Stony Hill Vineyard sells to Long Meadow Ranch
Stony Hill Vineyard, one of Napa Valley’s oldest family-owned winery, has sold to another Napa Valley winery. Stony Hill Vineyard is a unique winery in the Napa Valley. Stony Hill is tucked away, hidden from the roadway. Tasting is by appointment only, and only a few visitors are scheduled each day. Wine case production is approximately 5000 cases per year, with Chardonnay the flagship wine. The Chardonnay is noted for its beautiful balance, and not for heavy oak or buttery and creamy flavors like one finds at most Napa Valley wineries. The wines are mostly sold to long-time loyal customers, local restaurants and online.
We have visited Stony Hill Vineyard on many occasions. One of our wine friends, Mike Beltran, knows Mike Chelini well. Mike Chelini has been the winemaker at Stony Hill Vineyard for the past 45 years. He is the longest-tenured winemaker in the Napa Valley. We love taking a barrel sample of all the wines and walking through some of the hillside vineyards. Mike Chelini is also a member of an exclusive lunch club. They call themselves the G.O.N.A.D.S. What does that mean? I wrote an article back in 2008 on Mike Chelini, Stony Hill, and the exclusive lunch club. Read it here.
Fred and Eleanor McCrea founded Stony Hill 70 years ago. The good news in this sale is that the buyers, Ted and Laddie Hall (who currently own Long Meadow Ranch), and the McCrea family are old friends. It seems that too often with the sale of a Napa Valley winery, a wine conglomerate or an investment group buys the winery. I’m always disappointed to find a long-time winery selling to the big dealers of the wine industry. Give us the good old days of the Napa Valley!