Santa Barbara County region
One of Santa Barbara County’s up-and-coming artisan producers
Established in 2010 by Eric Carucci, Carucci Wines is a small-production winery crafting expressive and nuanced wines from exceptional cool-climate vineyards on California's Central Coast. Eric has a knack for finding these special vineyard sites and showcasing their unique character. Each bottle is his interpretation of a specific site. With the help of his wife Lindsay, Carucci Wines is growing in size and in popularity with plenty of local support and critical acclaim.
The route taken by Eric Carucci to establish his Central Coast winery is most certainly unique among the roles of successful California wineries. Eric is a San Diego native who did not grow up around the wine industry or wine in general. It was only after attending and graduating from Cal State San Marcos in 2006 with a business degree that he became interested in the wine industry and he made it his business to learn everything he could about it. His efforts eventually led him to a chance meeting with another San Diego resident who happened to own some vineyards in Sonoma County's Dry Creek AVA.
"The more I talked to this person, the more he convinced me to become involved with wine, so I decided to take his advice," Eric recalled. "It was then 2009 and I agreed to buy a half-ton of Merlot grapes and make wine from them in my parents' garage. The wine came out much better than I expected and I decided to get further involved." This brave decision was incredibly challenging for a person with no real formal training or experience with wine or winemaking, but he forged on, asking questions from professional winemakers he met along the way. "I guess this actually helped me, as I did everything from my own gut," Eric explained. "By doing so, I managed to develop my own style and I'm told it all worked out quite well in the end."
Carucci Wines' initial release came in 2010 - a whopping 75 cases! That number has grown slowly and is currently between 600 and 800 cases annually, depending on the specific vintage involved. The grapes for Carucci's wines are secured from exceptional vineyards on the Central Coast, within the cool-climate appellations of Sta. Rita Hills, Edna Valley, Los Alamos and Santa Maria Valley. These prized growing areas produce exceptional fruit and the cool climate makes the expression of terroir that much more evident in Eric's finished wines. "I don't think I could have achieved what I have without this combination of vineyards and climate working together," Eric finalized.
Eric and Lindsay Carucci recently opened a boutique tasting room for Carucci Wines in Los Olivos, a charming town in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. We are happy to introduce Carucci Wines to our Garagiste Wine Club members. Enjoy!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I am ecstatic that our 2013 Syrah from Duvarita Vineyard is going to be joining your lives. I have to believe it’s going to close business deals, guarantee second dates and help grow families. As the winemaker at Carucci Wines, my goal above all else is to produce wines that are pleasurable to drink now, but will ultimately be vibrant and full of life long after I am gone. To create a product that will continue to evolve and bring joy to those willing to pull the cork in the future.
I used to walk Duvarita Vineyard well before I was able to buy fruit from the site. Hiking up the steep beach sand slopes past the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines to get to the Syrah. I knew it was a special place from the very beginning. It’s a site that seems to always produce unmistakably Californian wines with Old World sensibilities. The sandy soils, steep slopes, and strong winds off the Pacific all work together to tame our gorgeous California sunshine. If you must open a bottle now, simply open the bottle at lunch, replace the cork, and drink it at dinner. You will find a wine overflowing with youth, abundant fruit, black pepper and a hint of oak. For those of you who can wait 5 to 10 years, I am confident you will be handsomely rewarded. The oak will face into the background and the fruit will change. Savory secondary aromas and flavors will take over. I cannot wait . . . but I will.
Owner & Winemaker