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A Small Batch Winery Offers Local Nectar

Mar 24, 2022 02:46PM ● By NIKKI DAVIDSON
Two miles down a remote gravel road in Mexico, Missouri, sets a small vineyard. Visitors are greeted by the wagging tail of onsite “security” officer Gerty. A friendly boxer, Gerty prefers to give guests kisses instead of hassles before they begin their HummingbirdVineyard and Winery experience.
“Once you get here, it’s a beautiful country setting, and it’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Hummingbird’s office manager, Heather Thewlis. “We’ve got an outdoor fireplace and plenty of outdoor seating, and there’s a creek that runs down in the back.”
The small winery stands  stands apart from the field of more than 100 others inMissouri for its dedication to an entirely local and hands-on process. Workers oversee each step, from growing the grapes to bottling the finished product.As a result, each wine is carefully crafted and delivers a unique flavor profile
“Everything we bottle that year is what we sell for the year,” said Heather. “We like to use just our grapes. So whatever we grow with is what we use, so we don’t have big quantities, typically when we bottle smaller batches. It gives a more personal feel to it.”



Seduced by Napa Valley, California, former State Farm catastrophe insurance adjuster David Runge was enamored by the rows of grapes and hillside vineyards that have made that region one of the world’s most-popular wine-producing areas. David’s retirement adventure would  eventually become an award-winning vineyard and winery. “He realized that there is a lot more work that goes into it than he thought,” said Heather. “You can’t simply stick a grapevine into the ground and watch it grow. So a friend...suggested he make wine.” 

The initial vines were planted in 2011 and “became” wine by 2014. In 2015, he was fine-tuning recipes and knee-deep in the details. His first offering was theSemi-Sweet Vignole, and David gifted it to family and friends that year. The crisp, clear white with a citrusy, off-dry, light-bodied flavor remains a customer favorite, even though Hummingbird has eight other varieties. “You’ll get kind of a fruity taste with it; it’s our semi-sweet white,” said Heather. “People kind of like it because it’s right there where it’s not too sweet, not too dry.”

Hummingbird wines are popular with guests and judges alike. Another hit is the 2021 American Wine Society bronze medal winner Autumn Frost. Silky and voluptuous, Autumn Frost is a blend with brilliant coloring and a sweet, fruit-for-ward appeal. In addition, the 2020 Semi-Sweet Vignole and 2020 Hickory RidgeApple received silver medals at the 2021 Missouri Wine Competition.


Hummingbird Vineyard and Winery is one of seven on the Missouri River WineTrail. Customers can drop in for a tasting of nine different varieties, and on days when it’s not too busy, even take a tour of the small facility. The tasting room also sells wine slushies and domestic beer.Pizza and small bites are available, but guests are also invited to bring food and snacks. Hummingbird has occasional live music and a tranquil, rustic vibe, making it an excellent location for bridal showers and other events

Hummingbird Vineyard andWinery L.L.C
16586 Audrain Road 953
Mexico, MO 65265