“I have been fortunate to make many friends during my 25 years as a winemaker on California’s Central Coast. Among them are some of the finest growers in the region, and they have kindly shared access to their vineyards.
The resulting limited-edition wines reflect my personal affinity for the region, showcasing the distinctive flavors of standout vineyards in three appellations: Santa Rita Hills, Santa Maria Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley.”
Chuck Carlson’s winemaking career in Santa Barbara County spans more than 34 years, including the past ten years as the proprietor of Carlson Wines, specializing in limited-edition wines including Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills along with Cabernet Franc and several aromatic white wines from the Santa Ynez Valley.
As a young winemaker with a newly minted enology degree from Fresno State University, Chuck first joined Zaca Mesa Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he helped create the winery’s groundbreaking Rhône varietal program. The “school of Zaca Mesa” has since become renowned for launching the careers of many notable Central Coast winemakers. For nearly 20 years, Chuck served as the winemaker at Curtis Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, which was founded as one of California’s first wineries to specialize exclusively in Rhône varietals.
Along the way, however, Chuck never lost his personal affinity for the Pinot Noir grape, and in 2004 he launched Carlson Wines, with the singular goal of crafting a trio of Pinot Noirs showcasing the individual qualities of three standout vineyards in three premier Central Coast appellations. He has since expanded his offerings to Cabernet Franc and aromatic whites.
Among Chuck’s personal interests is deep sea fishing, and his related adventures have earned him the nicknmame “Calypso.” Chuck and his wife have two grown children, and live in Arroyo Grande.