Story by Dave Eckert | Photos by Tom Barnhart
If you haven’t made the trip to visit Red Fox Winery and Vineyards in Urich, Missouri between Harrisonville and Clinton on Highway 7 South, I would encourage you to do so. I drove out there recently for a tour and visit with the Jaberians. I came away very much impressed with the property, the wines, and the Jaberians who have grown their family vineyard business through hard work, determination, and passion.
“Growing grapes is in my blood. I’m a third-generation grape grower. My grandfather was the first in the family to grow grapes”, Nick Jaberian told me.
So, how did we end up growing grapes and making wine in Henry County, MO? Missouri has a rich history of grape growing and wine making. We searched various locations and found this property with the good soil and the right slope of the land.
It was natural for Nick to plant grapes, which he did for years, selling the grapes to other Missouri wineries. It wasn’t until Kayvon got involved that the idea of the family making its own wines came to fruition. “We had all of this fruit and there was clearly demand for our grapes, so I said to my dad, ‘Why don’t we make our own wine?’” Kayvon stated. Therefore, they did. Red Fox Winery produced 200 cases the first year. They’ll do close to 4000 cases this year, spread out among 18 wines with plans for more. “We’re still very young. This is only the fourth year for the winery’s new location. Before that, we were limited in space.” Kayvon shared. “We make 18 wines, but I have plans for more. We’re going to make some dessert wines, both late harvest and fortified.”
Kayvon is serious about his winemaking. He studied enology in Fresno State University, and his wines have won medals in competitions across the country and international. Some of the medals are proudly displayed on a wall inside the tasting room. However, it is not the medals, the wines, or the grapes that the Jaberians are proudest of – it’s the fact that the business keeps the family together.
I asked Nick what he would want someone reading this article to know about Red Fox. His answer came straight from the heart. “First and foremost, that we’re proud of keeping the family together on a personal level as well as the business level; that’s by far the most vital accomplishment for us,” Jaberian exclaimed.
It has taken a tremendous amount of work and sacrifice for this family to achieve what they have, and they are rightfully proud of Red Fox Winery and Vineyards. From 17 acres under vine when they first started the vineyard with the help of relatives and friends, they now have nearly 60 acres of vineyards. It’s wonderful that family businesses such as theirs can survive and thrive. It feels even better to provide a product that puts a smile on people’s faces. That is indeed rewarding.
And that’s a direct credit to Nick who grows the grapes and Kayvon who makes the wine. In addition to the winery, there is an event center, a bistro and more… that you can enjoy a good food and a good wine with an amazing view of the vineyards. It’s exceptionally a piece of Napa in your backyard! The Red Fox Winery & Vineyards is scheduling to continue to grow, but at a reasonable pace. Above all, they are all very clearly happy with where they are and with the work, they’re doing. “It’s the life’s dream. The opportunities are here to grab for everyone. All you have to do is just give it a shot. I’d say the sky is the limit. Stop by, taste the wine and get a sample of our food and hospitality. You’ll be glad to you did,” Nick summarized.
Red Fox Winery & Vineyards and event center, a fourth-generation family business that is all about making wines and making friends and it’s only minutes from South Kansas City.