Virginia Wine Tours -- Blenheim Vineyards
Kirsty Harmon - Winemaker and General Manager
Born in the Netherlands, Kirsty has spent a majority of her life in Charlottesville. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1998 with a degree in biology, Kirsty developed an appreciation for wine through a job that allowed her to apprentice for famed Virginia winemaker Gabriele Rausse.
Jonas Mueller - Vineyard Manager
Jonas started as vineyard manager at Blenheim in January. He started working in viticulture in 2002 when he became a civilian servant in his home country of Germany. There he worked for a social organization with mentally challenged people in the terraced vineyards of Palatinate for one year. It was during this time that he found his passion for winemaking. Following a vintage in New Zealand he attended the historical German wine university of Geisenheim in the heart of the Rheingau region. During the next three years he was not only exposed to some of the best Rieslings Germany has to offer but also got a great education in all aspects of winemaking. In 2006 he received a scholarship allowing him to go to California to study in the Viticulture and Enology program and deepen his studies at UC Davis.
During his first year in California he studied together and became friends with Blenheim's winemaker Kirsty Harmon and they stayed in contact ever since. In Davis he worked with Dr. Douglas Adams, a professor of Viticulture for almost two years before he graduated in 2008. Jonas initially came with his wife Marty to Virginia in fall 2010 when they both helped out in the winery during the busiest time of the year. They had been traveling for a full year to work in wineries in Germany and Western Australia and to enjoy a very extended honeymoon. Getting to know the Virginian winemaking community through Kirsty and tasting their way up and down the Monticello wine trail, Jonas and Marty soon fell in love with Blenheims wines and the region. Their dog Riley has also joined the Blenheim family and made friends with Kirsty's dog Winnie. He can be spotted in a sunny corner of the tasting room on days that Marty is working there. All three have now officially settled down and have become an integral part of Blenheim Vineyards.
Andrew Ornée - Tasting Room Manger
Andrew joins the Blenheim staff from the great state of Michigan. He attended Grand Valley State University and earned his B.S. degree in Social Studies with an emphasis in Geography and History. He also obtained a secondary teacher certification through the College of Education while attending GVSU. In June of 2009 Andrew came to Charlottesville for the summer and fell in love with the area, but more importantly, his now wife. Shortly after moving to the area permanently, Andrew stumbled across a job opening at Blenheim Vineyards. Fortunate for Andrew (and Blenheim!!!), this opening lead to his installment as the Tasting Room Manager this past March.
Blenheim Vineyards Is affectionately known as "Dave Matthew's Winery", or "Dave Matthews Vineyard" given the tie the Charlottesville musician has to the winery. Dave Matthews designs the art for the bottle labels as well. Be sure to check it out on your next Charlottesville Wine Tour of Blenheim Vineyards, with Blue Ridge Wine Excursions.