AUGUSTA, Mo. (KTVI) – Napa Valley attracts nearly 3.85 million visitors per year with its hillside vineyards and high-end tourist attractions. What if we told you there was a wine country with a much richer history waiting to be discovered by the world? Better still, what if it was only an estimated 45-minute drive from St. Louis?

Augusta, Missouri was designated the first American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States in 1980, but many of its wineries date back to the 1800s pre-prohibition era. Washington, Missouri natives David and Jerri Hoffmann, now business and property owners under Hoffmann Family of Companies, is looking to bring new life to Missouri’s wine country.

The couple has acquired six Missouri vineyards including Balducci Vineyards, Augusta Wine Company and Montelle Winery, Kneornschild Vineyards, Washington Vines, and the latest, the historic Mount Pleasant Estate. Nearly 700 acres will be developed and remodeled to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for locals, nearby visitors, and tourists alike.

Plans for the area will include a 5-star hotel and spa, paddle boats, steamboat tours, and day cruises on the Missouri River, as well as trolley rides, bike tours, horse and buggy rides, a 12-hole world champion golf course designed by Reese Jones, downtown shops, fine dining, and more!

“I think what we hope to do is open that [history] up to the rest of the United States and really to the rest of the world,” said David Hoffmann. “This is a treasured part of America that a lot of people don’t know about. We hope to change that.”

David and Jerri have built an impressive resume, redeveloping communities throughout the nation. They own and redeveloped in Avon, Colorado (Base of Beaver Creek Ski Resort); Naples, Florida (Old Naples 5th Avenue South & Third Street District); and Winnetka, Illinois (Northshore suburb of Chicago).

“I think you’re going to have an experience that’s like none other. California is amazing, but California started in the ’70s,” Jerri said. “We’ve been here since the 1800s. It’s special.”

Say goodbye to Napa Valley, and hello to Augusta, Missouri! Renovations and construction will begin immediately. Wineries involved will remain open while renovations and new construction get underway.