Founded in 1847, the Stone Hill Winery is the oldest and largest vineyard in Missouri. The firm offers tours, tastings and sales at three locations. The newest location, opening in 1986, is found at the junction of Highway 165 and Green Mountain Drive in Branson.
The winery is a very popular attraction for a number of reasons. Size, convenience, cost and perceived value are all factors in its success. Naturally, the many awards received for the wine also help bring people in the door.
The Branson location has more than 12,000 square feet of space available for touring. This size allows the winery to play host to thousands of tourists each year while still reserving ample space for its core business of making wine. The large size of the facility also means that even at peak season the crowds are not overwhelming.
Touring the winery is convenient because tours are offered daily. Lasting just over an hour, the tours cover all aspects of wine production. Visitors are guided through each step of the wine-making process as they walk through the facility following a short film. Visitors will also see maturing sherry and get to see the bottling process in action. At the end of the tour, there are six different tasting rooms available for sampling Stone Hill Winery products. The company makes reds, whites, spumantes, sherries and dessert wines.
The tours are offered at no charge, so the perceived value of the experience is high. While many locations in Branson require advance ticket purchase, reservations are not needed for the tour. The short nature of the tour also means that a great deal of information about wine-making is communicated in a short time period.
Naturally, the Stone Hill Winery in Branson also has a gift shop. Visitors can purchase souvenirs and many of the available vintages. Guests are also welcome to visit the tasting rooms, even if they are not interested in a tour. Underage visitors are welcome, but all visitors will need to show proof of age before sampling wines if they appear to be under 21.
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