Where: 1376 Wyatt Mountain Rd, Dyke, VA
Tasting Fee: $13 for a tasting of six wines
Don’t Miss The: Viognier, mulled wine, back deck
Food: There’s a small selection of dips and pizzas. Outside food is also allowed!
Getting to Stone Mountain Vineyards is a worthwhile adventure. It sits at the top of a long, gravely mountain road, where luckily we only had to pass someone once. In their tasting room, shirts are sold advertising that you survived the drive up and they aren’t kidding! Legend has it that once a Hummer limo containing a bachelorette party got stuck and a tree had to be chainsawed down to get them safely home.
Once you arrive though, Stone Mountain is absolutely stunning. As you walk down to the tasting room, you’re greeted with a hundred and eighty degrees of mountain peaks. The tasting room itself also gives off cozy (yet surprisingly roomy) cabin vibes and is perfect for a chilly fall day. Sitting at an 1800′ foot elevation, with the vines growing at 1700′ feet, you really do feel like you are at the top of the world here.
Everything is grown on-site, with the exception of their Viognier, since it’s a helluh fickle grape that would probably immediately die at this altitude. However, they do ferment their Viognier on-site and something about this cooler climate managed to give it a slight effervescence. While not fully in the realm of sparkling wine, it does have just a little bit of that tickle. Rounding out the whites for our tasting was also an oaked chardonnay.
On the day my husband and I visited, it was decidedly COLD, so I sincerely appreciated the reds. We got to try a sip of the Petite Verdot that is aging up nicely, and a few Bordeaux and blends that are perfect to snuggle up to their fireplace with. Their 2017 Meritage (Oh boy, did the husband and I debate how to pronounce it–Say it like it rhymes with heritage.) was the star of my show. However, when it came to walking around and exploring, it was the mulled wine that gave me life I needed.
Overall, the tasting price might be on the higher side of average, but the pours are generous and the wines are good. There is genuinely something for everyone. Hell, normally residual sugar makes me run in the other directions, but I thoroughly enjoyed their semi-sweet Bacon Hollow Revenuer’s Select. Stone Mountain is leaning into what makes sense for their location–higher altitude and colder. It’s good to see them playing with what makes sense for the area.
We also had the luck of being the first ones in the door and ending up next to Jim, the winegrower and one of the owners. His wife and fellow owner Deanna was unfortunately away making wreaths, but between Jim and and our knowledgeable tasting room associate, we managed to learn a ton–which is always my favorite kind of wine tasting. Another added bonus? The best winery dogs EVER–Cabernet and Bordeaux. The best bonus? You can also bring your own dog. Wineries are more fun with dogs. It’s a fact.
I’m looking forward to coming back on a warmer day and trying a wine slushie, mostly because I’m just happy to live in a world with wine slushies. Getting to Stone Mountain might be a bit of an adventure, but it’s certainly a fun and worthwhile one. Go on a clear day and take in the sweet views and delicious wines!