But it hasn’t always been like that. Jackie and Curt Hartman started planting grapes on the property in 2003, strictly for personal use. Then, in 2007, they decided to make it a business.
After testing the soil and choosing the best grapes to plant, the couple laid out the vineyard. Because of the high content of bluestone limestone, they chose the name, Bluestone Vineyard.
Truly a community effort, family and friends helped them plant 4,000 red grape vines that fall. In the spring, they planted another 4,000 red grape vines.
By 2009, the harvested grapes were hand pressed in a temporary winery in the Hartmans’ house. At that time, total production was around 500 cases.
Building the Bluestone Vineyard Winery
Business was so good that the Hartmans decided to build a dedicated winery in 2010. Originally, they wanted to convert the historic barn on the property into a winery.
But termites and too many years of neglect forced the Hartmans to make an alternate plan.
They salvaged what they could from the old barn, using the flooring and foundation stones, and built the new winery in the same location as the original barn.
The couple also added an additional 1,000 vines. It was a wise decision. Demand for Bluestone Bordeaux style wine was so high, the winery processed 31 tons of grapes that year, which made 2,000 cases of wine.
The Vineyard Today
Jackie and Curt’s son, Lee, took over the reins as winemaker in 2010, winning a gold medal in the Governor’s Cup White Competition in his first year! (Blue Ice Dessert Wine was the winner.)
The following year, Lee won another gold for his 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was named one of the “37 Great American Wines” by Saveur magazine. It also was in the inaugural Governor’s Case.
As one of only two winemakers in the County of Rockingham, Lee’s goal is to show that while Virginia wine can be world class, it’s still inviting to all!
Since Virginia is now the fifth largest wine-producing state in the country, we say Lee’s plan is working.