My name is Michele Fehlings, and with my husband, Mick McCarter, I live just outside the historic German community of Hermann, right along the Missouri River in east-central Missouri. Hermann is a beautiful small town set in a river valley surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. Settled by German immigrants 175 years ago, the town continues to be rich in German heritage and winemaking. You still see vineyards almost everywhere you look, and there are seven family-owned wineries along the Hermann Wine Trail. It is truly a place that you can be proud to call home – in fact, Forbes magazine named it one of the prettiest towns in America.
I am a genuine “Hermann German”, born and raised in the area by German descendants. But I escaped after college and ended up in Southeast Alaska, where I met Mick, and where we called home for over twenty years. But a few years ago, after Mick retired, we decided to trade in our views of mountains and grizzly bears for views of grapevines and wild turkeys. We found a small house in the country with plenty of space, and we bought the Grapevine Guest Suite, a guest house in Hermann – one of many establishments in town to accommodate all of the weekend travelers who visit Hermann for the wineries and the various festivals, and for those just looking for a quiet get-away and to experience a piece of small-town Americana.
We have since expanded our hospitality business by purchasing a charming, but neglected, brick structure built in the mid-1800s and also located right in the center of Hermann’s historic district. To be called “The Grapevine Guest House & Cottage”, the building came with a separate cottage that may have once been used as a summer kitchen. Simply called The Cottage, it maintains a country-cozy feel ~ complete with quilts and a claw-foot bathtub. And guests love that there are dining spots, wineries, and shops within easy walking distance of The Cottage. We continue to make improvements to the main house, but shortly it will be available for folks traveling together and seeking a whole house rental. Needless to say, this project has been hard work, but we are excited to help preserve another piece of Hermann’s history.
Moving back home also gave me an opportunity to pursue an advanced college degree, and at the age of 46, I finished my MBA ~ better late than never! Besides our business, I work with the Missouri Department of Education, managing grant funds for special education. I am also an aspiring writer, an avid reader, a self-proclaimed homebody, and a pretty good cook. I am secretly addicted to HGTV, especially House Hunters International – my unmet dream is to one day spend a year or two living in a foreign country.
So many places still to see in this world, but for right now, life is good here in Hermann, Missouri. I hope you enjoy reading about our town and our simple life here, and you are all invited to visit – just give us a call: www.hermanngrapevine.com. We know that once you visit, you’ll want to make it your hometown!