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An image of Stony Hill vineyard from the 1970's, showing the vineyards being planted and overlooking Napa Valley.

And so our story begins…

The year was 1943

Fred McCrea and his wife, Eleanor, stumbled onto a 168-acre goat ranch hidden away on the slopes of Spring Mountain, which they acquired and developed into their dream wine estate that is Stony Hill.

A black and white historic photo of Stony Hill vineyard and the vines.
A historic photo of Stony Hill with a group using a large wooden wine press with grapes coming from the fall harvest.
A sign on a post that says "Stony Hill Vineyard", directing guests to the vineyard.


With their love of white Burgundy, combined with the ideal growing conditions of their property, the McCreas built the first post-Prohibition winery in 1951.

Two men in a truck with wooden boxes filled with grapes, bringing them to the Stony Hill residence for harvest.


The inaugural Stony Hill vintage was released the following year.

Stony Hill’s high elevation and terroir with volcanic mountain soil, a limestone sub-layer, and a northeast-facing hillside made it perfect to craft their preferred style of Chardonnay.

Referred to as

Napa Valley’s first cult wine producer

Two men using the grape press, and unloading grapes from a truck from the harvest.
A man filling a wine barrel with grapes.


Fred brought on Mike Chelini as his assistant winemaker and protegee, who would later take over after Fred’s passing in 1977. From then until 2018, Chelini carried on McCrea’s legacy and philosophy of winemaking for over four decades, maintaining the “big little winery” and selling primarily through a hand-selected list of buyers—Napa Valley’s first mailing list.

A wooden bin full of grapes from harvest.

Over the years...

The McCreas planted more European white varietals including Pinot Blanc, Johannisberg Riesling and later Gewürztraminer and Semillon.


The first Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on the property with the first red wines released a few years later in 2009. This marked the new era of Stony Hill producing some of the most regal high-elevation Cabernet on Spring Mountain.


Stony Hill moved into its next era of producing world-class wines with new ownership by the Lawrence Family. Sustainable farming practices, including regenerative farming, continue the legacy the McCrea Family began so many years ago.

A hand holding a bunch of grapes taken from a bin full of grapes from harvest.
Reid Griggs, Winemaker

“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of the genealogy of Stony Hill and carry on the tradition of making classically proportioned wines here, started by the McCrea Family.”