This article could easily be a success with just one statement: Grapes of Held makes great wine!
But I’ll give a lot more information below, on why you’ll want to make a pilgrimage to this significant establishment not far from Lesmeister Guesthouse. At the end of the article you’ll find a photo gallery, plus maps and directions to help you find your goal. You will not be sorry you went!
Just 45 miles northeast of Pocahontas, just over the state line in southern Missouri, you’ll find the Grapes of Held Winery and Vineyard, and you’ll be glad you found it! It’s not a big operation with a lot of staff. It’s a small family owned and operated business by Missouri natives Fred and Tracy Held.
There are several things I loved about Grapes of Held, including its quiet, secluded location, its casual atmosphere, the friendly and informative owners, and the multiple comfortable sitting areas they’ve set up inside and outside the winery building. And of course, the wine! Our group of four enjoyed a tasting of six wines they’ve created, three whites (from Cayuga and Traminette grapes) and three reds (from Norton and Chambourcin grapes), then we bought a bottle of their wonderful Norton red wine, carried 4 of their logo wine glasses out to the shady deck and enjoyed the sipping and the conversation that comes so easily at Grapes of Held. We bought a lot more wine before we left, to take home with us. They do take charge cards. Their wines are in the range of $12 to $15/bottle, and they offer a 10% discount for purchases of a case or more.
We were there in July, but it wasn’t hot due to the shade, a gentle breeze, and a nice, quiet oscillating fan. They also had Frank Sinatra singing quietly in the background. They have a hummingbird feeder set up near the deck and we watched swarms of the feisty little birds competing for the feeding stations.
Inside the winery tasting room, there are several easy chairs as well as a few tables where you can enjoy any of several hot sandwiches they offer, as well as warm bread and oil for dipping. The menu also includes, in the fruit season, pitchers of sangria (from your choice of red or white wine). So a visit to Grapes of Held can offer both wine sipping and a light meal. The wine tasting bar is set up near the front door, where you can stand and taste samples of their wines as winemaker Fred gives a running history on the making of wine in Missouri, and fun anecdotes about life in the area.
Fridays – 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays – 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone: (573) 857-2039
Beneath this photo gallery from our visit, I’ll give maps and driving directions.
(select photos to enlarge for viewing and scrolling)
Now for the how-to to help you find Grapes of Held. The winery is located about mid-way between the city of Poplar Bluff and the town of Doniphan, off US Highway 160.
- From Lesmeister Guesthouse in Pocahontas, follow Arkansas Highway 115 north through the charming village of Maynard and on to the state line.
- At the state line the highway number changes to Missouri 21. Follow the signs to Doniphan and U.S. Highway 160.
- Passing Doniphan, continue on U.S. 160 about 15 minutes, to the junction with asphalt state Highway M.
- Turn right on Highway M and proceed 2.7 miles, where the road makes a sharp turn to the left. Rather than turning, proceed through the gateway on the right, onto a crushed stone road.
- Proceed about 1 mile, following the road around to the right until you see rows of grapes at the Held vineyard. At the end of the road you’ll find parking on the left, just past the Grapes of Held Winery building.
Your first impression may be that you are arriving at the Held home, but it’s not a house. The Helds do not live on site. The building is a purposely built winery, with tasting room, a small kitchen, and their wine making operation.