Blue Cape Cellars

Santa Barbara County region

A new award-winning boutique winery honors his late mother


In 1980, Blue Cape Cellars’ winemaker Kim Hartleroad traveled to Napa Valley in what proved to be an eye-opening experience into the world of great premium wine. Kim was a technical writer working for the Teledyne Corporation in Mountain View, California and quickly made the study of winemaking his full-time hobby. He began working weekends at nearby Gemello Winery and participated in a harvest at Adler Fels Winery in Santa Rosa.

After moving to Phoenix, Arizona in the mid 1980’s, Kim continued his passion for wine, developing relationships with chefs, winemakers and other wine professionals he met in the area, including the Faiveley family who owns a winery in France’s famed Burgundy region and introduced Kim to the great Pinot Noir varietal. Over the next few years, Kim involved himself in as many areas of the wine industry as possible, including stints as a monthly wine columnist and running promotional events for Washington State’s Hedges Winery and Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Winery. Kim also enrolled in UC Davis’ Winemaking for Distance Learners program and was one of the first Arizona graduates in 2006.

Once finished at UC Davis, Kim became the assistant winemaker at Santa Barbara’s Summerland Winery, where he helped produce several Gold Medal Pinot Noir single vineyard wines. It was Summerland’s head winemaker, Etienne Terlinden, who helped orchestrate Blue Cape Cellars’ home at the custom crush winemaking facility, High Life Wines, in Santa Barbara a few years later. In 2012, Blue Cape Cellars was founded by Kim Hartleroad and business partner James Peck, finally achieving a long-time dream of establishing premium winery. Production is tiny at just 500 cases per year and includes Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and the upcoming release of a Chardonnay.

The Blue Cape Cellars name and logo honor Kim’s late mother Aletha who proudly wore a blue cape in her duties as a caring registered nurse. The golden fields of grain pictured on the label are reminiscent of the golden wheat she grew up around on her family’s farm in Kansas.

The Blue Cape Cellars wines are made in Santa Barbara and feature Santa Rita Hills and Los Alamos vineyards. Kim still resides in Phoenix, Arizona, but travels to California as often as possible. He looks forward to retiring from his corporate job and moving to California within the next two years to be at the winery full time. Cheers to this passionate new Santa Barbara producer!

Featured Wines

Kim Hartleroad - Owner & Winemaker

Kim Hartleroad has dreamed of starting his own winery for many years, and it is with great pride that this dream became a reality in 2012. Just prior to creating Blue Cape Cellars, Kim was awarded the Society of Wine Educators’ Certified Specialist of Wine certification in 2011. Coupled with his UC Davis winemaking education, winery promotional and marketing history, his stint as a wine columnist, and years of teaching wine classes to top restaurants, makes Kim an incredibly well rounded winemaker and certainly someone who is passionate about the industry in its entirety. We are pleased to feature Kim Hartleroad’s inaugural release, an award-winning wine that garnered one of just twenty-five Double Gold Medals given out at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Bravo!