Stone House Vineyard is situated on a high bluff overlooking Lake Travis. The vineyard benefits from this proximity to the water thanks to the moderating cool breezes from the lake. The 7 acres of close-planted, Norton vines are grown in semi-drought conditions. The soil is lean and hungry, with layers of clay and sandy loam over decomposed limestone. The vines compete vigorously for moisture and nutrients. This competition encourages the vine's roots to dig deep into the soil where it is moist and cool throughout all seasons.
Standard vineyard management is impossible in the variable Texas Hill Country climate. The unpredictable spring can bring hail, freeze, and copious rains during flowering. Norton has its own program of care, according to its position in the vineyard and which wine it is intended for, be it our Claros red or our Scheming Beagle port. We utilize a Vertical Shoot Positioning trellis for the canopy structure. Working with the natural advantage rather than against it is the driving force in working the vineyard. Every factor is taken into consideration, including the micro-climates within the vineyard aspect and soil type.
The first block of 4 acres was planted in 1999, followed by an expansion of 3 additional acres in 2005. Norton is a low-yielding variety, rarely exceeding 1.5 tons per acre. In the warmer Texas climate, our goal yield every year is .75 tons to the acre. While not a lot, this enables us to make a wine rich in color and flavor.