by Tom Joe The “Hops ‘R Better” Winer
Another fine wine met during our speed-tasting at the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC). How did I feel about tasting so many wines in a finite time and having to blog? Click here!
The history of Stone Hill. It opened in 1847 and quickly grew to become the second largest winery in the nation because Missouri was the second largest wine producing state in the country at that time. They started sending wines to the World’s Fair, such as in Vienna in the 1870s, they were winning gold medals with their wines (the actually won medals in 8 of the world’s fairs).
Now we all know what happened in 1919 with prohibition, so they have the largest series of arched, underground cellars in the nation and they converted their cellars to growing mushrooms. They had a steam engine come and it would pump that seam into the cellars and create that moist, warm environment for the mushrooms to grow. And they continued to grow mushrooms in the cellars until 1965.
In 1965, Jim and Betty Held purchased the property and restored it back to a winery; and their son, John, currently owns and operates the winery today.
In 2011 (and 2012), Stone Hill’s Norton won the trifecta of awards including, the best red, the best varietal and the Missouri Governor’s Cup for best wine – this 2015 Chambourcin repeated that accomplishment this year (in 2018).
Chambourcin is a French-American hybrid that can be best compared to Pinot Noir, but it it’s NOT Pinot Noir! Its vibrant red color provides cherry & other red fruits notes, along with herbaceous hints that will have you talking. Like their Norton, Stone Hill has produced a masterful wine here – be sure to grab a bottle when you’re next perusing the aisle or, better yet, stop into the little town of Hermann on a planned layover on your next visit to Missouri (it’s about a 90-minute drive from St. Louis – the town, wineries, and wines are well worth it).
Remember, it’s all about having FUN with wine!
Drink Wine – Drink Wisely!