David and Jerri Hoffmann

Jerri and David Hoffmann

The Hoffmann Family of Companies announced late Monday that it had signed a letter of intent to purchase Mount Pleasant Estates, adding about 125 acres to its Augusta assets and its plan to invest $100 million to create a national wine destination in the town.

To date, the company, led by Washington natives David and Jerri Hoffmann, has purchased Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Balducci Vineyards, Knoernschild Vineyards and 13 buildings in downtown Augusta, including the historic Augusta Wine Co. building and cellar, the Emporium and the former country feed store and grocery, and additional vineyards off of Crow Creek Lane. The Hoffmanns also have owned the Washington Vines Vineyard and Showroom on Country Club Road in Washington since 2015. 

In a press release, David Hoffmann said the addition of Mount Pleasant “fits perfectly in (the family’s) plan.” 

Mount Pleasant Estates is the oldest winery in Augusta and was the name of the town until the 1850s. Its first cellar was built in 1881, and buildings on the property date back to the 1820s. The vineyard grows nine grape species and houses 25,000-square-foot estate buildings and a 4,000-square-foot tasting room with a terrace. It was unclear at press time whether the purchase included Mount Pleasant’s Branson location.

JoAnn Milster, president of the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce, told The Missourian the Hoffmanns have “continued to be good neighbors.”

“Members of the chamber have been in contact with (David Hoffmann), and they’ve hired local people for construction,” said Milster. She added that upcoming jobs in retail and at the proposed hotel will have a positive impact on the town’s economy. To date, staff members at allthe purchased wineries have been invited to stay on at the businesses. Milster said the team told the chamber that would be the case for Mount Pleasant employees as well. 

One of the concerns Augusta residents raised at a December 2020 town hall regarding the development was that the character of the town would change. Milster said Hoffmann and his team have supported using their venues for several longstanding Augusta events, including the annual Plein Air Art Festival, the Christmas Walks and the Harvest Festival, as well as bringing back the Fruit of the Harvest Dinner with area winemakers and introducing new traditions like a potential cancer awareness event in the fall. 

“I think it’s great he’s being proactive and great he’s working with local people,” Milster said. “He’s asked local people to take the helm.”

The locations of other businesses in the Hoffmanns’ plan for Augusta, including a hotel, a gas station and a golf course, have not yet been announced.