Stony Hill Vineyard
By Sarah McCrea
In the early 1940s my grandparents, Fred and Eleanor McCrea, spent their summers with friends on the top of Spring Mountain (on the property that is now Smith Madrone). In 1943, they fell in love with a 160-acre goat ranch on the rocky northeast slope down below their friends’ place. And after much hand wringing and negotiation with the sister and brother who owned the property, they purchased the land. In 1947, after WWII had come to an end and resources were once more available, they turned their attention to planting vines. Our first harvest was in 1952.
Our wines are characterized by the balance between the intensely flavored fruit from our hillside vineyards and the notable acidity that gives the wine structure. We are known primarily for our age-worthy Chardonnays and also produce limited quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Semillon and Rosé.
For over 60 years, we have had the good fortune to benefit from the rich volcanic soil, sheltered northeast exposure, naturally spring-fed earth and elevation just above the morning fog that can only come from Spring Mountain. With the mountain as our most precious resource and the expert winemaking skills originally my grandfather Fred, followed in 1973 Mike Chelini (Stony Hill’s winemaker for over 40 years and now the longest tenured winemaker anywhere in the Napa Valley!), we plan to continue the tradition for many years to come.