In 2006, Mike and Carey Skinner’s son Kevin and his wife Kathy were traveling from Lake Tahoe using an antique map. Near the Sierra Foothills they saw the name “Skinner” on the map. Once Mike & Carey heard this story, they did some research and found out that Mike is the great-great-great grandson of James Skinner, who established one of the area’s first wineries in 1861. So they decided to reclaim the family legacy and bought land about a mile from the original Skinner property to develop their own winery.
They hired winemaker Chris Pittenger, who previously made wine in both Sonoma and Australia, to help build the operation and create their wine program. They decided to focus on grapes from the Rhone Valley in France but also planted heirloom varietals once grown at the 1861 winery, including some that were considered lost to the region. And to make sure future generations of Skinners can keep the tradition alive, the winery is solar-powered and constructed from 80% recycled materials – plus, they use sustainable farming practices whenever possible.