Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Stone Hill Winery welcomes visitors with open arms. This was the case when my wife and I visited the winery for a tour of the facilities, views of the scenery, and a meal at the restaurant.
A guide ushered my wife and I along with other visitors through the ancient arched cellars. While doing this, we were given a history of the winery. Begun in 1847, Stone Hill grew to be the third largest winery in the world and second largest in the United States. However, in 1920, the Prohibition Act was legislated and the wine industry was ruined in Missouri. The wine cellars were used for growing mushrooms.
Jim and Betty Held bought the winery in 1969 and began the long process of restoring the winery, its buildings, and the wine cellars. Now, it is the most decorated winery in the state produces about 200,000 gallons of wine annually.
After the wine cellars and history lesson, we were led through the production facility and the wine-tasting room. Anna and I were able to sample several of the wonderful wines that are produced by this facility. Of special interest to me were the Norton and the Catawba wines. These are produced from theses special grapes that are grown mostly in the Midwestern United States.
After the wine tasting, the visitors were allowed to stroll through the grounds and to look at the scenery before leaving. Anna and I, however, chose to have a meal at the restored carriage house and horse barn, which houses the Vintage Restaurant, specializing in German cuisine, steaks and fresh seafood. As usual, I enjoy partaking in local or specialty food. I had a combination of the German specialties (which has garnered local and state awards).
The only difficulty with visiting the Stone Hill Winery is that a person does not want to leave when the tour and the meal are finished. I strongly recommend a visit for those who wish to relax and soak in atmosphere.