Trainee Baggage Handler
Joined: 12 Dec 2011
|Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:04 pm Post subject: Rolling through Herman Missouri on the wine Trail
|This past weekend my sister and I followed one of the many wine trails in Missouri, this one in and around the picteristic town of Herman.
Herman was established in 1837, as such quite a bit of the small unique shops and wineries in historic locations are not accessible for anyone in a chair. But it is still worth the trip. Here are some of my thoughts and observations on accessibility for the wineries.
Adam Puchta is a newer, more modern setting, their tasting and special events area is completely accessible, but the only part of their gift shop accessible is the wine room. You could get to one of the rooms if you can “pop a wheelie” up over the step in to the building, but the center room would require the ability to master a standard height step. Their picnic area is inaccessible, being raised off the ground.
This is a friendly winery, very welcoming to my service dog. I have the ability to walk short distances so I was able to enjoy their wine-centric gift store.
It is set in a lovely tree shaded area outside of town, the owner greeted our arrival and watching the winery cats while I sat outside in the crisp, sunny air was part of the fun.
Bias, while in a newer building has some accessibility issues, mainly a higher step to enter the building; if you get in the building it is totally accessible. But the reception my service dog got was far less than pleasant. The entire time we were there at least one, but mostly two of the staff stared, boldly at us. I am not certain what they expected Coco to do; she ignored them, as she is trained. The only warm person in this “chilly” winery was the very nice young man at the tasting bar.
It is out of town in a very beautiful setting and has an outdoor area set on a hill that boasts music when the weather is warmer. That area is accessible. Restrooms would be a problem there though, so you would have to limit your consumption of wine.
Dierberg Star Lane and, Hermannhof, These two are sister wineries, Dierberg Star Lane, shows off California wines and Hermannhof is one of the longer running wineries in Herman. The tasting room for Dierberg is up many uneven stone steps, not at all possible in a chair. Which is too bad, the staff here is warm, welcoming and knowledgeable. Their special events area in the winter is down more steps and very beautifully set in an old cellar.
Hermannhof is next door and the top floor is accessible through a well designated door. The staff here is warm and inviting also. In warmer weather there is an outside terrace that overlooks a creek and the rail line. A good lunch can be had here of local meats and cheeses, with juice and soda for the non-wine drinkers.
Unfortunately their events area in the winter is located in another beautiful cellar; no way is a chair going there.
OakGlenn, Some of this winery is accessible, and the staff is warm and inviting. I feel this would be a better bet in the warmer months when almost everything is held outdoors on their patio with a knock your socks off view.
Their winter time special events area is up a huge flight of stairs and half of their store is inaccessible due to the landing for those stairs, which is too bad because that half held items we did not see at the other wineries.
Röbller, Hands down the winner here. Everywhere I wanted to go was accessible and my service dog was greeted warmly and welcomed. Their small, but well stocked store has wide aisles and leads to their tasting/events room that has killer views.
It was the only winery that I heard “would you like some help with that?” when people were trying to balance a glass of wine and a bowl of very tasty soup.
Every staff member here was personable and knowledgeable. Also an added treat, their tasting is free, somehow the German in me finds it a bit steep to be paying $5 for little communion cups of wine. As a consequence of the free tasting, this is the only winery we bought wine from, in fact we went back the second day for my sister to buy another two bottles as gifts.
Stone Hill. The most well-known of the Herman wineries is very accessible, other than you do have to get a run at the thresholds inside. Their huge gift store has everything you didn’t know you wanted relating to wine. Their staff was warm but a bit mechanical; it was, after all, Sunday of a busy weekend.
It is less of an authentic experience and more streamlined and a bit “plastic”. Still I would recommend you go. The summer months are a bit more fun. With this being the winery that has more events.
Please note: I did not take any of the tours, nor did I visit Stone Hill's restaurant.
By and large I would encourage you to visit Herman, especially the weekends in December. There is a large Krist Kindle market held in three accessible buildings with lots of handmade gifts. I recommend the goulash at the market for a hearty, warming lunch.
We will be revisiting Herman this July and I can better report what the accessibility is like when most of the events are held outdoors.