Carrie Cooper Bendick

Carrie Cooper Bendick

Holly's Hill Vineyards (Winemaker)

Carrie Bendick grew up in Davis, California, and after completing a bachelor's degree in Romance Linguistics at the University of Washington and exploring other career paths, she turned her attention to wine. She began working and learning under a winemaker in El Dorado, the same area where her parents had planted their vineyard. Together, they created Holly's Hill Vineyards, focusing on Rhone-style wines. Shortly after moving to the area, Carrie met her husband, Josh Bendick, who works as the co-winemaker and director of marketing and sales at Holly's Hill.

Carrie traveled to the Rhone wine region of France to learn more about her craft from long-time producers. The region is significant because Holly's Hill is planted exclusively in varietals that originate in the Rhone Valley. Carrie continues to educate herself with the University of California, Davis, extension courses in viticulture and winemaking and through communication with other California Rhone producers. She says that motherhood occupies much of her time outside of the winery, but she still enjoys running and reading, and every now and then, sea kayaking or mountain biking.

Working in a small family winery allows Carrie to oversee every aspect of the winemaking, beginning with the treatment of the grapes in the vineyards. Quality grapes are the key to great wines, and Carrie feels fortunate to be able to work with the highest quality El Dorado fruit. This hands-on aspect of winemaking is what attracted her to the wine industry. Among the varietals produced by Carrie and Josh are Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache.