Over the last several years my family has had the opportunity to make multiple trips to Knoxvile, TN. One of our regular routes includes Highway 40 from Nashville. Recently the trip had a little flexibility that allowed an impromptu stop at Stonehaus Winery in Crossville.
Stonehaus Winery opened it’s doors in April 1991 offering five wines that were all sold on site. Now they are the only winery with statewide distribution. Their wines can now be found at the winery and other retail stores across the state.
Stonehaus as a rich heritage. According to their website, Mr. Fay Wheeler, Stonehaus’s winemaker and visionary is considered to be “the grandfather of Tennessee wine”. He was instrumental in getting the Wine and Grape Act enacted in 1977, which permitted a winery to open in any county, wet or dry, providing the grapes were grown in Tennessee (the rule then was 100% of Tennessee grown, but has since been amended to 75%). In 1979, Fay and his wife Kathy and Mr. Robert R. Ramsey and his wife Belle (the current owners of Stonehaus Winery) made Tennessee history by starting the first licensed winery in Tennessee, which also happened to be in a “dry” county. Fay and Kathy operated Highland Manor in Jamestown until 1989. Highland Manor was sold and the Wheeler’s and Ramsey’s collaborated with long-time friends, Dr. Lloyd Hassler and Jamie McGuire to open Stonehaus Winery.
Early production was mostly manual with little automation. Due to demand, the winery operation facility was expanded for the fifth time in 2005 and in 2006 an automated bottling line was installed. This allowed for for bottling of up to 3,000 bottles per hour.
Today the winery not only produces wines from Tennessee grown grapes and fruit, but also sources from locations such as Columbia Valley, WA; Lodi, CA; and New York. This lends to the extensive selections they offer. Varieties used include Barbara, Concord, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Niagara, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Cayuga, Muscadine, Blackberry, and Raspberry.
When we arrived in the tasting room, we were greeted by Shaelee. She was extremely friendly and provided a wonderful background on the winery and was knowledgeable about the wines.
I had the pleasure of tasting several of the offerings, and would like to highlight two of my favorites (that I also purchased).
- 2017 Barbera – Sourced from Lodi, CA grapes, this wine is a medium bodied wine, but with notes of dark fruit, including blackberry, dark cherry.
- 2012 Chardonnay – Sourced from Columbia Valley, WA, this is not your typical Chardonnay. This one is unoaked, and has a little more residual sugar, making it a bit sweeter than you would expect. Even though I love the more traditional Chardonnay, this one is rich with notes of butterscotch, making it extremely drinkable and enjoyable.
If you are in the area, be sure to drop by and check out the Stonehaus tasting room and shop.Find out more on their website at www.stonehauswinery.com.
Find out more by visiting their website at StonehausWinery.com.