Remember those high school days when you insisted on doing what the cool kids were doing even though you knew it was unwise, unflattering or just plain stupid? (For me it was the Farrah Fawcett ‘wings’ haircut—a dark time in my evolution.) Swimming against the mainstream takes grit and confidence, so I tip my hat to the team at Stony Hill winery. Over the past few decades it’s taken serious discipline and courage for Stony Hill to stick to crisp white varietals in Napa Valley’s red wine-soaked universe. But the team at Stony Hill Winery, despite the skeptics, has remained true to their Chablis-inspired philosophy since 1947. According to the winery owners, Willinda and Peter McCrea, “Our reputation is somewhat old fashioned in that we have stayed with the same wine style for so many years while the rest of the industry experimented. Partly this is the result of having only two winemakers in our 60 year history and part of it is staying true to our devoted customers who love our style, we need to keep them happy.”
In The Press
When it comes to wine travel, it's easy to wax poetic about driving the winding roads alongside the sea of vineyards that stretches for miles, and subsequently sipping through an array of red, white, sparkling and rosé wines before relaxing at a vineyard spa.
It was a glorious Saturday, sunny and warm but not too hot, clear blue skies, and I was with people I work with, people who have over the years become good friends. I had never before been to the Napa Valley, or to any California wine region. We drove north from San Francisco and at times it was startling in how lovely it was. As we approached Napa we hit traffic, the first sign of the popularity of this place as a tourist destination. I saw a sign for Domaine Carneros and then another for Beaulieu Vineyards. We saw large flat vineyards with rows of skinny vines supported by posts and wires, all draped with thin hoses for irrigation purposes - it gets very hot in the Napa Valley and months can go by in the summer without rain.