Label was purchased by Vintage Wine Estates, seems to have ended up as one wine under Windsor Vineyards in Sonoma County – this label has been so changed since it was founded and since we first met with the founder Rob and Claudia many years ago. It currently doesn’t appear to have any association with Napa Valley any more (assuming it is even still made). Archiving this review now.
StoneFly Vineyards was founded by the husband wife team of Rob Hampton & Claudia Sansone. Something about the name of this winery is a dead give away to their passionate hobby of fly fishing. As they say on their label, “A perfect day begins with a stonefly on your line and ends with StoneFly in your glass”. As a result of combining this passion for fly fishing and wine, their wine has invariably become popular with several fly fishing organizations.
Rob is a sculptor and painter and Claudia is a well-known TV culinary chef who has worked with many celebrity chefs and has written her own culinary books. In early 2008 they sold the winery to Pat Roney and Leslie Rudd, two very well respected individuals who already have their hands in several Napa, Sonoma and beyond wineries. Napa’s Girard winery is the sister winery to StoneFly. Their wines continue to be marketed to fisherman in a variety of ways including through the outdoor clothing and accessories company Orvis.
The original focus of StoneFly was to create an elegant Cabernet Franc which was inspired from their many trips to the Loire Valley in France. This varietal was the main focus until the winery fell under new ownership. Today StoneFly focuses on their signature Cabernet Franc of course but they also produce a number of Cabernet Sauvignons and their one white – a Sauvignon Blanc. Since the new ownership has taken over, they have also branched out and now source from a number of high end Napa vineyards including from Atlas Peak, Oakville and Mt. Veeder. Their wines are priced rather reasonably by Napa standards.
The wines are made at a nearby winery and are distributed via their mailing list and select wine shops in a number of states. Their wines are priced extremely reasonably for Napa standards. We originally met with Claudia at her house before they sold the winery. We tried the 2004 Cabernet Franc. It has lots of cherry aromas on the nose – it is full bodied and smooth, a complete wine with a long structured finish. It is always nice to find a Cabernet Franc with a lingering finish such as this one as in our experience a number of Cabernet Francs we have tried have a nice mid palate but really no structure to the finish.
Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a fairly recent addition to their portfolio. Their red wines pair well with cheeses and grilled meats and since Claudia, the original owner is a chef, some mouth watering recipes have found their way online. View the recipe section on their website for not only Claudia’s recipes but also some unique dishes by other well-known chefs. As of the time of this review, their total production is only about 1000 cases, has limited distribution and as a result, often sells out quickly.
Stonefly now offers some very unique tour packages in the Napa area. Depending on season, weather and your preferences they offer several fishing trips. Nearby creeks and public waters are available. Go with their very experienced guides to catch brown, rainbow trout and largemouth Bass. All fishing equipment is included on each trip. Visit: www.stoneflyvineyards.com
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially. Label was absorbed Vintage Wine Estates
Rick Ehrman says
Was in wine club