Winter is usually a slow time for Lake Creek Winery, according to co-owner Ken Flesch, but with the success of its Thursday night farm-to-table meals, the winery has an additional revenue stream.

“We’ve wanted to do farm-to-table ever since we opened; we just never got around to it,” Flesch said. “Spring through the fall, we’re so busy. We seat 300 people at the winery, mostly outdoors. We decided to give this a whirl to try and get more revenue during the wintertime, get our staff more hours and then display to the public what we can do from a culinary perspective.”

Flesch said the meals have added about $1,000 more in weekly revenue, which he said was “huge” for the business.

Diverging from its normal weekend menu, the winery tapped sous chef Garrett White to design and cook a five-course meal composed entirely of locally sourced ingredients.

“We wanted to do something smaller, more intimate, more romantic,” White said. “It’s about not only enjoying your evening but also getting a better appreciation of your food, where it comes from and how important it is.”

Flesch said it also motivates local businesses to support each other. When he buys from area producers, they are encouraged to visit Lake Creek.

The Thursday dinners, which include several courses, each one with its own wine pairing, started Nov. 4 at. Seatings are at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday nights, and each time slot is capped at 12 people. The cost is $45 and the dinners are served at the winery's location on Boone Monument Road in Marthasville.

During the meals, White stops at each table to talk with patrons about where the ingredients are sourced. He said eating local ingredients is better for the plants, animals and the person eating them.

The first course in November was dinner rolls made from red wheat. They could be spread with jelly made from Norton grapes grown in the vineyard and butter churned from cream purchased from Ozark Mountain Creamery in Mountain Grove. Next were romaine wraps filled with flash-fried pig ears, carrots, green onions and a barbecue sauce made from sorghum sourced from Ava. Salad with a maple vinaigrette led diners into the main course: strip steak from a farm in Gerald, served with brown rice from Castor River Farms in Dexter. The steak comes with royal trumpet and king oyster mushrooms and a teriyaki-like sauce made from persimmons grown at the winery. Finishing things off is medovik, a Russian honey cake, smothered with a dulce de leche caramel sauce and topped with fresh whipped cream and pecans.

White said the winery started getting reservations some three weeks in advance for December meals, with nearly every slot a sellout.

“It’s not just a meal; it’s not just the ambiance,” White said. “It’s the idea of having a better appreciation for your food and how it’s grown and raised and what that means, not only for other people, but for yourself.”

Flesch said the meals will continue at least until the winery reinstates its spring hours.