Winemaker’s roots brings Barossa Valley to Texas

Tucked away within the rolling hills of Spicewood, Texas stands Stone House Vineyard.  As you pull up, it’s apparent how Stone House got it’s name as the constructed, massive, limestone blocks form a beautiful factual stone house.  We were greeted by friendly Gina from Events and Marketing, who led us to the tasting room.

Before I dive into wine reviews, here is a little more about the Vineyard.

Overlooking the vines at Stone House Vineyard

Stone House Vineyard is a small family owned establishment.  It’s grounded in Texas, however it’s legacy is in Australia.  This is the home of founder Angela who hails from Barossa Valley wine country.  Angela continues to source grapes and winemaking techniques from Barossa. The Stone House mission is to create wines that blend Texas and Australian techniques and flavors to showcase both viticultural producers at once.

In 1996, Angela and her husband Howard planted 99 Norton grape vines across 7 acres.  The Norton grape was chosen because of it’s delicious medium to full-bodied red wine. Norton also has other attributes: it is disease resistant and has a late bud break thereby avoiding the late freezes in the Texas Hill Country.

By the first vintage in 2002, Angela was determined to produce the highest quality grapes and from there Stone House Vineyard has continued to win national and international awards.

I did the reserve tasting with Tasting Room Manager, Lynn.  Here was the lineup.  

Cuvee Cuddles NV Champagne: Named after Angela’s Grandmother, this sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It has a full flavored body is one of the best sparkling wines I have ever had.  So much so, we had to come home with a bottle!

Special Reserve Grenache Blanc 2016:  Dry Rhone–style white however grapes for this wine are from Russian River Valley, Sonoma, in California.  Which happens to be one of my favorite places on earth.  Bright and textured wine, with a light oak treatment.

Claros 2015: Made from Norton grapes, this is a medium to full-bodied wine.  Slight spice with a nice, smooth finish.  Fun fact: The Norton grape originated in Virginia where the monks smuggled them over to Texas during prohibition.  Who knew!

Special Reserve Angela’s Wish 2012: Cabernet Sauvignon (75%) and Shiraz (25%).  Very rich with berry flavors.  Has a good acidity to balance out the fruit.

Special Reserve The Wine Dark Sea 2015 (Napa Valley): This wine is dedicated in memory of Angela’s husband, Howard who was a huge fan of Homer/the Odyssey. 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec.  This gem of a wine was my favorite red we tried.  Extremely rich, smooth, velvety and had massive chocolate notes.   My favorite type of wine.

XO Tawny Port NV: (Barossa): Butterscotch in a bottle.  Not too sweet, just the perfect balance of golden toffee and complex old oak. Silky rich sips with a memorable finish.  Another one we had to take home to open on special occasions.

So, when visiting Austin and looking for a day trip outside the city, be sure to check out this Vineyard.  You won’t be disappointed!

The Stone House Vineyard is located at 24350 Haynie Flat Road in Spicewood, Texas.

**Check their website for seasonal hours**

They can be reached via 512-264-3630 or jaramy@stonehousevineyard.com

 

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