This was an area of vineyards and wineries established by German immigrants during the mid-19th century. After Prohibition shut down the industry, it was not until the 1960s that it began to be revived. Officially designated in 1983, the Hermann AVA (American Viticultural Area) was one of the earliest recognized by the federal government. The seven wineries in the AVA produce one-third of the state's annual total of wine.
Hermann holds a Maifest during the third weekend in May and an Oktoberfest the first four weekends in October. In addition to its wine industry, Hermann is called the sausage-making capital of Missouri.
The society had almost utopian goals of a "heart of German-America" where it could perpetuate traditional German culture and establish a self-supporting colony built around farming, commerce, and industry. The town is named after Hermann der Cherusker, a Germanic leader who defeated the Romans in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in the year 9.
In the 1960s people began to rebuild the wine industry in the Hermann area. The vineyards and wineries contribute both to the agricultural and heritage tourism economies, with winetastings and visits related to the wineries increasingly popular.
The Hermann area is most known for wineries: Stone Hill Winery, the largest winemaking business in the state, and Hermannhof Winery are in the town. Two miles south of town off Missouri Highway 100 West is Adam Puchta Winery, the oldest continuously family-owned winery in the nation, under direct family ownership since 1855. Bias Vineyards is less than eight miles east near Berger on Missouri Highway 100. Also included in the Hermann AVA are Oakglenn Vineyards and Winery, 2 1/2 miles east of Hermann; Bommarito Estate Almond Tree Winery; and Röbller Vineyards and Winery near New Haven.
The Katy Trail, a 225-mile-long bike path, passes through McKittrick, a town on the northern side of the Missouri River across from Hermann.
Hermann is located at (38.699226, -91.439046), on the south side of the Missouri River and in the Gasconade River valley. Missouri Route 19 crosses the Missouri over the newly opened Senator Christopher S. Bond Bridge. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 km² (2.5 mi²). 6.0 km² (2.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (6.88%) is water.
There were 1,149 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 26.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 83.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,634, and the median income for a family was $44,621. Males had a median income of $27,426 versus $20,372 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,428. About 5.0% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.