We want to personally thank Dave Matthews for devoting part of his rock fortune to organic farming. With Blenheim Vineyards, a family winery specializing in artisan merlot and chardonnay, the front man for the Dave Matthews Band is helping to elevate the status of Virginia wine.
Matthews’ brother, Peter, was the original vineyard manager of the four-acre property outside Charlottesville, where Dave used to bartend in his early-20s. Dave acquired the property in 1999 and put long-time friend, Brad McCarthy, in charge of winemaking. Their mutual friend, Kirsty Harmon, who trained at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, France, took over in 2008, and has since added multiple reds to Bleinheim’s portfolio. The current line-up includes five whites, with two chardonnays, a roussanne, a viognier, and the 2013 Painted White, which is an interesting blend of marsanne, viognier and pinot noir. Reds include a red table wine, merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and the 2013 Painted Red, a blend of six grape varieties.
As Matthews told Food & Wine magazine, by participating in Farm-Aid, the non-profit concert that raises awareness about family farms, he experienced a deeper awakening to the importance of food. “What I learned from Farm-Aid was the unhealthy way that big farms work; this mass farming; this poisoning of the land. So I started looking for good foods.”
Luckily for us, Dave also turned his attention to good, affordable wines. The majority of Bleinheim’s wines are priced under $24.
What other rock stars make great wine? Share them below.