Ben Morrison had a dream twenty years ago of opening a winery. With full support from his wife, Suzanne, the two opened Stone Barn Cellars Winery on July 15, 2013.
Nestled on a ten acre farm along Route 100 across from Prizer Road in northern Chester County sits a converted 160-year old German bank barn which the Morrison’s have turned into Chester County’s latest winery and tasting room. With twelve wines to choose from and specialties, Stone Barn Cellar Winery also offers local cheeses and snacks to be enjoyed by patrons while they take in the ambience of what used to be a working barn along the serene landscape of French Creek.
Their plan was to fix up and sell their home in order to purchase the farm in South Coventry Township. Ben continued to work as a photojournalist and photo editor for newspapers even after he and his wife started work on the winery. One look at the interior of the tasting room, a patron can feel the Morrison’s love and passion as they enter the open layout of hardwood floors made from trees that had fallen on the property and are an example of how some people can capture the beauty of what nature “throws away.” The barn’s glass windows were replaced as close to the original as possible and the wood beam trusses of the original barn have been well preserved. The full stone wall behind the bar has been completely repointed taking away any evidence that this was once a working farm barn.
A small plot of Niagara grapes beautifies the front of the barn and is used to produce a small amount of wine but the tiny plot of fruit is for primarily decoration and educational purposes. For those novice wine tasters who may not understand the difference between vineyards and wineries, it is quite simple: vineyards grow grapes; wineries make wine from other people’s fruit.
Since Stone Barn Cellars Winery is not also a vineyard, they purchases all their fruit from growers in Pennsylvania and the result is proving to be well worth the effort as their twelve wines are tempting to the olfactory and tactile sensations of their guests. Though they plan on growing their own fruit in the future, they realize that Mother Nature plays havoc with crops so they would continue to supplement their fruit by buying from some of Pennsylvania’s best growers.
“We offer wines from dry reds and whites to sweet and semi -sweet and some specialty wines like our Pumpkin. We tried to make wines that would appeal to many people. There isn’t a wine on our list that my wife and I don’t enjoy. We make what we like to drink and I think that relates to wines that many people like to drink.”
Guests can enjoy “James Taylor style” music of a singer or two on the deck or inside the tasting room while they relax with a glass of wine, local cheeses and light snacks that complement the wines flavor. Special events such as Wine and Yoga, Wine and Canvas Painting classes are held after the winery closes. As the holidays approach, Stone Barn Cellars Winery will be hosting special events such as Christmas caroling and gift baskets along with holiday food pairings and hot spiced wines.
All wines available for the wine tasting are also available for sale in the tasting room and range from $14-24 per bottle. In the future, Stone Barn Cellars Winery plans on selling their wines to other locations and area restaurants.
“We wanted to create a place where people could come and try some wine in a beautiful setting, enjoy some music and go away feeling happy about the experience. A place where they feel welcome to bring their own snacks and try and learn about Pennsylvania wines from our well trained staff.”
With the cold weather and holidays closing in; why not stop by for a tasting and maybe stay for a full glass of Chester Counties newest wines. The tasting room is open seven days a week (Sun-Thurs 12-5 and Fri-Sat 11-7).
With a full embodiment of 12 current robust and refreshing red, white and blush wines, each will leave you asking for more. So come on in and test out your taste buds. Choose from the dry white wines of Chardonnay and Night Owl to the dry reds of Wild-Man Red, Hat Trick, and Bonfire or if Semi-Sweet is your preferred taste, they offer the whites in Niagara, Morning Glory and Indian Summer or reds in Concord and Deliciously Red. Blush and specialty wines consist of Make-Me Blush and Spice of Life-Pumpkin. This writer was lucky enough to have tried a special called the Hot Berry Warm-up, and I can vouch, it was absolutely refreshing and warmed me up on a cold afternoon. For more information, please check out their website at http://stonebarncellars.com or call the winery at 484-985-8077.