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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Walsh

Celebrate Life at Stone Tower Winery


Lindsey's Pick Wine | 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

Use | Wedding Venue & Mini-moon or Anniversary getaway

Price | $15 to $16,000+


Every once in a while, there are moments in life when you step back and think to yourself, I love this! That is exactly how I felt every moment I spent walking around Stone Tower Winery with Lauren Weber. Lauren manages the events for Stone Tower and she is an absolute delight and a wealth of knowledge. During our chat, she gave me a full tour of the location and shared some amazing details about the winery.



Welcome to Stone Tower Winery

Located just off Route 15, Stone Tower is nestled along Hogsback Mountain road on a stunning 500 acres of Virginia rolling hills. In 2007, Mike and Kristi Huber decided to buy the open farmland adjacent to their family farm. At the time, they weren't entirely sure what they wanted to do, but they knew they wanted to keep this beautiful piece of land for agricultural use. In 2009, they started by planting grape vines as a passion and hobby. In 2013, they opened the Harvest Barn Tasting room and in 2015 they opened the Tower View Tasting room which includes the Barrel Club Room and Vineyard View Ballroom. The Vineyard View Ballroom is on the exact spot the couple had imagined their future family home to be (the view is amazing!). Now, just 14 years later they have over 100 acres under vine and utilize the same winemaking processes used at the renowned wineries of Europe.




The Wedding Experience

Attention to detail. The one thought that kept striking me as Lauren walked me through the space was the attention to detail the Stone Tower team takes with everything they do. They genuinely care about the guest experience and take painstaking efforts to ensure everything is perfect.


Let's start with the Farmhouse and Cottage. The Farmhouse is the original home on the site and comes as part of the wedding package. Doors open at 9:00 am and the bridal party (or groom!) can use this beautiful sunny property for getting ready and taking photos. The house offers lots of space for the full party to feel comfortable and get ready in style. Makeup artists and hairstylists can get in even earlier and get set up so they're ready to go when the bride or groom gets there. Stone Tower also offers a brunch menu to keep the wedding party well-fed in anticipation of the big event. The Cottage is a second one-bedroom home located on the other side of the property. It is a great place for the other half of the happy couple to get ready and can offer a nearby secluded space for the couple to spend their first night as a newlyweds.


Because Stone Tower Winery is committed to only doing one wedding at a time the couple has their pick of wedding ceremony locations. Outside, couples can choose between the pond ceremony site and the hillside ceremony site. The pond site offers a beautiful pond and stone wall backdrop and leverages the natural hillside and stone walls to create elevated seating for guests. This makes it easy to ensure the space can accommodate up to 250 guests, all of whom will have a good view of the nuptials. The retainer walls (like many of the walls) are built from stones local to the property which they excavated when planting the vines. Because they think of every detail, the evergreen trees and wooden fence were planted to ensure the guests would not see the bride as she and the bridal party come down the hill from the Farmhouse before the ceremony.



In addition to the pond site, there is the hillside ceremony site. Set atop a rolling hill alongside the rows of vines, this provides expansive views and up-close access to the grapes. Lauren showed me that the guests come in a special gate and are immediately welcomed with a glass of wine, a cooling lemonade, or a warming cup of hot chocolate. Then, they follow a short path up the hill and can enjoy views of the mountains and vineyard from their private hilltop. To ensure nothing detracts from the ceremony, they put up beautiful wooden fences surrounded by evergreens which they set off with stone statues. These details ensure privacy and that 'wedding feel'. To top it all off, Lauren showed me that from May to November, brides (or grooms) can emerge from the rows of vines as they begin their walk down the aisle. How much fun is that!



What happens if it rains or is cold? They thought of that too. Couples can pick between a Ballroom Ceremony or a Tank Room Ceremony. As a passionate wine-lover myself, I personally love the Tank Room Ceremony. Here guests sit in the actual wine-making room between a row of stainless steel tanks and oak tanks. The cathedral ceiling and stone archway create a unique and memorable place to be married.



And, because no detail was forgotten after the ceremony the couple can walk through the first of 3 sets of 300-year-old Tibetan antique doors. Here's a close-up, they're stunning.





After the ceremony, guests can immediately head right up to the Barrel Club Room & Outdoor Patio for cocktail hour. The beautiful Barrel Club Room has a very cool huge oak bar that resembles a wine barrel.



For guests wanting to enjoy the sunset or not quite ready to head inside, the outdoor patio offers breathtaking vistas of the foothills to the Bull Run Mountains.



At Stone Tower, everything is an experience and every detail is considered. So, after the cocktail hour is done, guests are ushered through another set of Tibetan doors into this fun catacomb-like underground tunnel. I loved the tunnel so much, I asked Lauren to stop so I could take a short video.



But, that's when she showed me the piece-de-resistance! Stone Tower has the original cell doors to Al Capone's cell. They repurposed them as the gate to the reserve wine cellar. Seriously! Lauren told me how they'd been passed down from generation to generation and eventually found their way to Stone Tower. Again, the attention to detail!



From here, the guests enter the Vineyard View Ballroom and await the grand entrance of the wedding party and newlywed couple. As a wedding florist, one part I appreciate most is the reuse of natural materials. Lauren showed me how the stone accent walls throughout the space came from the property and the wood used for the stairwell and the main tasting room was also repurposed wood from the property. It doesn't get any more local than that.



Of course, I also appreciate the light. Last November, we did this wedding at Stone Tower. When laying the flowers on the head table and watching the afternoon sunlight bounce off the gold-rimmed wine glasses, I remember thinking, 'Now that is beautiful'.



Even though by this point I am completely charmed, it doesn't end here. Next, Lauren showed me this beautiful artwork done with upcycled wood from the property by a local female woodworker. Again, beautiful. She also told me the same woodworker built custom wood planters to help block off the stairs during private events. Lauren said they commissioned the work because they thought it would be nicer than a simple rope. Again, the details!



There's only one downside I can see to this wonderful space. Because they are committed to only doing one wedding at a time, they book up quickly. Lauren let me know they typically book two years in advance and will open their 2025 booking early this summer.


What about the Rehearsal Dinner?


Perhaps you aren't planning two years out, or are looking for a smaller space. Don't worry, Stone Tower offers other options too. Lauren showed me the lovely Wild Boar Hall. This space is adjacent to the members-only tasting hall and opens at 7 pm for private dinners. Lauren says it is popular for rehearsal dinners both with couples getting married at Stone Tower and couples getting married at other nearby locations.




See for Your Yourself: Stone Tower Winery Video





Want the Stone Tower Experience without the Stone Tower Wedding? Book a Weekend Getaway.


The special gem I learned about from Lauren while here was the potential for a weekend getaway. Anyone can rent the Cottage for an evening of secluded luxury. My recommendation is to combine that with an Estate Experience - this is a 3-hour event that begins with a golf-cart tour of the property (tasting wine along the way) and an afternoon in the wine library enjoying bites from the Stone Tower culinary team and chatting wine with a Brand Ambassador. Sounds like a fabulous mini-moon, anniversary getaway, or ideal pre-wedding relaxation.


Committed to UpCycling


In addition to keeping Northern Virginia land for agricultural use, Stone Tower is obviously committed to upcycling resources. Here's a photo of the member's club room where wine members can pick up their monthly wines. The floor is completely made from repurposed wine barrel lids and the bar is made from repurposed wine barrels.



In addition, Stone Tower looks for ways to repurpose wine bottles whenever possible. For example, they partner with a local candle maker who transforms old bottles into seasonal candles.



Committed to Local Agriculture


From day one Mike and Kristi have been committed to local Virginia agriculture. Before they had even envisioned Stone Tower Winery, they knew they wanted to protect Hogback Mountain and keep it for agricultural use. It is easy to see from their on-site market that their love for Virginian farms extends beyond their own land to local vendors. Here, Lauren showed me they sell artisanal cheese from a local creamery, regional charcuterie, and of course Virginia peanuts. It is great to see a couple lifting up and supporting other smaller-scale vendors.



Not Perfect, Yet


Stone Tower is clearly committed to local farmers and keeping the Virginia landscape for agricultural use. When Lauren and I discussed this, she kept pointing out all the places where they are working to do better and want to do more. They recognize they aren't perfect and want to continue to innovate. I have lots of respect for them in their effort to keep it local and to upcycle where possible. I understand the realities of winemaking make it hard to do everything they want, but I respect the effort they are putting into innovating here. Just think for every bottle they sell, it is one less bottle of wine that has to be shipped in.


I wish Lauren, Kristi and Mike, and the whole Stone Tower team the best of luck!


Until next time, I'll be digging in the dirt!


Lindsey




 

This blog is a passion project where we explore all the earth-loving potential of weddings. Think of this as a fun and light-hearted place to find inspiration and ideas.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

- Lindsey & Barbara


Growing Wild Floral Co | Sustainable Wedding Flowers | growingwild@msn.com










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