As the oldest winery in the Augusta Appellation, Mount Pleasant’s rich history is a testament to Missouri’s long-standing contribution to the global wine industry. In 1859, two brothers from Germany, George and Frederick Muench, established Mount Pleasant Winery as a commercial wine business. The Muench brothers built the cellars in 1881, using the wood and limestone from the area. These cellars are still used today to age Mount Pleasant’s estate-bottled wines and internationally award-winning Augusta Ports.The Muench brothers shipped barrels of wine up the river to Chicago, to be enjoyed all over the world.
When Prohibition was enacted in 1920, the winery was forced to close. The wine and all of the winemaking equipment was destroyed and the vineyards were set on fire.
Reviving Mount Pleasant
It wasn’t until 1966 when Lucian Dressel and his wife Eva purchased the property that Mount Pleasant was reopened as a winery. They replanted the vineyards with self-rooted vines and classic grafted European varieties, turning Mount Pleasant into a destination.
In 1980, Augusta was chosen to be the first government-appointed wine-growing district. The first American Viticultural Area (AVA) became known as the Augusta Appellation.
Keeping the winery in the Dressel family, Chuck Dressel’s family purchased Mount Pleasant from their uncle, Lucian Dressel, in 1992.
Mount Pleasant Today
Mount Pleasant is the oldest and the most well established winery in Augusta. The winery grows 12 grape varieties on 78 acres, winning numerous prestigious awards and achieving high point-ratings.
Visitors to the winery in Augusta enjoy tasting wine in the spacious 4,000 square-foot tasting room and sipping wine on the terrace with spectacular views of the Missouri River Valley. There is entertainment year round including cellar tours, wine classes, winemaker dinners, holiday-themed events and more.
Mount Pleasant Winery opened a second location in April 2008, a 9,200-square-foot tasting and bottling experience in Branson. The beautiful ledgestone building offers patrons the chance to shop, sample Mount Pleasant’s numerous award-winning wines and even bottle their own wine from a 600-gallon French oak barrel.