North America's native grapes are the focus at Vox Vineyards

What grows together goes together. That’s what they say. And the pairing of Green Dirt cheese and Vox Vineyards wine proves that adage to be true. In Weston, Missouri, where Green Dirt Farm cultivates flavors in its cheese from the ground up, that same ground is creating terroir in the native American grapes that are cultivated at Vox Vineyards.

Sarah Hoffmann and Vox’s founder Jerry Eisterhold share a common love of creating products that express the unique flavors found in Missouri, which is situated in an intensely biodiverse region of the country “at the convergence of the eastern woodlands, western plains, Ozark highlands and the Mississippi Delta.”

At Vox, Jerry sees his vineyard as something of a museum of native American grapes. Jerry’s “real job” is as a designer of museum exhibits, and the vineyard offers an opportunity to experiment with varieties of grapes that haven’t been cultivated in the States in generations. The experiment began years ago. Jerry tracked down 60 native grape varieties, cultivating the vines and making trial batches of wine to see which grapes produced delicious results. The varieties that made tasty wine were retained and today you can find almost 30 varieties under cultivation at Vox.

Green Dirt and Vox have partnered on a unique tasting room in Weston that lets people come in and taste Vox wines; enjoy cheeses, ice cream and sandwiches from Green Dirt; and shop a selection of locally made products from other Missouri makers. It’s a perfect pair.

American Heritage Grapes are grapes that come from specific species native to North America. Each species can potentially have as many different varieties as there are seeds. Grape varieties are like dog breeds, and ours are as unique and varied as a Chihuahua and a Great Dane. Most of the AHG’s at Vox were developed and cultivated by Thomas Volney Munson.
Catherine Neville