Our guests are always welcome to come to Hermann and experience the Old-World hospitality and charm of our underground cellars, magnificent views and exciting events. But we know life is sometimes just too hectic for all that. So we've made special provisions with just you busy folks in mind. Our New Florence facility is conveniently located on Interstate 70 at Exit 175, halfway between Columbia and St. Louis.
Visitors to New Florence will find the same award-winning wines and juices, the same quality wine-related gift items and the same gracious hospitality that the main winery in Hermann is known for.
As Stone Hill's bottle-fermented sparkling wine production facility, New Florence offers one thing that the winery's other two facilities do not-a firsthand glimpse at the traditional 18th-century French method of champagne making. During an informative tour, visitors learn the secrets of Methode Champenoise.
A specially selected wine, called a "cuvee" is bottled with a precise amount of sugar and a special yeast. This results in a secondary fermentation within the sealed heavy bottle, creating the pressure and famous bubbles. The fermentation takes from three weeks to three months, but the bottles must remain undisturbed for about one year. This is important because the special flavor of bottle-fermented sparkling wine develops as the wine ages on the yeast; this aging process is called tirage. The bottles are then placed neck down in the riddling racks. Every day, each bottle is given a gentle shake and turn until all of the yeast has settled into the neck of the bottle. With the necks down, the bottles are then placed in a freezing unit until the necks are frozen, trapping the yeast sediment. The bottles are then turned up and quickly opened, allowing pressure to push out the ice and yeast. This process is called "disgorging" and when properly done, results in a clear sparkling wine. The bottles are quickly sealed with the final cork, which is wired in place. The sparkling wine is now ready to drink. Only sparkling wine made by this process is allowed to say "Fermented in this bottle" on the label. There are other bulk-type processes that are shortcuts in time, labor and quality, but all Stone Hill Blanc de Blancs and Brut Rosé sparkling wines are made by this long, costly, original method.
Guests lucky enough to visit New Florence on "disgorging" day get a unique, insightful and historic display of sparkling wine making at its best.