The Wine Writing Class stopped at to see Jerry Smith at River Ridge Winery near tiny Commerce, Missouri, in the late afternoon and evening yesterday. We compared grape varietal clusters, peered under leaf canopies, and tasted the River Ridge array of wines. Jerry’s vinifera vineyard on Crowley’s Ridge near his stone and wood home was a highlight. Overlooking the Mississippi there, you can get a feel for the change in land formations in this part of the state: after Commerce, the land levels out and continues in a long, flat sweep to the Gulf of Mexico.
We stopped at Joannie’s Yule Log Cabin as we were driving out and saw her
118 decorated Christmas trees–all glowing inside and outside of a log cabin in the woods. Her enthusiasm for her shop was so apparent in the final creative look. The students agree: Jerry and Joannie Smith have created a welcoming oasis at River Ridge.