Holden releases first gubernatorial wine


HERMANN, Mo. – For more than a century, Hermann has been known around the state as wine country, but perhaps no wine is as stately as the latest offering from Stone Hill Winery: the Governor’s Reserve, a new red wine produced by former Governor Bob Holden.

The former governor and his wife planted 192 vines of that same grape at their weekend hideaway in Fredericksburg in 2007.

Those grapes were used to produce the 2012 and 2013 Governor’s Reserve, fermented and aged in white oak barrels also grown in Missouri.

The 2012 was aged for 24 months, while the 2013 was aged for 12 months.

Stone Hill says that, to the best of their knowledge, Governor’s Reserve is the first vineyard designated wine made from grapes raised by a United State governor.



Winemaker Shaun Turnbull describes the 2012 wine as having a savory aroma with notes of dark cacao, dried cherries, with hints of cinnamon and trues. As for the 2013, Turnbull describes it as having intense aromas of dark fruit, melted dark and white chocolate, and hints of candied grapefruit, coconut and butterscotch.

Only 468 bottles of the 2012 Governor’s Reserve are available, along with 780 bottles of the 2013 variety.

Prices start at $25.99 each for one to five bottles and are $22.09 each for orders of a dozen bottles or more.



Wine is $1.76 billion industry in Missouri, with vineyards stretching across thousands of acres of Missouri farmland.

In fact, the state produced 1.13 million gallons of wine in 2015, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The Missouri Wine and Grape Board says the Show Me State is home to more than 125 wineries, providing nearly 15,000 full-time jobs.

During his term as governor, Holden designated the Norton as the state grape in 2003.