In the five years since Stonehome Wine Bar opened, Bill Stenehjem has developed a first-rate international wine list that focuses on hand-crafted wines from small producers in established and respected growing areas throughout the world. Wines that display an honest typicity in harmony with each region’s varietals make the list. According to Bill, “A great wine should tell a great story. Revisiting a favorite wine months or years later is like reconnecting with an old friend.” His choices seem to resonate with New Yorkers – Zagat readers have now ranked Stonehome Wine Bar the #1 winebar in New York for three years running.
Bill grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in psychology. In 1983, Bill and his wife Rose Hermann moved to New York where he joined a start-up fashion accessories company as the Director of Marketing. Two years later, they spent a year in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Bill earned a Masters in Consulting and Counseling Psychology at Harvard University. In 1986, they returned to their home in Fort Greene and Bill joined the New York Department of Education as a high school counselor. Later as the Brooklyn borough supervisor of a citywide counseling program, he commanded a staff of sixty across twenty high schools.
By 2003, it was time for a new business venture. With a recently earned Sommelier degree from the Sommelier Society of America, Bill opened Stonehome Wine Bar with his wife and partner, Rose.
Rose Hermann – Owner, Designer, General Manager
Rose Hermann grew up in Germany. She first tasted wine at the age of three, on a trip to Alto Adige, Italy with her grandparents. She met Bill while a high school exchange student in Southern California. After completing her university exams in Germany, she reconnected with Bill in 1973. Rose has a fine arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Over the years, Rose has enjoyed successful careers as a furniture maker, landscape designer and fine artist. Her paintings have been exhibited and collected both here and abroad. She designed Stonehome’s stunning interior including a forty foot cherry wood bar, comfy banquette seating and the popular garden area. Rose oversees day-to-day operations including Farmer’s Market shopping, flowers, staff schedules and reservations.
From the early days of panini and cheese plates, Stonehome has focused on nutritious and locally-sourced healthy foods. With the arrival of Chef John Gibson in 2006, Stonehome Wine Bar now offers an unparalleled food and wine experience.
John Gibson – Chef
At the age of 25, The New Yorker has already reviewed Stonehome Wine Bar’s Chef John Gibson. His artful approach to cooking incorporates market fresh seasonal produce, farm-raised meats and fish from sustainable sources.
John grew up in Connecticut, where he discovered an early passion for cooking. As a young teenager, he prepared meals for his family. According to his dad, “No one was ever late for dinner when John was in the kitchen.” At the age of 14, he got his first summer job washing dishes and soon after was cooking lobsters by the dozens. He has been working in restaurants as a cook ever since.
Following working in New England fish restaurants for several years, John trained at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. He worked the line at Veritas in Manhattan and was the head Chef at Lucy’s of Long Island. Now in his third year at Stonehome, he has a loyal following among customers.