About Blenheim Vineyards
For over 10 years, Blenheim Vineyards has been crafting quality and sustainable 100% Virginia grown wines and managing 32 acres of estate vineyards.
Our Blenheim, Claim, and Seaview Vineyards posess distinctive terroir and varying soils to reflect our wines place of origin.
The history of Blenheim Farm dates back to 1730, when John Carter, Secretary of the Colony of Virginia and eldest son of Robert "King" Carter, obtained a patent for 9,350 acres northeast of present-day Carter's Bridge in what is now Albemarle County. It was here that John Carter maintained Carter's Mill on the North Hardware River, and his son Edward built the first Blenheim house prior to 1799. The house was named in honor of the War of the Spanish Succession was fought and won by the British under the command of the Duke of Marlborough.
It was Blenheim where Thomas Jefferson and his bride, Martha, are said to have "rested and warmed themselves" after their coach stalled nearby during a snowstorm. Later, the Jeffersons continued on to Monticello on horses borrowed from Edward Carter. The property was sold in 1840 and the house burned a few years later.
Andrew Stevenson (Congressman, Speaker of the House, Ambassador to Great Britain, and rector of the University of Virginia) purchased the property in 1846. He then built the current home as a one-story Gothic Revival style cottage. Also located on the property are an assortment of 18th and 19th century outbuildings, including a school-chapel, smokehouse, pyramidal-roofed kitchen/laundry, and a library--all of which still stand today. The oldest house on the property--and potentially in all of Albemarle County--is the Claim House, which was built in the 1730s to secure or "claim" the original land grant.
Blehnheim's period of significance spans the 18th and 19th centuries. Key points of significance are the property's archaeological-historical, agricultural, and political/governmental associations. The resource was nominated to the Virginia Landmarks Register on December 16, 1975, and to the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 1976.
*Reference: K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country
The historic and conservation-protected Blenheim, Claim, and Seaview Estate Vineyards was established in 2000 by our esteemed founder—inspired by the potential of this amazing wine growing region.
It is the creativity and hard work of the people at Blenheim Vineyards that has allowed the quality and breadth of the winery to grow. There have only been 2 winemakers at Blenheim, and we are proud to have Kirsty Harmon at the helm of production and overseeing the estate.