Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 30

Wine,
COUNTRY &

ROCK N' ROLL

Wine and music come
together at Black Silo Winery

Jean Hottes samples a glass of Black Silo Winery wine. The winery near Trenton produces a dozen different varieties of wine made primarily from grapes grown at the Trenton winery.

by Paul Newton | pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop

J

festivals or something to get people here. It kind of started as a battle of the
bands and evolved into a much bigger scale where it's now a full-blown music
festival."
The idea for the first Mid-America Music Festival was hatched in January
with the lofty goal of hosting the event in July. In those seven months they
secured enough musical acts to fill Friday evening and all day Saturday. More
than 1,200 people attended in 2017 and Jenn says they received a lot of positive feedback.
This year with nearly twice the lead time, the festival is even bigger. Scheduled for July 27-29, there will be two full days of music with a pair of stages
for the 15 bands who hail from across the country. Friday will be dedicated to rock and blues and Saturday features country and bluegrass. Black
Stone Cherry headlines the festivities on Friday with country singer Uncle
Kracker taking top billing on Saturday.
Booking bands and dealing with logistics is something that has
come easier the second time around. "It's just a process trying to
deal with so many different groups to get it all planned," Jenn says.
"Then you want to book bands on the same day that are similar
and tie into each other."
In addition to the music there will be food trucks, vendors,
hot air balloons, camping and more. Tickets range from $49 for a
one-day general pass to $145 for a two-day VIP pass.
The event is more community focused in 2018. "Basically, we've
kind of changed gears this year. Not only do we want to give everyone a great
weekend and bring something to the area, we want to benefit the community
as well," Jenn says.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Green Hills Women's Shelter
through the nonprofit Black Silo Foundation. With the help of Barnes-Baker
Automotive in Trenton, a new Ford F-150 was raffled on June 30 to one of the
100 people who donated $1,000 for the Ultimate Festival Experience.
"A lot of the local business owners have done the Ultimate, regardless if
they want to come themselves or give it to an employee," Jenn says. "They
want to be part of it and help a good cause."
Jenn says having those relationships with people and businesses around
town is one of her favorite parts of life in Trenton.
"When you live in a big city you don't really know anybody," she says. "You
just do your thing, go on with your life and have a few friends. When you're in
a small community, people know each other and everyone pulls together. It's
a pretty good feeling."

enn Hottes and Duane Urich won't let a learning curve get in their way.
The husband-and-wife team had on-the-job training when opening their
north Missouri winery and a lot of trial and error helped them pull off a
successful new music festival this past year.
For five years, the couple has built Black Silo Winery in Trenton into a destination for locals to relax and celebrate occasions big and small as well as create events - such as 2017's inaugural Mid-America Music Festival - to bring
more and more people to Grundy County.
Starting a winery in rural Missouri was an itch Duane -
who is a cargo pilot - had to scratch. He grew up in nearby
Laredo and spent 25 years living in California while with the
Army and got to visit some of the state's thousands of wineries.
Trenton
"It's just always been a dream. We like to stay busy," Jenn
says. "I had worked in a tasting room in St. Louis during the busy
season, but we didn't have any formal training. I had tasting room
experience and he had tasting experience."
The couple met in 2002 and wed four years later. Not long after
the wedding they started plans to make their dream a reality. With
access to family close by, the couple settled on an old dairy farm
sitting on 17 acres on the east side of Trenton right on Highway 6.
"First, I thought 'sure, let's do this. It sounds fun,' " says Jenn. "It is fun, but
it's a lot of hard work. The vineyard is constant."
They started planting in 2010 with just 1 acre. While the grapes were maturing, the couple would buy grapes to supplement the product their winemakers
would churn out. They started adding an acre or two per year, surrounding the
namesake silo near the tasting room. Currently, the vineyard takes up 7.5 of
the now-70-acre property and yields most of the grapes for the nearly dozen
different Black Silo wines.
One of the most popular wines at Black Silo is the Silo Mist. The semi-sweet
white wine is made with Vidal blanc and Vignoles grapes. "It's not quite a Moscato, a little less sweet," Jenn says.
While Duane had roots in the area, it was all new to Jenn who grew up in
southern Illinois before moving to Memphis and St. Louis. "At first it was a lot
different from St. Louis and I made lots of trips back," she says. "It's funny,
when I left home in 1993 I was never going to go back to a small town. As you
get older those feelings change."
Jenn has ingrained herself into the region. She currently sits on the Trenton
City Council and serves as chair of economic development. This past year, the
For more information on Black Silo Winery call 660-357-2208 or visit www.
couple took on a new task of creating an event to support the community.
blacksilowinery.com. For more information on the Mid-America Music Festival
"We always wanted to bring something to the area that is new or differvisit www.midamericamusic.com.
ent," Jenn explains. "We're always brainstorming and we had thrown around

30

RURAL MISSOURI | JULY 2018


http://www.blacksilowinery.com http://www.blacksilowinery.com http://www.midamericamusic.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2018

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Intro
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 4
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 5
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 6
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 7
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Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover4
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