We shove our equipment out of the way to make room for the event.â€ Todd Pickens, co-owner of Karmere Vineyards and Winery was out in his wineryâ€™s parking lot personally directing the traffic and parking due to the large influx of visitors during this weekend.
confirmed that his
winery had also crushed 85 tons of grapes this last week.
In 2000, Shenandoah Valley wine grape growers, Todd Pickens
wife, Marilyn Hoopes, had 84 acres of planted vineyards, with no one to sell their 100 tons of grapes to.
Their winery purchase contracts had been cancelled due to an unexpected glut of wine grapes on the market that year.
"We did the best thing we could under the circumstances and went into the wine-making business," recalls Pickens
, thereby giving birth to KarmÃ©re Vineyards, located near Plymouth.
derives its distinctive name from the combination of "Karma," the first name of Marilynâ€™s mother, with "mÃ©re," the French word for mother.
Pickens, an optometrist in Sutter Creek, and Hoopes, an administrative law judge, first purchased a 17-acre parcel of land in the Shenandoah Valley for their home in 1990.
"We were initially approached by Montevina Winery to plant vineyards on our property and they would then contract to buy our grapes, so we planted," Pickens
KarmÃ©re Winery owner Todd Pickens
"We lived in the old Jameson house, built in 1959, for a couple of years," Pickens
said, "while we were working on preparing the land and planting our vineyards.
is the voice of KarmÃ©re
"Dawn has the palate, passion and meticulous skill to make high quality wines," Pickens