Winery Owner and Winemaker
Carey Skinner fell in love with wine in the late 1970s when her husband Mike first introduced her, a Minnesota native and Midwesterner through and through, to California's wines. In 2006, Mike and Carey established Skinner Vineyards and Winery after discovering that Mike was the great-great-great-grandson of James Skinner, a Scottish miner who in 1861 established one of the Sierra Foothills' first wineries. Five years later, Carey made the decision to end her career in real estate serving as Senior VP at Sotheby’s and instead devote herself full-time to the family winery. Her primary responsibilities at Skinner are sales, marketing and branding, PR, and events. She serves as Vice President on the board of the El Dorado Winery Association and is committed to the advancement of the wine region.
Accolades and Current Projects
90+ Rated Wines, Wine Spectator
Top 10 Hot Brands 2014, Wine Business Monthly
What do you love most about your job?
It began with the excitement in bringing back Skinner wines from our family's original winery in the mid-1800's, and the joy of creating wines that our friends and family can share and enjoy. As time goes on, I have come to also love the collaborative nature of the wine industry, working with other like-minded wineries who are committed to producing exceptional wines from our El Dorado high-elevation vineyards.
What’s your favorite place to eat, drink, or play?
Creating memories around our family table at home or at the vineyard. I believe food and wine offer an opportunity for us to slow down, break bread, and reconnect, and it is these intimate moments that I genuinely cherish.
If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite anyone, who would it be?
James Skinner. How cool would that be if I could bring him back and compare notes? We are picking up the baton of the family legacy that he started in 1861, and it would be wonderful to hear firsthand where his passion for wine began, as well as his impression of California wines today.
Who’s your palate icon?
Our winemaker, Chris Pittenger. He has been integral in helping me to understand and appreciate the unique terroir of El Dorado county. The many hours we have spent together have taught me that the artistry of winemaking is allowing the wine to be a true expression of the soil and the region.
Who or what do you consider your biggest influence?
My grandmother, Helen.