Missouri has no shortage of wineries – more than 130 – but it can be challenging to find a homegrown wine at your favorite restaurant.
Lori Cheatham admits she knew nothing about the Show Me State’s wine industry before she was offered a position at a winery five years ago.
“I completely fell in love with the whole thing,” she says. “Every day I learned something new. Not only do I like to taste a new wine and learn about grapes, I like to learn about the history of each winery, what they offer and how they came about – I call it their wine story.”
Cheatham, who’s been in retail and management for about 20 years, started to think about carving a place of her own in the Missouri wine industry. Pandemic pending, she plans to open Wineology next month in St. Charles, Missouri.
Wineology will be what she calls a wine lounge and tasting bar, with an industrial vibe. You’ll be able to shop products from local makers and grab a bottle of wine to take home, or stay and relax with a cheese board. Wineology will also offer signature wine-tails (cocktails made with wine), as well as craft beer and local spirits. In the spring, the tasting lounge will also open a patio out front for outdoor seating.
“In the beginning [stocking all local] might be hard, but I’m hoping as I grow, I will be 95 percent Missouri-made products,” Cheatham says. She and her team are waiting on the last round of inspections from the city as they install the final touches, like a century-old oak bartop. There is also a separate space available for corporate rentals and private events.
“I’m hoping to [stock] all of the wineries and breweries,” she says. “I want to have a business for myself, but I also want to promote other local makers. I just love it.”