Stone Hill Winery was established in 1847. The winery grew to be the second largest in the United States and featured world-renowned, award-winning wines. It won gold medals in eight World's Fairs, including Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. By the turn of the 20th century, Stone Hill was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year. Then Prohibition was enacted in 1920 and brought an end to the local wine industry. The huge underground cellars (the largest series of vaulted cellars in America) were used to grow mushrooms.
Jim and Betty Held purchased the winery in 1965 and were instrumental in the renaissance of wine making in Missouri. They moved into the main winery building with their four small children and began the long process of restoring the buildings and cellars. Today, Stone Hill is Missouri's oldest and most-awarded winery. In 2010, Stone Hill produced 260,000 gallons of wine using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology.
Jim and Betty Held’s sons, Jon and Thomas, both studied viticulture and enology. They currently fill essential leadership roles in the family business with Jon serving as general manager and Thomas directing all sales and marketing.
Stone Hill’s award-winning winemaking team of David Johnson, who has been with the winery for more than 30 years, Shaun Turnbull and Tavis Harris produces wines that are receiving international acclaim, winning more than 3,600 awards since 1993, including seven Missouri Governor’s Cups since 1994—continuously ranking Stone Hill Winery among the nation’s top award winners.
In 2010, the award-winning winery owned seven vineyards totaling 182 acres and produced an impressive line of products from grape varieties such as Norton, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, St. Vincent, Chambourcin, Traminette, Vignoles, Catawba, and Concord. All of Stone Hill’s wines are made from estate-grown grapes, supplemented with grapes from selected Missouri vineyards. Stone Hill bottles more than two dozen products, including red and white wines, brut-style bottle-fermented sparkling wine, sparkling wine, cream sherry, port and juice.
The winery is listed on the National Historic Register. Visitors at the Hermann location, 1110 Stone Hill Highway on the south side town, are offered guided tours through the arched cellars, modern production facility and one of several tasting rooms, ending at the spacious gift shop. There is a nominal charge to take the guided tour. The New Florence facility at the junction of I-70 and Hwy. 19 houses the bottle-fermented sparkling wine operation, and the Branson facility produces sparkling wines and cream sherry. Both locations offer tours, wine tastings, and large gift shops.
A large pavilion on the property is open during many community festivals, as well as for events sponsored by the winery. It may be rented for wedding receptions, meetings, and private parties. Reservations can be made by contacting the group sales coordinator. The former carriage house is home to the Vintage Restaurant, which is open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. A listing of restaurant hours, which changes by season, is available on the winery’s Web Site. Reservations are accepted by calling 573-486-3479.
Stone Hill Winery is open at 8:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Closing times vary by time of year. Please check the Web Site for updated hours and a complete schedule of events. Or, call the winery toll free at 800-909-WINE.