T'JARA Vineyards started in 2002 with the goal to create and produce world-class wines showcasing the best of what the North Fork of Long Island has to offer. T’Jara started as an idea between friends Jed Bietler and Russell Hearn in 1990 and grew into a passion project culminating in the purchasing of land in Mattituck, NY and planting the T’Jara vineyard in 2002. The vineyard was planted exclusively with Bordelaise red varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. The first T’Jara vintage was bottled in 2009 with wine from the stellar 2007 vintage. The North Forks’ maritime climate and soil characteristics provide the ideal environment for producing wines of exceptional quality and character.
T’Jara’s limited production, handcrafted wines are made by veteran Long Island winemaker Russell Hearn. Russell quickly made a name for himself on Long Island and has made wine across the globe in Australia, New Zealand, France, and numerous regions across the US.
T'Jara Vineyards got its name from Russell’s Australia roots. “T’Jara” is the phonetic spelling of an Aboriginal word that means “where I live; where I am from”. Playing hommage to Russell’s Australian roots, T’Jara Vineyards crafts world-class, estate-grown wines.
Russell has made extensive contributions to the New York wine industry over the past three decades with his wines garnering extensive critical acclaim and industry wide respect. His innovative winemaking style has influenced the quality of many wineries in our region, none more so than Pellegrini Vineyards and more recently Lieb Cellars, Bridge Lane, and Suhru Wines.
Australian born, he grew up around wine as his mother was in the business. Russell started his career in Western Australia and has taken his training with him throughout his journey with experience gained working in New Zealand, France, and regions across the USA. Russell founded Premium Wine Group a custom crush facility in 2000, encouraging small, fine quality wine producers like T'Jara Vineyards to flourish.
As the winemaker of T'Jara Vineyards, Russell uses his knowledge and experience to produce world-class, old-world style, estate-grown premium wines.