Brooke Carhartt

Brooke Carhartt

Carhartt Vineyard (Winemaker & Owner)

Twelve years ago, Brooke and Mike Carhartt harvested their first vintage of Merlot and Syrah grapes from a vineyard they planted on the same Santa Ynez Valley ranch where Mike had lived as a child.

After selling their grapes to other winemakers for two years and armed with encouragement and “enough knowledge to be dangerous,” the couple eased out of their longtime careers (insurance for Mike and for Brooke, drug and alcohol counseling) and focused their energy on the vineyard and producing wines under the Carhartt Vineyard label.

Brooke studied viticulture and winemaking at Allan Hancock College, and then she took winemaking extension courses offered through a program at the University of California, Davis. She also received “lots of on-the-job training” as she took on the chemistry vital to winemaking.

As they grew from their initial 50 cases to the several thousand they produce today, the couple appreciated the “cooperative winemaking community” of the Santa Ynez Valley, with assistance, not competition, being the norm. Today, the Carhartt label includes 13 varietals, among them Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

Their son Chase is a graduate of the enology and viticulture program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is currently working alongside Brooke at the family winery.