Carhartt Family Wines would cease to exist without the help and daily attention of a diverse and hard-working group of individuals. Although we employ a few more hands than when we started this company in 1996, the message remains the same: we invest in our people above all else.
When Mike’s father, Jack Carhartt, bought Rancho Santa Ynez™ in the early 50’s, Mike was a young child. Mike was born in Pasadena, Ca., but after coming up to the ranch several times with his dad on weekends, he decided one day that he would not make the trip back down south. He was in turn “raised” by the ranch hands on the property, who filled his youth with hard lessons in farming and cowboying. From pulling a disk plow, to saddling up his buckskin horse, to driving big rig truck and trailers, Mike grew up doing what he loved. He continues to do so today by farming grapes and working his own land, or “living the dream” as he likes to say.
Brooke was born and raised in San Marino, CA. After high school, Brooke attended both UC San Diego and Santa Barbara, before completing a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Chapman University. Brooke is a self-made winemaker, gaining experience through on-the-job training, veteran winemaker friends, and ongoing personal study. Together with her husband Mike, Brooke launched Carhartt Vineyard in 1996. She crafted their first vintage in the fall of 1998, featuring one barrel each of Merlot and Syrah. As the “OG” winemaker, she created the Carhartt Family Wines signature style, and now 25 years later, she is honored to continue sharing her passion and crafting wine alongside her son Chase.
Chase was born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley. He grew up on Rancho Santa Ynez™ as the third generation in a family farming operation. Chase received a B.A. in Enology (Winemaking) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For the last ten years, Chase has traveled the world making wine in different countries, pursuing fresh ideas and methods for the growth of the Carhartt Family Wines brand. In 2013, he stepped in as co-winemaker with his mom, Brooke. In the Spring of 2016, he released a second label for Carhartt Family Wines, “Carhartt Venture,” reflecting his experiences and innovations from traveling the globe. In 2020, he launched the first vintage (2018) of his South African Wine Project labeled “Cargaux.” Today, he continues to farm, make wine, and run the business alongside his parents.
Team Member since 2011. Although joining the team officially in 2012, Evan has been a friend of the Carhartts since he was 5 years old. In his time with Carhartt Family Wines, Evan has worked in each part of the business, starting as a server in the tasting room and working his way up through harvest & winemaking, hospitality and fulfillment, to his current role as Wine Club Manager. Evan is your go-to for all wine club needs and is happy to help in any way possible.
Team Member since 2020. Wine is a longtime hobby turned profession for Katie, who joined the team in Summer 2020 after connecting with Chase about her interest in working in the wine industry. Prior to joining Carhartt Family Wines, Katie lived and worked in Los Angeles and New York, consulting on branding and messaging for some of the biggest lifestyle and consumer packaged goods brands in the world. Katie plays a lead role in CFW’s social media, website, eCommerce, emails, and events.
Team Member since 2020. The service industry is not only a profession, but a passion for Christian. In playing an integral role at Carhartt Family Wines team, he hopes to share his love of wine, hospitality, and community with anyone who stops in for a visit. Nothing makes his day like a bottle of bubbles and the opportunity to bring people together in an engaging, unpretentious, and fun way. Always eager to make each visit special, you’ll find him handing out dog treats, recommending local restaurants, or just talking hockey with anyone who’ll listen!
Team Member since 1993. Agustin Hernandez, lovingly known on the ranch as ‘Superman’, is a living legend at Carhartt Family Wines. Because of his incredibly long career at Rancho Santa Ynez™, he knows the ins and outs of almost every operation. Alongside Mike, he heads up farming our vineyards, while simultaneously fulfilling the cellar master role in the winery. On any given day, you might find him fixing broken pipes, tending to various vineyard necessities, or finding a way to be more efficient in nearly everything he does. He is a father to three beautiful children, and a provider for an amazing family!
Team member since 2006. Daniel Toscano, known as ‘Danny’ on the ranch, plays an integral role at Carhartt Family Wines. Alongside Agustin, he helps with all vineyard farming, while also playing a key role in the cellar. Being in a similar age group to Chase, he is a natural when it comes to understanding our winery management software, therefore helping bridge a gap between the daily cellar operations and the administrative back end. He is a loving husband, and father to two beautiful children.
Team member since 2015. Val has been a team member since 2015. She works behind the scenes making sure everyone gets paid, from the staff in the tasting room, and the folks working hard at the ranch, to our vendors and the tax man. She’s an avid cyclist and can be seen charging the back roads of the valley in her free time. Val is also a succulent enthusiast and is generous in sharing her passion. A gift of one of her plants is always a special treat!
Team member since 2019. Born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley, Spencer Gomez joined the team in late 2019 as a server at the Carhartt Cabin. His passion for service can be seen through his interactions with customers, where he shares his wine and local Santa Ynez Valley knowledge to make each and every person’s experience amazing. Spencer also plays an important role at Rancho Santa Ynez™, where he organizes warehouse inventory, packages shipments to be sent across the country, and provides a constant line of communication between the tasting room and ranch team. He also helps the vineyard and cellar team during harvest. In his spare time, Spencer enjoys flying his drone over our vineyard in search of that killer photo!
At Rancho Santa Ynez™, we have four dog pals on any given day. You might find them playing frisbee, sunning themselves, or alerting us to arrivals with lots of barking. They’re a great source of joy to all the team, and often a much-needed source of playful distraction. Sangi, Halle, Ellie & Bodhi – we love you!