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Les Bourgeois Vineyard is located in Rocheport, about 12 miles outside of Columbia and half a mile from the Katy Trail. Established in 1985 with its first grape harvest, it has become the third largest winery in Missouri. Les Bourgeois is popular for its bluff-top view of the Missouri River. The resort area sits on a 35-acre lot. Visitors can tour the wine distillery or eat a meal at the BlufftopBistro. The winery also hosts weddings and other events.
14020 W. Highway BB
Rocheport, MO 65279
Tasting room and gift shop — 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Guided winery tours — 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
A-Frame — seasonally, weather permitting, noon to sunset
Blufftop Bistro — March through October, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday; November through February, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
Les Bourgeois began in 1985 when Martha and Curtis Bourgeois’ interest in making homemade wine became more than just a hobby. The 1985 grape harvest from their small vineyard produced almost 500 gallons of red wine at a winery in Rolla, and the next summer the family renovated a rustic A-frame house on the property to include a sales counter, coolers and a kitchen to begin a business.
That fall, Les Bourgeois sold out of its first and only vintage, Jeunette Rouge. In 1987 it increased production to 1,500 gallons and added two new wines — Pink Fox and Seyval. Over the next four years the family acquired winemaking equipment and produced it from the home, but by 1991 growth required the purchase of seven more acres of property and a 10,000-square-foot building that became the winery.
After the expansion, production shot up to more than 20,000 gallons a year, and an agreement with Boone Distributing put Les Bourgeois wine in grocery stores and restaurants around mid-Missouri.
In November 1996 the year-round restaurant Blufftop Bistro opened for business, along with a 6,000-square-foot wine garden.
Les Bourgeois built a new, 14,000-square-foot winemaking facility in summer 2010. The $2 million project also included remodeling the existing building and expanding the tasting room and gift shop.
Les Bourgeois Vineyards is the third-largest winery in Missouri. It produces more than 90,000 gallons of wine a year, and the wine is sold throughout Missouri and in locations as far as Illinois, Kansas and Louisiana. About half is sold through the family’s own retail outlets.
Les Bourgeois Wines
White wines — Pink Fox, Riverboat White, Labelle, Solay, Chardonel
Red wines — Norton, Rocheport Port, Riverboat Red, Jeunette Rouge, Fleur Du Vin
Opened in 1996, Blufftop Bistro offers a full lunch and dinner menu of meats, seafood, pasta and homegrown produce.
The A-Frame, sitting on a hill overlooking the Missouri River, also serves beverages, snacks, and deli sandwiches. Its menu makes it a popular picnic destination.
It has also become a popular location for private parties. Space is available for group rental in the Bistro, Terrace, and A-Frame areas.
Links and sources
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that light-hearted chef Ben Clay adds elegant touches to Les Bourgeois menus.
Southern Living included Les Bourgeois among the South's best wineries.
The Missourian's William Lounsbury made a multimedia project on Les Bourgeois.
Updated: Feb. 26, 2012