As we move into the darker, colder days of fall, the leaves start falling from the trees, and the last of the grapes have long been harvested.
We begin to think about Halloween, and what better way to get into the spirit of the season than to pour ourselves a glass of wine and turn our thoughts to a different kind of spirits…the ones that haunt our beloved wineries.
photo: BR Photography
Belvoir Winery, Liberty, MO
Between the skeletons in the walls and hundreds of orphans buried in the cemetery on the property, it’s no wonder this winery is haunted. This gorgeous estate was built in 1900 to house the fraternal order of Odd Fellows, members of a secret society of men that represented odd trades, along with their widows and orphans. The fellows had many private rituals, including the common practice of keeping the remains of a deceased member to signify immortality, so it’s no secret that there are several skeletons hidden in the buildings and on the property. The Belvoir Winery is housed in the old orphanage and witnesses to paranormal activity here report growling, moaning, and even being pushed. One server reported that his toddler daughter was talking to someone in another room – he heard a male voice –only to find thin air. If you’re ready for a tasting (they offer Norton and Chardonnay varietals), Belvoir offers ghost tours and All Night Paranormal Investigation events. Or if you’re feeling really brave, you could even stay overnight at the Inn…
photo: Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
Bartholomew Park Winery, Sonoma, CA
The land this winery was built on was not only the site of a hospital and a morgue, but an insane asylum and a prison for “wayward women”. In fact, the body of one of its former inmates was found in the walls, and whispering voices and lonely wailing have been heard in what was once the morgue. Spirit hunters have even picked up activity from Native American tribes who were there before the buildings were built – they’ve heard flutes and thumping that sounded like Native drums. Although it was purchased in 1957 by California’s oldest family winery, Gundlach Bundschu, 61 years of death and distress must have had its toll on the property, and perhaps its haunted inhabitants made their final impact as this winery is closing for good this month.
photo: D&D Travel
Miles Wine Cellars, Himrod, NY
Legend has it that a young couple died tragically in the house that now houses Miles Wine Cellars. The current residents have seen falling glass, slamming doors, and a mist that rises from the floorboards dashing past them to get out of the house. Children have reported seeing a man and woman come out of the walls, and [shudder] speak in whispers to them. That creeps us out, but the brave owners have embraced the spirits; they created a decadent white blend of Chardonnay and Cayuga grapes, and called it “Ghost”. We think that’s a great way to accept the spirits that haunt their home. Cheers to that!