STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo — What could be more Missourian than going to a cave to drink wine? Ste. Genevieve’s Cave Vineyard is a place to go. In 1995 When Marty and Mary Jo Strussione first bought their property in southeast Missouri, they had no plans to make wine. However, when Marty retired and learned that grapes could be grown there, their retirement project turned into the award-winning Cave Vineyard, which was opened in 2004 and is still run by the family.

After Marty retired from St. Louis healthcare, he and his wife, Mary, built a home to retire in. Marty discovered that the property was ripe for grape growing. He had experience making homemade wine with his grandfather.

The retirement project, now known as Cave Vineyard, opened in 2004. All four of Marty and Mary Jo’s daughters, their sons-in-law, and their grandkids all help at the winery during the summer.

Award winning 

Most of the grapes for these wines come from their 15-acre family-owned farm. Cave Vineyard has won several awards, including the recent Missouri State Wine Competition medals for their Chardonel Dry and Dry Rose.

Cave Vineyard’s grapevines consist mostly of hybrids, with Norton being the only Native American grape. The vineyard comprises 15 acres planted in 2000 and 2001, with an additional acre of Vignoles planted in 2009 and Seyval planted in 2022 and 2023. Since opening in 2004, the vineyard has expanded its offerings to include a winery, 10–13 wine selections, spirits, beer, and biscotti.

Marty discovered that the property was ripe for grape growing. He had experience making wine with his grandfather when he was young.

What is on the menu? 

  • Wine  

The grapes are crushed, pressed, vinted, and bottled here at the winery, which is viewable from the winery loft. They offer a variety of dry, semi-sweet, and fortified wines. 

  • Spirits  

The winery produces small-batch, copper-distilled brandy, grappa, schnapps, bourbon, and whiskey from their own grapes grown on the vineyard. Their spirits are available for guests to enjoy and experience. 

  • Beer  

The winery offers a selection of craft beers brewed by the sons-in-law of the owners. Guests can try Kiss Ass Wheat, Free Labor IPA, and seasonal Chambourcin barrel-aged stouts such as Spelunker and Coffee Spelunker. The beers are available for purchase by bottle in the tasting room.

  • Biscotti  

The Biscotti Bar is located in the winery loft. Biscotti is a twice-baked Italian cookie tradition, enjoyed with Vin Santo after dinner. All the recipes are based on Grandma Strussione’s Almond Biscotti recipe. Winery guests are encouraged to experiment with different flavors. They can ask for the family’s pairing recommendations or try one of their own.  

  • Food  

The winery offers its own products sourced locally in Ste. Genevieve, or within the state of Missouri. Guests can enjoy local: cheese and sausage, chocolate, and pizza. Additionally, on Saturdays from May to October, the winery makes its own bread.