We recently did a weekend getaway to the Dubuque area to tour the local wineries and hopefully find some brewpubs for dinner and a few beers. Stone Cliff was one of the wineries on our list of places to try.
Stone Cliff is in the historic Star Brewery building and its fantastic. Their tasting room is really, really nice and they have 2 beautiful outdoor seating areas. They have a lot of space and can accommodate some good size groups.
That being said, it wasn't what we expected for a winery tasting room. Most wineries have a tasting room with a bar where you stand and do your tasting while someone pours samples and tells you about the wine and the grapes. This is not a tasting room, it's a wine bar. Besides serving their own wine that they make, they also have beer, cocktails and a small list of menu items.
While not a bad thing...this would definitely be a place to spend a leisure afternoon or to hang with friends on a weekend evening, but don't expect a typical tasting here. The people that work here are bartenders instead of tasting room employees. You won't get a personalized tasting but rather you'll get a flight of wines that you work through on your own along with an information sheet that gives you descriptions and tasting profiles. This works fine if you're familiar with wine and have done tastings in the past at other wineries.
The wines, for the most part are very good. Of the 12 we tried, there were only 2 we didn't like. We also ordered the cheese/meat/fruit tray that we enjoyed very much.
We had a great time even though it was different than what we expected for a winery tasting. We had a beautiful day and it was fun just to relax and take our time going through the wines. We will definitely stop here again when we're in the area.
If you own or manage Stone Cliff Winery, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.