Mike and Brooke Carhartt planted the vineyard in 1996. The ten-acre property is on the site of Rancho Santa Ynez and sits atop a mesa. The first wines were made in 1998. Brooke Carhartt acts as winemaker, and Mike Carhartt serves as the vineyard manager.
Mr. Carhartt grew up farming and dreamed of one day owning a ranch. Mrs. Carhartt has a talent for winemaking. Their son is following them into the business. The specialty is in Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. The vineyard consists of Petite Sirah, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Merlot. Sangiovese is grown at another property, Eleven Oaks Ranch. The Carhartts also source Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Grenache Blanc from other local grape growers. The winery produces 2,600 cases each year. The wines are produced by hand. The Carhartts take pride in doing everything by hand.
The Carhartt tasting room in downtown Los Olivos is considered very small, but it is the only place where the Carhartt label is sold. The production is so limited that releases often sell out to wine club members first before ever being offered to the public. The tasting room is very tiny and is constructed of rustic wood. The building is only 99 square feet and is the smallest building in Los Olivos. A large Japanese maple tree shades a redwood deck so that visitors may relax and enjoy some wine.