Tikit talk. From hair stylist to wine purveyor and business booster in Defiance, Missouri


Here I’m taking my own advice: sneak in a short ride whenever you can. On the way to Columbia, Missouri, I stopped by Weldon Spring to ride about 13 miles on the Katy Trail.


The Katy runs on the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railbed along the Missouri River. Like other trails, the Katy has its share of small, bicycle-sized bridges to span the ditches and smaller waterways that feed the river. But every once in a while you get to run under the same iron that carried freight trains headed for Kansas City and points south. This one spans the Femme Osage Creek west of Weldon Spring.

I’ve done this ride many times before; I never get tired of it. But this time, my companion noticed something new. When we got back to the car, she said, “Let’s go back to that business that had the wine in Defiance.” Turns out the Grapevine Wine Bistro & Visitor’s Center has wine and more–right there at 2886 South Highway 94, easily accessible from both trail and road.


We stopped in for two glasses of wine and an appetizer. But I discovered you get a loaf of bread with a bottle of wine. So we ordered the bottle and the cheese board. And almost as quickly as we ordered, the server returned with the wine, a tall, stoppered bottle of cold water, a crusty loaf of bread with cracked pepper and olive oil, and the board: three kinds of cheese, a sliced pear and grapes. Delicious. And what was going to be a quick stop before supper just as quickly turned into the evening meal.

The place was just one day short of four weeks old.

Kelly and Joe Brazil own the Grapevine Wine Bistro. You can sit outside (maybe when we get back; it was a little cool in early November) or inside, where seven to 10 people fit along the bar and a bit over twice that at the bar-height tables.

Kelly styled hair until the arthritis in her hands put a stop to that career. I asked her about her new business. “There’s definitely a need in the market for something like this. Maybe [for someone who] doesn’t want all the crowd of a winery.

“And then, in addition to that, to support our local businesses, we’ve opened the visitors’ center, a portion of it, so that people can come here as a one-stop shop–take a look at the map, see what there is in the county to do, where to go, who allows coolers–in terms of wineries–who allows coolers, dogs, who has entertainment, all the B&Bs to stay in.

“We really want to highlight the entire area and bring everyone together in one little spot.”

Kelly plans to add breakfast to the menu, maybe as early as December 1, serving from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For people riding bicycles from St. Charles to the east or Augusta and points west, a breakfast place should be a welcome addition to the trip.

I’m looking forward to it.

“We’ll have packaged sandwiches to go, freshly made in our kitchen. for the person on the trail who wants to grab something and go. Or for the person driving by here on the way to work, wants to stop in, grab a quick sandwich, cup of coffee and out the door you go.

“Someone who wants to come in and have a plated meal, we’ll have things like stuffed French toast, biscuits and gravy, and country breakfast, which will feature, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast. You’ll have baked oatmeal, which I’m kind of excited about. Just stuff like that. And of course, fresh fruit.”

The web site, grapevinewinebistro.com, should be up in December.


In the meantime, Kelly and Joe are already on the map.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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