For a sophisticated wine tour seeking a celebrity conclusion, Blenheim Farm provides the appropriate rock-star finish. Musician Dave Matthews, whose performing roots are in Charlottesville, started Blenheim Vineyards 11 years ago. The winery has two vineyard sites growing five European varietals: Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. The farm also has its own 18th-century heritage, complementing the histories of Jefferson and Keswick vineyards: it is located on a historic Virginia farm claimed in 1730 by Secretary of the Virginia Colony John Carter.
Blenheim's wine tasting room has been open for just two years, and the small winery is drawing significant attention. Certainly its high-profile owner is part of the reason, but a June/July 2009 article in Flavor Magazine points to the skill of winemaker Kirsty Harmon and to the dedication of members of the Matthews family who run much of the operation. Harmon cites the importance of the popular Viognier grape as well: "There’s a huge range of Viognier styles in Virginia. There’s something for everyone. This is ours."
Blenheim Vineyards produces six white wines and seven reds: a 2009 Blenheim Farm Chardonnay, 2009 Painted White, 2010 Chardonnay, 2010 Viognier, and 2010 Rose; and a 2009 Painted Red, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Syrah, 2009 Seven Oaks Merlot, 2008 Cabernet Franc, and 2009 Petit Verdot. Blenheim also makes white and red table wines.
As the concluding stop for the winery tour, Blenheim Farms can "Say Goodbye" (to quote musician Matthews) with a website affirmation that applies to all three vineyards: "the goal … is to make high quality wines that reflect the climate, soil, and beauty of the surrounding Piedmont landscape."