Progress being made on $100 million investment in St. Charles County wine country
This story was originally published in April 2021.
AUGUSTA, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A $100 million investment in Missouri wine country is progressing, as Hoffmann Family of Companies finished its acquisition of six vineyards and four wineries totaling more than 750 acres in and around Augusta.
The company has acquired Augusta Winery, Balducci Vineyards, Knoernschild Vineyards, Motelle Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates and Washington Vines as part of its plan to transform the area into the “Napa Valley of the Midwest.”
On Thursday, crews were working at the Balducci property, creating a cedar fence that will border the property, a new concrete drive, covered patio area and are revamping the family home on the property into a five-star restaurant.
“We are starting interior demo work, ripping out carpets and kitchen appliances,” said Amy Smith, Director of Real Estate Operations for The Hoffmann Family of Companies. “Our plan is to make it a five-star restaurant and it will be a dining destination in St. Charles County for sure.”
The property’s silo, along with shutters on the existing restaurant and family home are receiving a fresh coat of paint. “It’s the color sailor orange,” Smith said. “You can see the silo from a long way out.”
The company plans to keep the existing patio and restaurant along with the tasting room. It will pour an additional concrete slab for a tented patio area. “Everything you know about Balducci is going to stay Balducci,” Smith said. “It is the enhancement of the aesthetics of the property bringing everything back up to where it needs to be.”
There are plans for an amphitheater not far from the existing restaurant, but construction likely won’t begin for another year. The company still has several permit processes to complete.
In downtown Augusta, the old feed store, Augusta Emporium and the Livery all received a new coat of paint and will soon offer carriage rides, gator tours and horse back riding. “The gator tours will allow people to see the back end of how the grapes are grown, how wine is created and the science that goes into it,” Smith said.
“We’ve purchased six Clydesdales to help with the carriage rides and they’ll stay on a piece of property we have at the corner of 94 and Jackson right as you go into town,” Smith said.
A trolley currently runs on weekends and takes winery-goers to all of the wineries in a loop. It allows people to leave their cars parked in one place.
Work on the vineyards and wineries is expected to wrap up this fall and work on a hotel and 9-hole golf course could begin in the next year. While work is being completed, all of the wineries remain open.
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