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Stone Summit Winery and Vineyard opens in Big Bear

May 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
California is known for its fine wine industry. That winemaking art will soon reach a new high in Big Bear as one man's dream comes true.

Big Bear is a destination known for its skiing hiking and fishing. In the future, there are some people hoping it will come to be known for its wine.

"I'm very passionate about wine," said David Stone, owner of Stone Summit Winery and Vineyard.

Stone is taking his passion for wine to a new level, 6,855 feet above sea level to be exact. He is launching Big Bear's first and only commercial vineyard.

"Planted a few test vines and watched them grow and planted some more and we're up to 1,500 vines currently" said Stone.

It will take a couple years before his vineyard will produce the necessary grapes. For now, Stone is relying on grapes grown in Napa and along the Central Coast to begin bottling under his label.

"We have Chardonnay and Moscato. Today, we are starting the fermentation process and that will be our first house wines from Stone Summit," said Stone.

Overseeing the entire process is Stone's winemaker, George Walker.

"Right now, we have 243 gallons batches of wines that have been tested and adjusted and we're ready to make some fabulous wine from them," said Walker.

But before the wine can begin fermenting, the yeast must be added.

Guests invited to the unveiling were given a chance to pitch the yeast into the vats. Then the waiting begins.

The wine room at Stone Summit has over 300 labels. In the next few weeks, they'll be adding two more.

Walker says the wine will be unique because of the region where it is produced.

"A high altitude vineyard is really something to brag about, something that, you know, can make the wine very special," said Walker.

In time, they are hoping Stone Summit Wine and Vineyards will draw wine lovers throughout Southern California and beyond to Big Bear.


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