct. Our “lowly” Concord was shown her respectability with this vintage, and, as all traditional recipes are wont to do, the production of this Missouri staple will only increase in forthcoming vintages.


Winemaker's Notes





We recommend serving the Norton and Cabernet Franc at 60°, and Maries River Red lightly chilled (refrigerate for a half hour). All of our products are ready to drink immediately and do not require aging.





We do not add any sulfites to our products (although all wines contain naturally occurring sulfites) so these wines are fresh, vigorous, and ready to drink. Sulfites act as a preservative and are naturally produced by yeast during fermentation. In the US, organic wine must be made without added sulfites.





The Norton grape contains unusually high levels of resveratrol, a natural antioxidant present in all red wines. A number of beneficial health effects such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and life-prolonging effects have been reported, although these studies are ongoing. Resveratrol may be a key to help explain the “French Paradox” – the observation that the French, despite a diet relatively high in saturated fats, have low cholesterol and low incidence of heart disease.

Missouri Oak Barrel Aging








In keeping with our Missouri heritage, Westphalia Vineyards only uses oak barrels grown and produced in the "Show Me" state. The Missouri white oak barrels used by Westphalia Vineyards, which have long been a staple in many of California’s most prestigious wineries, are not as aggressive as they were once considered. They are now aged longer before cooperage (being made into barrels). The tight grain of the wood allows a miniscule amount of “breath,” and the hand-fired toasting imparts subtle aromas in perfect harmony with our wines. After many bench trials, we feel we have hit upon the ideal barrel aging time and level of toasting to impart a perfect amount of vanilla and, to the acute palate, dill and sweet tobacco pipe smoke. Such aging is costly because the barrels impart their wonderful attributes for only 3 or 4 vintages, but Westphalia Vineyards red wines are made for tasters who want to experience the best wines nature can create.