Luna Hart Wines
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
With overall production still small at just 300 cases, makes these small-batch, artisan wines nearly impossible to find.
Founded by winemaker Gretchen Voelker in 2014, Luna Hart Wines is an ultra boutique wine company specializing in small-batch, handcrafted wines from the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. Gretchen focuses on Grüner Veltliner and Cabernet Franc and she reflects her passion for these grapes through minimalist winemaking, hoping to express the varietals as purely and precisely as possible. We are excited to share her wines with our Garagiste Wine Club members.
Originally from Coatesville, Pennsylvania in Chester County, Gretchen grew up on her family’s horse and lavender farm and she has since always had a great love for the outdoors. While in high school, her family moved to Europe and Gretchen was exposed to the many wonderful wine regions and vignobles in France. It was here that her passion for wine truly began, as she visited Bordeaux and Champagne where she saw the craft and artistry first hand.
Returning to the United States for college, Gretchen began by studying Business and French at Georgetown University, but quickly realized that path wasn’t for her. She chose to follow her naturally scientifically-minded side and earned a degree in Plant Science at UC Santa Cruz, planning to pursue her passion for wine instead. After college, she landed her first job in the wine industry at Rideau Vineyard in Santa Barbara County.
At Rideau, Gretchen spent eight years working as a lab technician and enologist and eventually made her way up to assistant winemaker. She also spent a year as a production and vineyard assistant at Roark Wine Company, where Ryan Roark showed her the world of garagiste and minimalist winemaking. He also educated her on organic and holistic farming approaches, which she continues to utilize at Luna Hart today. Gretchen’s passion for wine was taken to a new level after spending a vintage in the Central Otago region of New Zealand at Burn Cottage, where she was introduced to Grüner Veltliner and felt inspired to make the wine in a label of her own.
In 2014, Luna Hart Wines was born (originally named Moon Unit Wines) with just 25 cases. Her overall production is still small at just 300 cases, making the small-batch, artisan wines nearly impossible to find.
Gretchen named her wine company ‘Luna Hart’ to reflect the feminine and masculine energy she puts into her work (‘Luna’ is moon and symbolizes the feminine side, while ‘Hart’ is another word for stag and symbolizes the masculine side). In addition to Luna Hart Wines, Gretchen is the winemaker for Piazza Family Wines in Ballard Canyon, where she makes minimalist wines from oganically grown estate grapes.
We look forward to what the future holds for this rising star garagiste winemaker. Enjoy!