Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Missouri

Stone Hill Wine from Hermann, MO
••• Photo by astaebell/Flicker/Creative Commons

Stone Hill is perhaps the best-known of all Missouri wineries. In 1900, it was the nation's second biggest winery and routinely won gold medals at international competitions. Today, it's building on that history to regain Missouri's place in the global wine arena. And, as the area's most award winning winery, its making huge strides toward that goal. Visitors certainly appreciate its wine, but Stone Hill's also king when it comes to atmosphere.

The winery's listed on the National Historic Register, its 161-year-old cellars are the nation's largest, and few Missouri wineries offer better views or as serene a setting.

Stone Hill is located at 1110 Stone Hill Highway in Hermann, Missouri. That's in Gasconade County, about a 60 minute drive west of St. Louis. The winery is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in the winter), and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach Stone Hill at (800) 909-9463 or by visiting the winery website.

Then and Now: Stone Hill Has Always Been Missouri's Premier Winery

In 1969, Jim and Betty Held bought Stone Hill Winery and began two seemingly impossible tasks. First, to restore Missouri's oldest winery to its pre-prohibition state, and second, to regain respect for Missouri within the global wine market. And even though Missouri hadn't had a winery in more than 40 years, history was actually on the Held's side.

In 1900, Stone Hill was actually the third largest winery in the world. But even then it wasn't just about quantity. It and other local wines always did well at wine competitions. When the Helds bought Stone Hill, they knew that quality wine was key to restoring the winery to its glory days.

The Nation's Most Awarded Wines

Today, Stone Hill produces just a fifth of what it did in 1900, but it has certainly matched its 1900 quality levels.

Since 1993, Stone Hill has won more than 3,200 awards, allowing it to claim to be the nation's most awarded winery. Bringing in many of those awards are its very popular German-style whites, such as its Vignole and its Steinberg White. But Stone Hill's really proud of its Norton. Because of Stone Hill, many Missourians drank deep red, full-bodied Nortons long before they became known worldwide.

Worth Visiting Even Without the Wine

With impressive structures dating to 1847, including its massive arched cellars, Stone Hill is a treat for anyone that likes history. The winery offers an inexpensive tour of the cellars and its winemaking process, and it's truly one of the most interesting and enjoyable tours of its kind. And, as no small bonus, the winery's location upon a high hilltop overlooking Hermann, makes it one of Missouri's most scenic places. If Stone Hill stopped making wine today, it'd still have quite the future as a tourist destination. Luckily for us, nothing shy of another prohibition seems likely to stop the Helds from making great wines.