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Cows, vines and history at Plaisance Ranch

Ihave to admit that I’m a cowgirl at heart, so Plaisance Ranch in Williams holds a special place for me. Where else can you go to taste amazing wines among cattle and horses?

The 150 organic acres of Plaisance Ranch are filled with Murray Grey cattle, prized for their ability to flourish on grass. Beyond the pasture one can see the vineyards, and as you step into the old dairy barn/tasting room, Cooper, the Australian shepherd greeter, will check to see if you might have treats. This is a true working ranch with a history of three generations of tenacious Frenchmen growing grapes.

In 1898, after leaving the Savoie Valley in France, Joseph Ginet settled just outside Jacksonville. Joseph brought grape cuttings from France, and he sold both the fruit and plants. Today, grandson Joe and his wife, Suzi, who started as dairy farmers, are carrying on a long-held tradition of grape growing, with 18 varietals, including imported rootstock from the family vineyards in the Savoie.

This long process involves a quarantine of rootstock for 3 years at Missouri State University. The university makes sure the stock is virus free, and then it will send cuttings back to the Ginets. All in all, it’s about a 12-year project to have enough vines planted, grapes harvested and wine aged in the barrel.

The results have been stellar. The Ginets’ 2012 Rogue Prestige, made with a mondeuse grape from the Savoie, received a 92 in Wine



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