German immigrant Michael Poeschel began building Stone Hill Winery in 1847 in the quaint river town of Hermann, Missouri. At one time this was the second largest winery in America, with a capacity of more than a million gallons. In fact, in the years just after the Civil War, Missouri was the second largest wine-growing state in the Union. Prohibition pretty much devastated the Show Me State’s burgeoning wine aspirations, but in 1965, James and Betty Held renovated Stone Hill and began producing wines from American grapes like Catawba, Niagara, and Concord. His success reawakened the potential for quality wines in the Midwest.

The variety known as Norton, Stone Hill’s signature wine, is not only suited to the humid climate in Missouri, but is also the only native American grape that can stand up to a test with European varieties like Cabernet and Merlot. The 1999 dark and lush Stone Hill Norton has racy berry fruit and a long, fresh finish.

BUYER'S GUIDE


Barboursville Vineyards Octagon III, Virginia ($40)
Ripe and Complex
Pair with classic French dishes

Chaddsford Chardonnay, Pennsylvania ($33)
Lovely and Elegant
Great with roast chicken

Stone Hill Winery 1999 Norton, Missouri ($20)
Racy and Lush
A great match with game