Meramec Vineyards is under new ownership as of January 26. St. James Joseph and Michelle Boulware purchased the business after working after two years of preparation. The couple is currently working on a few renovation projects, making Meramec Vineyards a family destination.

“We want it to be a place where adults can come to relax and bring their kids as well,” said Joseph Boulware in an interview.

Joseph said he spent the two-year preparation process speaking with Meramec Vineyards’ previous owner, learning the wine making process and discussing how to market it as a family destination. He said he and Michelle are “quick learners,” and have been enjoying learning the trade.

Joseph added the draw of purchasing Meramec Vineyards was the thrill of owning a local business and contributing to the community.  

A Phelps County native, Joe said he’s  always dreamed of owning a business one day. Marrying in 2011 and purchasing a home in Saint James in 2012, the Boulwares realized the potential of the town they call home, according to him.

After commuting sixty miles a day, Joe said he longed to have an impact in the community where his children will grow and learn. When the opportunity arose to purchase Meramec Vineyards, it was a spark that continued to grow until it fully took hold. According to Joe, his  main goal is to bring the business back to life and serve Saint James and the surrounding communities.

His wife Michelle, originally from Mississippi, moved to the area in 2000. She graduated from Columbia College in 2009 with a double major in Accounting and Finance, knowledge which will benefit the business. Currently a nurse at Mercy Family Medicine in Rolla, she looks forward to welcoming guests with the same compassion as her husband into the winery for a one of a kind experience. She will take the lead of transforming the winery into a rustic, inviting atmosphere, maximizing the potential of the wooden building and outdoor patio and grounds, named appropriately “The Vineyard.”

The winery will be open for business FEB 1st for tasting daily from 11 am to 9 pm. The Boulwares welcome guests to come in during the transition construction and remodel period to meet them and hear first-hand the plans they have for Meramec Vineyards Winery. They also appreciate any suggestions for the future of the business. An announcement will be made for the exciting grand opening, hoping to occur between April and May. The Boulwares thank the community for their ongoing support and look forward to the future of Meramec Vineyards Winery.

“We’re excited to get this project underway,” Joseph said. “There’s going to be lot of noticeable changes.”