Joe and Nancy Hart's wine odyssey began in the 1960’s when California's wine culture was much simpler than today; when there were far fewer American wine consumers and when the California wines consumed were different varietals and fewer in number. Blended wines, wines in jugs rather than bag-in-box, and dessert wines dominated the mix.
In 1970, the Harts discovered the Temecula Valley and after much research deemed the Valley's granitic soils, warm days, and cool nights to be ideal for winemaking. Over the next ten years Joe and Nancy and their three sons planted grapes and constructed the current winery on the north west corner of the property, and in 1980 opened Hart Winery. Later that same year, the first wines bearing the Hart label were produced, bottled and sold. The vineyard and winery have grown steadily in production yet the team at Hart continue to focus on estate grown and locally sourced grapes for their wines. The Hart family places an emphasis on matching grape varieties with terroir . Numerous Gold Medals and Best of Class Awards throughout the years attest to recognition by industry peers as well as by the public to the excellence of Hart Winery wines.
Today, in keeping with the philosophy that small-scale winemaking is an art form engaged in by a winemaker with a passion for wine, Jim Hart and team produce about 4000 cases of premium wine annually.
Jim left earlier careers in I.T. and as a high school teacher to return to his roots at the family winery. Jim has been head winemaker since 2008 after completing a post-graduate certificate in winemaking for U.C. Davis.
The newest member of the Hart Team, Mike Hart took an early retirement from the electronics field in 2015 to join the family business and assist in the wine making business.
Founder and original winemaker, Joe Hart set out to make quality wine a reality in Southern California in a time when it was still a burgeoning industry in the state.
Chances are if you stop by the winery you'll meet Christine, the ever-present and ever-smiling face of Hart Winery's business operations.