Delivering High Quality Wines
If you were to ask our winemaker, Michael Carr, what his secrets are to making such fantastic wine here at Roche, one answer he would provide is “knowing the family’s lands, our unique growing conditions and changing weather patterns…all of these are fundamental.” Michael has gained that experience due to a long history with our winery and working with our vineyards. In fact, he served as our Assistant Winemaker for eight years from 1991 until 1998, before becoming our full-time Winemaker in the Fall of 2002. During his five-year stint away from Carneros, he gained valuable knowledge on how to establish winery operations from the “ground up” while with MacRostie Winery in Sonoma, California. He also perfected his winemaking and vineyard management skills while producing Gold Medal award-winning wines with San Juan Vineyards on San Juan Island in Washington.
No small task, Michael oversees all aspects of winemaking at Roche. From picking to bottling, his influence can be seen in every glass of Roche wine poured. His skills and knowledge allow us to continue to deliver the highest of quality wines.
Even though the Joe and Genevieve raised fine beef cattle, their dreams of owning a vineyard never ceased. In 1982, while having a casual conversation with an established grape grower in the valley, they learned their property could possibly be a fine area to grow grapes. They didn’t need much convincing, in the fall of that same year, the Roches planted 10 acres of Chardonnay and 10 acres of Pinot Noir. The nearest vineyards were miles away in Sonoma and Napa. The Carneros appellation (which is now world famous for its perfect grape growing micro-climate: fog, cool breezes and clay soil) did not yet exist. With their first harvest, the quality of the grapes was obvious and their dream of producing ultra-premium wines under their label became a reality when they opened Roche Carneros Estate Winery in 1
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