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Carhartt Family Wines

Our Story


Family Owned and Operated for Three Generations

In 1996, Mike and Brooke Carhartt planted a vineyard along with a dream on the historic Rancho Santa Ynez™ property. Today, with their son Chase, the Carhartts grow grapes and craft wines on that same patch of ground. A ground to glass operation, the Carhartts take extreme pride in farming their own fruit sustainably, with the utmost care and consideration for the environment.

“This company began with honest, hard work. To this day, we still play a role in every aspect of the operation; it’s the only way we know how to do it”

– CHASE CARHARTT, CO-WINEMAKER

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Key Dates

1954
1954

Jack Carhartt purchases Rancho Santa Ynez™ (2,500 acres), commuting weekly from Pasadena, Calif. At the time, it was a functioning dairy and swine operation.

1960
1960

At the ripe age of 7, young Mike Carhartt decides to live full-time at Rancho Santa Ynez™ with the two ranch foremen, Bob Cardoza and Cotton Gray.

1960-75
1960-75

Rancho Santa Ynez™ is used as a short-horned cattle and horse ranch, serving as an iconic central coast location for weekend jackpot roping.

1989
1989

Mike and Brooke Carhartt build their first home in Los Olivos, California. Chase Carhartt is born in January 1989.

1992
1992

Mike and Brooke Carhartt buy Rancho Santa Ynez™ from Jack Carhartt’s estate and move onto the property. At the time, the ranch had very little infrastructure and was in need of serious maintenance.

1996
1996

Mike and Brooke Carhartt plant “The Mesa” at Carhartt Vineyard with the intention of selling their grapes to a few winemaking friends. They plant seven acres of Merlot and three acres of Syrah.

1998
1998

The first grapes at Carhartt vineyard come off the vine, and Brooke makes the first vintage of wine: a barrel of Merlot and a barrel of Syrah.

1999-2002
1999-2002

Carhartt Vineyard produces 6 barrels of each of Merlot and Syrah. Simultaneously, the brand goes through three label changes.

2005
2005

Mike and Brooke lease the “Love Shack” a.k.a. “The World’s Smallest Tasting Room” in Los Olivos as Carhartt Vineyard’s first brick and mortar tasting room location.

2007
2007

The brand undergoes a major label change to reflect an updated image, highlighting various weathervanes that adorn each building on Rancho Santa Ynez™.

2011-13
2011-13

Chase graduates California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Wine and Viticulture with a concentration in Enology (winemaking). He joins Carhartt Vineyard as Co-winemaker with his mom Brooke.

2018
2018

Carhartt Vineyard moves tasting room locations to “The Carhartt Cabin”, a quaint, turn of the century building just down the street in Los Olivos.

2021
2021

Carhartt Vineyard becomes Carhartt Family Wines, reflecting their expansion to three vineyards and production of a wide variety of wines.


The Carhartt Connection

THE CARHARTT CLOTHING BRAND WAS FOUNDED IN 1889 by Mike’s great grandfather, Hamilton Carhartt. Its headquarters started, and still to this day, resides in the greater Detroit area of Michigan. Originally, the company was founded to provide railroad workers with reliable and long-lasting garments or “work-bibs.” Over 130 years later, Carhartt continues to be the leader in American-made, rugged workwear.

Mike’s cousin Mark (Hamilton’s great grandson) runs the company today. Although Carhartt clothing and Carhartt Family Wines are separate, family-owed business, they exist in a symbiotic relationship: we wear the clothes every day in California, and they drink our wine in Michigan.