The story of Missouri’s original and oldest winery, Stone Hill Winery, is remarkable and makes their historic grounds a must-see part of your next trip to Hermann. Experience first-hand the largest underground series of wine cellars in North America on a free guided tour. Learn about the incredible tenacity, relentless attention to detail, and great pride that went into the restoration of Stone Hill Winery to once again be a recognized source of expertly-crafted wine.
Today, Stone Hill Winery endures, playing a major role in Hermann’s, and the entire state’s, winemaking heritage. This historic Hermann establishment continues to bring people together with fine, award-winning wine—the best wine Missouri has to offer— delicious food, music, and more!
A Look at Stone Hill’s Past
Stone Hill Winery was first established in 1847—just ten years after the first German settlers moved into the area’s rolling hills. Shortly thereafter, Stone Hill Winery became the second-largest winery in the United States. Their expertise in winemaking quickly became known around the world, winning eight World Fair Gold Medals in the late 1800s.
By the 1870s, Stone Hill Winery was producing over one million gallons of wine every year. Unfortunately, Prohibition arrived in the 1920s, crushing the burgeoning wine industry. Creative use was made of the labyrinth of cellars from 1923 to 1965; instead of being used for winemaking, Stone Hill’s cellars housed and grew commercial mushrooms.
Fortunately, Stone Hill Winery was revived, through an unimaginable amount of hard work and sheer dedication put forth in the mid-1960s by Jim and Betty Held. They were the new pioneers, resurrecting the then-extinct Missouri wine industry, and envisioning Stone Hill Winery as becoming a thriving and successful winery once again.
What Jim and Betty started off with in one, small 10×6 cellar area and an antique hand crank press used to crush grapes, by 1992, found the entire property fully modernized and devoted again to winemaking. Working tirelessly, the Helds had successfully recreated the historic stature of the winery.
Stone Hill Winery Today
Jim and Betty’s vision continues, with the winery currently owned and operated by the next generation, their son, Jon, and his wife, Karen. Stone Hill Winery is comprised of seven of their own vineyards extending across 190 acres. They grow ten different varieties of grapes, including Vignoles, Chambourcin, Chardonel, and Norton—their flagship wine and Missouri’s state grape—just to name a few.
On average, Stone Hill Winery produces 200,000 gallons of wine each year using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest winemaking technology. Since 1988, Stone Hill Winery has won over 4,000 awards, continuously ranking among the nation’s top wineries. This consistent attention to quality is their main priority. It is evidenced by their receiving seven of the last eleven Missouri Governor’s Cup awards, the state’s highest award for best wine; along with 5 of the last 8 C.V. Riley Awards, the state’s highest award for the best Norton.
Beyond the Exceptional Wine
Throughout the years, Stone Hill Winery maintains its place as one of Hermann’s most important attractions. The winery brings in visitors from around the world to experience the expertly-made wine along with first-class hospitality.
Stone Hill’s picturesque vineyards and grounds welcome weddings, private parties, and large group meetings. The property is a unique and relaxed setting for a wine country wedding or any gathering to enjoy with friends. It is also a great change up to that everyday office meeting with an outing and group lunch your staff will love!
The Held family felt it was important to preserve all the historic buildings that make up Stone Hill Winery. In 1979, they carefully converted the winery’s original carriage house and horse barn into the Vintage Restaurant. The cozy and inviting atmosphere—horse stalls and all—of the Vintage Restaurant and the modern-day fare, including many German specialty dishes, pair perfectly with Stone Hill’s outstanding wines, ensuring every dining experience is one to remember!
Everyone can enjoy tasty house-made food, excellent wine, gorgeous views, and live music. Stone Hill offers a variety of unique educational opportunities with events like the Ten-Year Vertical Norton Wine Tasting and Dinner and the VIP Grapes to Glass tours, as well as free live music events between May and October each year. Check out the Winery Events page on their website to see what special events they have planned throughout the year.
A Winery Experience to Treasure
With over thirty award-winning wines, three large tasting rooms, free guided cellar tours, a top-notch winery gift shop, outdoor seating areas, and impressive, beautiful views of Hermann, a visit to Stone Hill Winery can’t be missed. Experiencing the atmosphere and charm of Missouri’s original historic winery in the rolling hills of Hermann should be on the top of every wine-lovers travel list! If you aren’t able to visit Stone Hill in person, you can still enjoy their fantastic wines from the online store shipped directly to your home in 36 states. You can also now find their wines in retailers across the country.
To find out more about all that Stone Hill Winery has to offer, sign up for their newsletter and visit their website at www.stonehillwinery.com. Stay in-the-know on Stone Hill events, specials, and see more photos by following Stone Hill Winery on Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram!