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About Us


Candice and Aaron Hark moved to Charlottesville in 2005. In those early days of balancing two businesses alongside other obligations, they enjoyed many inexpensive dates on the grounds of some of Central Virginia’s best vineyards. Soaking in the beautiful views over a glass of equally remarkable wine, they dreamed about what the future could hold. Often they commented to each other that, should they ever be in a position to do so, they’d like to open a place others could similarly enjoy.

After several years of searching for just the right spot, the Harks bought the initial 70 acres of open grazing land in 2015. In the years since, the land has been methodically cultivated to maximize the site’s winegrowing potential, create spaces for gatherings as well as quietude, and bring to life the vision that is Hark Vineyards.

The Harks love the outdoors, and in particular the bucolic landscapes of Central Virginia. They see the promise of Virginia wine and appreciate the way each vintage tells the story of its growing season. And they believe each of these are enhanced when enjoyed together with friends and those who are not yet your friends.


From open fields, our vision to maximize wine quality and guest enjoyment has taken shape

property purchased


After several years searching for the right spot, the Harks purchase the initial 70 acre tract of open farmland in January.

a fortuitous meeting

Aaron meets Jake Busching in a PVCC viticulture class, and they bond over a similar perspective on what it takes to build a successful Virginia vineyard. Fascinated by the site and nascent project, Jake signs on as a consultant.


Cattle roam most of the property as an initial vineyard site is laid out and prepared.

first planting


Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc are planted in block A, for a total of 8 acres of vines.

first harvest


Favorable rains in 2016, and a good growing season in 2017, allowed us to make our first harvest on second leaf vines.

continued growth

Petit Manseng is added to vineyard block A, and preparations begin for block B as a site of two white wine varietals. Busching joins as full-time winemaker.

construction begins


A neighboring parcel is purchased, bringing the estate to 80 acres. In June, construction begins on our 8500 sq ft winery production building.

production building completed


After nearly 11 months of construction through the relentless rains of 2018, our production building is completed in May.

first harvest into new building

The first harvest into our own building is a huge success. 2019 was a excellent growing season by all measures, and the fruit coming off our vines is beyond beautiful.

open to the public

Our doors opened to the public for the first time on Friday October 11, 2019. Neighbors came with stories of having watched the property develop over the last five years, and with excitement for all that is to come!

Jake Busching

Jake has been making wine in Albemarle County for over 20 years. In addition to producing the Hark wines, he also crafts wine for his private label using Hark facilities.

AJ Greely
Cellar Master

Having spent a decade in the Virginia Wine Industry, AJ worked with and learned from many great Virginia Winemakers and Viticulturalists. She's excited to have found her home here at Hark, where she looks forward to using that knowledge to work with Jake and bring great wines to you.

Paxton Henderson
Tasting Room Manager

Paxton has years of experience in the beverage industry, including other tasting rooms in the Monticello AVA.

Paul Hoover
Land Manager

Paul keeps our property neat and well tended. He wields his wealth of mechanical know-how to maintain our farm equipment.