Shale Lake Winery is a great destination for anyone who loves wine, or just having a good time. I'm not a wine drinker myself, but go along with my husband and friends frequently. I'm taking their word when they said the wine was very good- it must have been, because we even brought some home. What I can comment on first hand though, is what a great time can be had by all. The owners are exceptionally friendly and helpful, and the food is wonderful- way more creative and varied than the norm- delicious appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, and great desserts! You can rent surreys and pedal down to the lake, where this is a very tiny playground and a few picnic tables. (The trip back up the small hill can be a bit of a challenge- get a running start!) There are horses for the kids to pet, and a couple of friendly dogs and cats who love everybody. (If you sit inside the screened in porch, the animals aren't an issue, and if you're outside, the owners are happy to lock them up if you don't want them nearby.) Occasionally live music is available. I wouldn't normally recommend a winery as a family destination, but Shale Lake certainly is! It has easy access off of Highway 55, about 35 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Definitely worth the trip!
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