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Bluestone Vineyard
by
Kathy Sullivan

Bluestone VineyardSummary: Bluestone Vineyard, located in Bridgewater, is in the Shenandoah Valley. The owners want the wines produced at Bluestone Vineyard to reflect the Shenandoah Valley. The hillside vineyards are picturesque against the sky.

Curt Hartman and his wife, Jackie, began planting grapes on a section of their property in 2002. Today their home, sitting on a hill, is encircled with acres of grapes. The winery and tasting room, close to the road, is at the lowest elevation of the vineyards. The Bluestone name is slang for limestone in this area of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. There are bluestone croppings throughout the property. Curt grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and appreciates what the region has to offer.

Bluestone VineyardCurt has a business background and has owned several businesses with the latest being a car dealership. When he was offered a buyout, he accepted and then decided he was not ready for retirement. A friend was making wine and complained that he didn’t have room for a vineyard. Curt offered him space on his property to plant vines. This led to the planting of more grapevines and the building of the Bluestone winery.

Today the 12 acres of vineyards include Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Norton, Merlot, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Golden Muscat and Traminette. In 2009 Curt began to commercially produce wine beginning with 500 cases. In 2010 wine production increased to 2,000 cases. In the future the winery may grow to 3,000 or higher, but that is a business decision that Curt will make based on his business experience. The winery was built for a capacity of 5,000 cases.

Lee Hartman, Curt and Jackie’s son, has become an important figure at Bluestone Vineyard. Currently, Lee maintains the vineyards and works alongside his father with the winemaking.

Curt wants Bluestone Vineyard to be a Shenandoah Valley winery. He has lived in the Shenandoah Valley all his life and wants the winery to reflect the local fare. Important for Curt is that everyone leaves the winery smiling.

Bluestone VineyardThe Bluestone Winery

The winery is located at the site of what once was a large dairy barn. Attempts were made to salvage the barn but deterioration was too far advanced. Curt and Jackie built a new facility, on the barn site, to house the winery with the tasting room above. While viewing the winery area, Curt gave us the opportunity to do a barrel tasting of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was a quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The color was a deep dark purple to black with blackberry nuances.

Curt noted that long barrel aging makes a difference on some wines. He discovered that leaving Norton in oak for an extended amount of time increases the quality of the wine.

Bluestone VineyardBluestone Wines

Back in the tasting room, several wines were tasted. The Vidal 2009 was a straw color with apple and citrus notes on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp. Chardonnay 2009 was produced in American oak. The wine offered pear and apple with hints of caramel. The crisp finish offered fruit yielding to caramel with a hint of earthiness.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was a light ruby color. The wine had blackberry and green pepper nuances on the aroma while the taste offered blackberry and spice notes. Mild tannins were on the finish. The difference between the 2010 barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 vintage may partially be due to the weather. The 2010 year was an excellent year for growing grapes in Virginia since it was hot and dry.

Winery Events

Bluestone Vineyard celebrates the second and fourth weekends of the month with Toast the Weekend. These events begin at 6:30 pm and offer live music. Consider packing a picnic basket and enjoying it at the winery with a bottle of Bluestone Vineyard wine.

The winery supports local artists. A new artist is selected every two months to display their artwork. A special Saturday event features the artist, who is available to answer your questions.

Travel to Bridgewater, Virginia to visit Bluestone Vineyard and enjoy their wines and the experience. The views of the hillside vineyards against the skyline are delightful.

Bluestone Vineyard, Inc.
4828 Spring Creek Road
Bridgewater, VA 22812

GPS: N38º 23.237’ W79º 00.568’

 

 

 

 

 


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