CurlingVine owners Thomas and Andrea Held have a long history in the wine industry. Thomas actually grew up in a winery. In the 1960s, his parents, Jim and Betty Held, opened Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, bringing the long-dormant Missouri wine industry back to life. His first job at the winery, at age two, was slipping seals on bottles after they had been corked.
Thomas attended the University of Arkansas and Fresno State in California, where he earned a degree in food science with a minor in enology and viticulture. When the Held family opened a Branson location, 23-year-old Thomas was chosen to oversee the operation. The Branson winery grew to be a huge success, helped along, says Thomas, by the School of Hard Knocks, the wisdom of his parents, and the support of the Branson business community.