The vineyard idea soon blossomed into a winery. In 2006, we added an adjoining 80 acres to our retreat.  It's
on this new addition that we've broken ground for our winery building. It will be built with local materials, as
much salvaged as we can manage, and with as little disruption to the surrounding ecology as possible.
My paternal grandfather Arno was an early and significant influence
for me.  He grew up on a farm, so when he moved to St. Louis City as
an adult, he always kept a garden.  Not only was he kind to every
person he met, he was also the kind of man who had the squirrels
eating right out of his hand.  He taught me my love of growing and to
respect all living things.  In large part because of my grandpa, I
started my own garden the minute I had my own yard.

After college I began working as an accountant and auditor.  And
while I worked hard and succeeded, I did not feel fulfilled.  Thus
began a string of night classes on everything from Chemistry to
Ecology.  Looking back, it seems perfect preparation for Counts
Hollow. But I guess that's what happens when you follow your heart.

The joy my grandfather cultivated years ago has born wonderful fruit
with the creation of Counts Hollow.  So it is in tribute to him that our
finest wines will bear the name of Château Arneaux.   
This is my daughter Elena
and I.  I've always taught
her to respect nature,
conserve, recycle, etc.  
Pretty sure most of it goes
in one ear and out the
other, as shown by the
above expression, but
every once in a while she
proves me wrong.  

All in all, I'm so proud of
the person she has
become. I'm grateful that
we have such a close
relationship, and that our
little family business really
is a family affair!
St. Louis, MO

University of MO-StL

Other Studies:
VESTA - Enology
U of KS -
ArchitectureUMSL -
SLCC - Horticulture,

Wine Maker

Wine Making
Roadie for
Merv's Drum Kit
Merv's both the brains and the brawn of the building process, in addition to his role as Counts
Hollow viticulturist.  Using his extensive background in carpentry, building and fine art, Merv
created the plans for the winery, which will be built using local materials. He runs our own saw
mill located on-site at Counts Hollow.  Most of the lumber used in our winery building will come
from trees that have been cut to make way for the vineyards and winery.

Growing up Mennonite is likely the basis for Merv's love of nature,
respect for natural methods of tending land, and his wide array of
artisan skills.  

Although he moved to the city about 20 years ago, he hasn't lost
touch with the way he was taught to tend crops.  Serving as Counts
Hollow's viticulturist, Merv combines the best of old traditions and
new technology for our vineyards.  As with his carpentry and
furniture, he is very hands on with the vines, watching them closely
to evaluate their needs.
Arthur, IL

Finish Carpentry,
Furniture Making

15 yrs drumming
(arguably one of the
best in town) and
singing with more
bands than can be
counted here.
Merv currently
performs with
The Ransom Note
Peck of Dirt

Other Studies:
2 YrsFine Arts @
Lakeland College
OUR STORY        
Meet Denise
Meet Merv
Our Story
Our Philosophy
Our story begins in 1998 when we first met (at the old Way Out, for fellow St.
Louisans).  However, the story doesn't get good until July 2001 when we fell in love (at
Modesto over a Caesar salad). It was our mutual love of good food & drink and the
outdoors that brought us together.  That love of nature led to our purchase of 76
wooded acres in the Ozarks in 2002.  We quickly came to realize we would not be
happy until we could call this gorgeous bit of Missouri home. With the land's dramatic,
rocky, south-facing slopes, both of us were intrigued and excited by the idea of
starting a vineyard and making our living doing something we love in the place we love.
Later he'll be hand-crafting the
interiors and furniture for the
winery and Bed & Breakfast
cabins.  And entertaining guests
with easy conversation and
maybe a song or two.
made by
Merv from
five different
We believe that Missouri is capable of making world-class wines. In fact, several wineries in the state are already
doing so.  Our goal is to join in that tradition using only the grapes that we have grown.  We relish the idea of
every bottle of Counts Hollow wine reflecting the terroir we have so carefully chosen.  Our passion is to make new
world wines that reflect the traditions of French winemaking.  Like the French, we believe our wines should be
paired with great food and enjoyed every day.
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At Counts Hollow we strive to work with Mother Nature's natural rhythms.  Our goal is to respect the land and
give back more than we take.  As such, only natural compost teas and plant- and mineral-based sprays are used
on our land.  Our commitment to nature extends beyond our farming techniques to our green building practices.  
To us, great wine is nothing if not enjoyed with great friends and great food.  We'd like all of our customers and
staff to enjoy our place as much as we do and feel comfortable here.  All questions are welcome and tours are
given upon request.  Because we want the whole family to enjoy Counts Hollow, our own juices will be available
for the kids and everyone, as well as Mr. Maxx's food cubes for the family dog.  Contact us anytime.
©  COUNTS HOLLOW VINEYARD LLC 2007.  All Rights Reserved.
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