Adam Puchta Winery is the oldest family farm winery in the country. Its true uniqueness however lies in the fact that the same family has continuously owned it since 1855.
Winery founder, Adam Puchta, was born in Oberkotzau, a Bavarian district of Germany near the border with what is now the Czech Republic.
Adam and his family left Germany for the United States. According to family folklore, the family was mandated by the Bavarian government to abandon wine grapes in favor of other crops, so in 1839 they moved with a “society” of like-minded folks to Hermann to continue their wine-making tradition.
John Henry Puchta, Adam’s father, and family arrives in Hermann and purchased 40 acres along the Frene Creek, built a one-room log cabin and a wine cellar with a press house.
John Henry purchased an additional 40 acres, which is the current track of land where the winery is today.
Adam went with some of his half-brothers to drive a herd of cattle to California. Once the cattle were sold the brothers stuck around for the gold rush.
The Puchta family doesn’t have any record of how much gold or money Adam came back to Missouri with, but we know that Adam returned to Hermann via Nicaragua and was able to purchase acreage from his father and began construction on the large arched limestone cellar with press house and fermentation room above.
An important year in our winery’s history!
- Adam produced his first wine using wild grapes and grapes from his father’s vineyard.
Henry John Puchta was born; son of Adam and his second wife, Bertha. Adam’s first wife Clementine died during child birth in 1858 and in February 1859 Adam married Bertha Riefenstahl, Clementine’s older sister.
Adam’s wine business was in full swing. Unlike many other vintners in the Hermann area, Adam never completely gave up general farming. In addition to his wine, he also grain crops of wheat, corn, oats and barley. The farm thrived and Adam’s tract grew to 1,000 acres.
Henry, Adam’s son, joined him in the family farm winery business and operated under the name of Adam Puchta and Son Wine Company. There are few production records, but at the height of productivity, the winery is believed to have produced some 10,000 gallons of wine. The product was sold in jugs and barrels and shipped to taverns in St. Louis and Washington, MO, and even back to Germany.
Henry married Amanda Buddemeyer. They had two children; Pearl Ethel and Everett Adam, born in 1898 and 1900.
Adam Puchta passes away at the age of 72.
Prohibition destroyed the wine industry nationwide. It dealt a particularly devastating blow to the economy of the Hermann area because grape growing for wine was the main industry in the area. The grapevines were pulled out of the vineyards and burned and wine making equipment was destroyed. Henry and Everett converted the once vineyards to cropland. These were hard times for the Puchta family, selling off parcels of the farm bit by bit to survive. The sprawling tract dwindled to just 86 acres. Like many other farm families in the area, they continued to legally make wine for family use; using elderberries, blackberries, dandelions and even a few wild Norton grapes. This continued until Everett’s death in 1988.
December 5, 1933 Prohibition was repealed!! When Prohibition ended there were no commercially operating wineries in the Hermann area. It was nearly 30 years after Prohibition ended before there was a rebirth of the wine industry in Hermann.
The production and sale of Adam Puchta wines returns.
One of Everett’s son, Randolph, born in 1928, and Randolph’s son Timothy, born in 1956, re-opened Adam Puchta Winery.
- Planted 3 acres of Norton grapes.
- Major renovations of the original stone home and converted into the winery’s tasting room and gift shop.
- Production capacity: 1,000 gallons
Original wine list consisted of Hunter’s Red, Misty Valley, Blush and Adam’s Choice
Released our first vintage of Norton, Vidal Blanc and Seyval.
Randolph and his wife, Eunice, were recognized by the Missouri Century Farm Club for their family contributions to local, state, national and international agriculture by owning and operating the same Missouri farm for 100 years or more.
Won first gold medals in nation and international competition for our Riefenstahler; 150 years after its namesake (George Riefenstahl, Clementine & Bertha’s father) won a first-class award in St. Louis for his wine.
Won Governor’s Cup award for 1997 Norton.
Planted 2 acres of Vignoles grapes and 1 acre of Norton.
Built warehouse and production facility, increasing our production capacity to 25,000 gallons.
Winemaker, Michael Rouse joined the production team.
Produced 47,000 gallons of wine.
Celebrated the 150th anniversary of Adam Puchta and Son Wine Company.
Adam Puchta Winery released the first Dry Rosé wine in Missouri.
Randy Puchta passed away leaving Tim and his sons (7th generation) Spencer (born in 1990) and Parker (born in 1992) to carry on the Puchta family wine making tradition.
Increased production capacity to 80,000 gallons.
Won a Jefferson Cup award for Vignoles.
Won a Jefferson Cup award for 2005 Norton.
Processed 191 tons of grapes.
Won Twitter Tasting award for best Estate Norton.
Opened Adam Puchta Homestead Guesthaus. The stone Guesthaus sits on the original 40 acres purchased by John Henry in 1841.
Released Cat’s Meow and Situation Red.
Released Dry Vignoles and Reckless/Desire.
Won a Jefferson Cup award for Desire.
Processed 219 tons of grapes.
Entered 22 wines in the Missouri Wine Competition and received 21 awards. Entered the Mid-American Wine Competition with the same 22 wines and won 18 awards.
New bridge deck was installed and new Press House deck built.
October 1, released Save a Rack Blanc & Save a Rack Rouge were $5 from every bottle sold is proudly donated to local charities that assist those in the Hermann community fighting cancer.
The 4th annual Doe Camp fundraiser was held on November 7 and raised a record-breaking $10,250 for local charities that assist those in the Hermann community fighting cancer.
Released Nouveau & our new Dry Rosé.
New large bandstand built.
Planted 2 acres of Norton grapes.
2015 Doe Camp fundraiser raises an astounding $22,000 for 2 local charities, Hermann Area Crusade Against Cancer and the Just Call Me Ray foundation.
Winner of 2 Jefferson Cup awards at the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. Won with our Dry Rosé & Signature Port.