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“wine tasting and tour”
Review of Stone Hill Winery

Stone Hill Winery
Ranked #1 of 22 things to do in Hermann
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Established in 1847, and well before there was a Napa Valley wine industry, Stone Hill grew to be the second largest winery in the United States! Stone Hill wines were world renowned, winning gold medals in eight world's fairs, including Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. By the 1870's, the winery was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year. Unfortunately, Prohibition swept away the state's burgeoning wine industry interrupting and destroying Missouri's momentum in the industry. Stone Hill's labyrinth of arched underground cellars (the largest series in North America) were sidelined into harvesting mushrooms rather than wine, until 1965, when Jim and Betty Held bought the winery. Along with their young children, the Held's began the long process of restoring the historic buildings, cellars, and an industry which had fallen into disrepair. Jim and Betty's primary task: producing and marketing the finest wines that can be made and putting Hermann back on the map as a world-class wine producing area gained them repeated recognition throughout the past 50 years. Today Stone Hill is Missouri's oldest and most awarded winery. Stone Hill's yearly production is approximately 300,000 gallons of wine, using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology. Stone Hill's winemaking team produces wines that are again receiving international acclaim. Winning more than 4,000 awards since 1991, Stone Hill Winery has continuously ranked among the nation's top award winners. Norton, Missouri's official state grape - a big, full-bodied red - is the pride of Stone Hill. The 2011 Norton and 2012 Cross J Norton both won a trifecta of awards including the coveted Missouri Governor's Cup adding to 8 other Stone Hill Winery Governor Cup awards. Stone Hill also uses French-American hybrid grapes such as Vidal, Chardonel and Vignoles, making sophisticated wines leading Missouri to reclaim its viticulture history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Stone Hill Winery welcomes visitors with guided tours and tastings. The restored carriage house and horse barn, next to the winery houses the Vintage Restaurant, specializing in German and American cuisine paired with Stone Hill's award-winning wines.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Amazing value, fun and interesting history. For 2.50 there is 30 min tour with guide then 30 min wine tasting.
next time want to try out restaurant on site. all employees very friendly and helpfull

Thank Mar_MarClinton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"wine tasting"
in 118 reviews
"great tour"
in 31 reviews
"german food"
in 15 reviews
"free tour"
in 18 reviews
"vintage restaurant"
in 19 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 24 reviews
"tasting room"
in 38 reviews
"horse barn"
in 8 reviews
"interesting history"
in 12 reviews
"wine making process"
in 10 reviews
"gift shop"
in 22 reviews
"beautiful grounds"
in 8 reviews
"great wine"
in 28 reviews
"nice selection"
in 6 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"in town"
in 12 reviews
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Reviewed June 25, 2013

My wife and I enjoyed the wine tasting service at Stone Hill. This is the only winery that we visited that did not charge a fee for tasting. The shop is very large and they provide all of their white wines in refrigerated coolers so you can purchase them to consume outside in an area of their grounds that overlooks the town. We had great weather and enjoyed our bottle of wine. There is a trolley service for $15 a day that will drive you around the area so you do not have to worry about drinking and driving.

1  Thank MUTigerInIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Loved the informational tour and tastings. Were able to taste a nice variety which for novices, is a good thing.

Thank MWTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Having had the good fortune to travel to California wine country once in my life, it's hard not to compare every other wine and winery to those experiences. Perhaps that's not fair, since the regions are so different, but it does still color my opinion of such things. With that in mind, Stone Hill can't compare to some of the better California wineries, but it's hands down the best winery I've been to in the Midwest. The grounds, the tour, and the wine itself were all excellent.

When we visit wineries, we appreciate the opportunity to tour, to get a feel for the terroir of the place rather than simply plopping ourselves in a tasting room and drinking. In this area, Stone Hill does an excellent job. It helps that they are operating out of a facility that's existed since the 1800's and is in a beautiful hilltop locale. But they do seem to make an effort to tell visitors the interesting history, and take them into actual wine production areas that they certainly don't have to make public. So it's very nice that they do. The tour includes the grounds and the caves where fermentation and storage is done. It then ends in the tasting room where samples are freely given. I think the tour cost us $5 each and was well worth it.

In terms of wine, Stone Hill makes some very good wines, and unfortunately some totally syrupy sweet ones. We'd worked our way about 3/4 of the way down the tasting list and had about gotten to where the wine was too sweet for us to drink, and then the employee flipped it over to reveal a whole second page of even sweeter wines! These might be good if you're a sweet wine drinker, but we couldn't bear to go further. That said, the winery's real claim to fame is Norton, a dry, complex wine that is generally only grown in this region. I'd never had Norton before, but found this one to be a revelation in terms of a unique, quality dry red wine from the Midwest. If nothing else, go for that alone.

My only minor complaint was the tasting room employee was so fixated on a conversation with another couple that she all but ignored us. I don't really desire a chatty or hovering sampler, but it was a bit awkward feeling like we were imposing by asking about another wine. Not really a big deal, since we got to try everything we wanted to. Other reviews have had great luck with tasting room employees it seems, so it was probably a fluke.

From what I'd read online before the trip, Stone Hill is THE winery to visit when in Hermann. Based on their history, grounds, tour and quality of the dry Norton, I'd be inclined to agree. Don't waste your time at the other wineries - just go straight to Stone Hill and save yourself the trouble!

1  Thank Cyclone05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

We tasted the wines first so we knew what to order with our lunch, which was delicious! The menu was so varied that anyone could find something on it for them. It is the classiest winery we visited, really nice.

Thank paintsmudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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