Winemaker Angela Moench and husband, Howard, have been making wine in the Hill County southwest of Austin since early 2000, with their first vintage appearing in 2002. They have six and a half acres planted with an American varietal, Norton, which is relatively disease free and able to withstand the variable Hill Country climate. This, according to Sue Carter, wine director of the Hill Country Wine and Food Festival , makes Stone House wines more robust and flavorful than some of the other Hill Country wines that depend upon less successful California grape varieties.
By Ethne Clarke
The first vintage at Stone House was in 2002, with an excellent yield of high quality grapes. "Not surprising, really," remarks Angela. "I was tending the vineyard like a private garden." Reviewing the Stone House wines in 2006, local Hill Country wine enthusiast Wes Marshall wrote, "Gentle basket pressing accentuates the pleasant plum-prune-dried apricot aromas and keep any bad parts of the grape under control. Nicely balanced, you can barely taste the alcohol [and the] flavors start with plum jam and carry through to a little hint of bright red fruit for spicing, finishing with mint, chocolate and a tiny touch of eucalyptus. Stone House Claros has won awards in San Francisco, San Diego as well as all over Texas.
As the Moench's have observed, "wine and architecture are both influenced by a sense of place: the soil, the climate and the lie of the land." And in the construction of the winery buildings, tasting room and patio, they have honored the Hill Country's materials, creating simple unadorned structures from massive sawn-limestone blocks quarried locally.Stone House Vineyard is sited on a high bluff above Lake Travis; cool breezes off the water help to ameliorate the summer temperatures, just as the thick stone walls help to keep interiors cool.
24350 Haynie Flat Road
Spicewood, Texas, USA 78669
Tel: 512-264-3630 / 264-9890 / Fax: 512-264-9759