Dave Stone is the Owner of Stone Road Vineyard, based in Elizabeth, West Virginia. Stone Road Vineyard represents the union of quality grapes with traditional, natural venting techniques. Stone Road Vineyard offers a history-honored touch to their varietals and blended red and white wines. Stone talked with Jim Matuga, host of The Positively West Virginia Podcast, about his business, a specialty wine and his advice to many entrepreneurs out there.
What is your 30-second elevator pitch for Stone Road Vineyard?
“If you like handcrafted varietal wines and if you like the homegrown touch of a crafted wine that doesn’t have a lot of preservatives and has no cane sugar in it, then you need to take a look at Stone Road Vineyards because we have blends that would really entice your taste buds,” said Stone.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your wine?
“Winemaking is a process just like making beer or distilling anything. Those are a process. So where does it stop? You need grapes to make wine. Wine is a process so why couldn’t you make wine from other things? Mead is made from honey and so why not try maple syrup. I was sitting at a banquet with another West Virginia business and they mentioned when their bricks got to x level they put it in the jar and this was maple syrup. I’m going ‘oh my gosh the bricks on a grape musk is half that so what could you actually do with that in terms of handcrafting a wine’ and so I did. I interact with other businesses in West Virginia, and then take it to the people who receive it very warmly,” said Stone about his maple hand-crafted beer, Alternate Route.
What would you say is the best thing about being in business in West Virginia?
“The people that you meet and the networking you can accomplish being a small business in West Virginia! People in West Virginia are just open and loving, and they love new things, they love to see the hands of a fellow West Virginian produce a product. They receive things without errors. They look at it for what it is and they taste it and if they don’t like it, you will know and if they like it, you will also know.”
Stone was a guest on The Positively West Virginia podcast. Listen to his full podcast here.
PWV QUICK BITS
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: From Demon to the Darling by Richard Mendelson and The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
- RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Vine Smith and my wife’s support
- PIECE OF ADVICE: “Do it, because if you have a clear outline of what you want to do make sure that the passion is there, you have to have it for whatever it is. Don’t just think I can make a million dollars making wine because I haven’t yet. If you have a passion for what you are doing and you understand the work, motivation and drive that’s necessary to get there. You understand the components to manipulate that saddle, in other words, knowing all the parts to the creativity and critical thinking. Then you can craft a business plan and make sure you have your closest folks on board with this before you start and then always consider others and helping others as you go through this.”