Don't ever go to the Stone Bluff Wine Festival. We went with the Ibanezes this weekend and we all agreed it was awful. First of all, you have to pay $5 per person just for the privilege of standing on their muddy lawn looking at the few things there are to do. You can only look, because each of those things to do charged an additional fee. Other wine festivals that have an entry fee at least give you free food or five free tastings or something. Stone Bluff didn't even provide something to taste from. You had to buy a poorly made, ugly wine glass for $4 and then pay $1 per scanty taste of wine. They probably made more money off of a tasting bottle than they would have just selling it regularly. Also, the volunteers that poured the wine were extra cranky and getting any information out of them about the wines you were tasting was like pulling teeth...from an annoyed buffalo. Yikes!
Finally, in our opinion, the wine was bad. They were all too sickly sweet and syrupy, like when you don't add the appropriate amount of water to your Kool-Aid. Their dryest wine, the Syrah, was okay but is what we usually consider a middle-of-the-road wine. The Terre Rouge tasted like your grandmother's perfume and smelled worse.
If ever you find yourself heading out to Stone Bluff, do yourself a favor, turn left rather than right and visit the Lavender Hills Vineyard instead. They were awesome. We pulled up and they said, "Here are the four wines we are tasting for free today. We even have cups you can use!" Their wines fit our preferences much better, having flavors other than sugar. Their Sweet Red was delicious, not too sweet, and had nice spicy flavors. As the lady said, "You could drink this wine all day. You could get drunk off this wine. I am." Loved her!
Inside their store, they had wine-a-ritas (wine slushies) and gave us generous free samples. Plus, they are also a lavender farm so they had bundles of lavender, soaps, and lotions for sale that all smelled awesome. The Ibanezes bought three bottles of wine, I bought some lavender, and we all left feeling much better about our afternoon.
When Josh and I have our vineyard, we know whose example we'll follow.