Stony Hill Chardonnays are some of the most respected and highly-sought-after California wines in existence. Their style is best described as lean, bright, elegant and food friendly.
To achieve this style, we crush and press the grapes with minimum skin contact and ferment in neutral oak cooperage. When fermentation is complete, we rack the wine off the lees, in order to avoid the development of a yeasty flavor in the wine. We then age it in the neutral oak barrels, most of which are well over ten years old, allowing the wine to develop and mature without absorbing an oak flavor component that could mask the natural fruit. In addition, we avoid a secondary (malolactic) fermentation in order to maintain the original acid structure of the wine and protect the fruit’s inherent citrus and apple components.
Fred and Eleanor took the original Chardonnay cuttings from the Wente vineyard in Livermore in 1948. We have done one major Chardonnay replanting, in 1986, making the average age of our current vineyards approximately 30 years old again.
Current Chardonnay Vintages
Previous Vintage Tasting Note Archive
Food Pairing Suggestions and Recipes
We make fruity, non-oaky, non-buttery Chardonnays that are eminently age-worthy and develop richness and depth for many years after bottling. For younger vintages we would suggest a match with Mike Chelini's Farm House Wild Salmon Dinner. To compliment more mature vintages we would choose Peter's Grilled Quail recipe.
June 7, 2016
Faro is the ancient grain of the Mediterranean and the mainstay of the Roman Empire diet. Recently it has made a comeback as the new alternative to rice with health conscious cooks and trendy chefs. Mike Chelini’s recipe incorporates onions, fennel, mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which give the faro a lively texture and piquant flavors. We serve this dish with Mike’s Farm House Pork Cutlets.
June 7, 2016
Mike Chelini, Stony Hill’s winemaker for thirty-eight years, features this dish for multi-generational family gatherings because it appeals to all ages. The simple, fresh ingredients and the lightness of the dish match well with the pure young fruit of our 2006 Chardonnay.
June 7, 2016
This is an old-fashioned appetizer from author Peggy Knickerbocker who remembers them from her mother’s parties long ago. They are so good they will never go out of style! We serve these little taste treats when we are pouring Stony Hill Chardonnay for cocktails.
The 2017 growing season was unforgettable in the Napa Valley. The harvest was small but the fruit was complex and flavorful. The vintage proved to be more than we ever could have hoped for, and it will be a joy to watch this wine evolve over time.
What we find truly unique about this vintage is the wine's ability to retain its crispness while presenting a slight creaminess on the palate. Although from a year with May rain and a cool summer, the 2011 has proved to be a quintessential Stony Hill Chardonnay.
The 2014 Chardonnay is an exciting wine. The combination of our dry farming methods and three years of drought created concentrated fruit at harvest leading to deep flavors in the wine.
The palate notes of citrus and green apple with the added touch of earthiness, a chalky minerality from our stony soils, which we call a wet stone quality. The mouthfeel is all crisp acidity which gives it bounce and a slightly forward richness for balance; and the larger format is a beautiful way to extend the wine's already age-worthy life.