Mike and Carey Skinner
When Mike learned about James Skinner’s history and his suddenly rich Gold Rush heritage, he was so excited he couldn’t sleep. “I’m the first son of the first son of the first son of the first son of the first son of the first son,” he said. Carey was just as caught up in the embrace of both family history and adventure, and her husband’s enthusiasm became her enthusiasm, too.
Both were successful businesspeople who were happy in their careers, Carey with years in Southern California real estate and Mike running his own insurance company in Los Angeles. Both were very active in their community including coaching kids and mentoring, and both had long histories exploring food and wine. But this was different. “This,” Carey says, “was passion. It’s the way we both want to live our lives.”
Only months after learning about the Skinner legacy, they bought land around the old Skinners township, unreservedly embraced their newfound heritage, and began creating Skinner Vineyards & Winery. And embracing their family history was also a way for Mike and Carey to embrace their family now. All their children have their own careers, but all also stay connected to the winery and its events.
“I love having all the different ages of our kids involved in the business,” Carey says. “It’s gives us a great energy. And it doesn’t hurt that I can use them as a test market.”
Kevin and Kathy Skinner
It was their curiosity and sense of adventure that led to the family’s discovery of the Skinner wine legacy, and those are sensibilities that run deep in the entire family and through the philosophy of Skinner Vineyards & Winery. Kevin works as a fire captain and Kathy as a teacher, and Kevin helps oversee all the safety, water and fire prevention issues surrounding the winery. They regularly attend of all the major winery festivities.
Kevin and Kathy live in Arnold with their three children and admit that nature always calls to them. They try to be outdoors hiking, camping and more whenever they have free time.
Ryan and Shannon Skinner
Ryan has two longtime loves, Shannon and wine, and now Shannon, too, has wine on her lifetime list. Ryan fell for wine before the Skinner family dove into the wine world. The grape that had him so smitten? Grenache, now one of the flagship wines for the modern Skinner Winery.
Ryan played quarterback at BYU and earned a degree in Business Management, and used both experiences to help manage the winery when it opened. He is still Carey’s go to sounding board on management and business considerations. Ryan now runs his father’s insurance business in Southern California where Shannon has a thriving physical therapy practice. Both spend lots of time around the winery and at many of the events and parties, and they have a new love, their young daughter, Brynne, who they expect will also fall for wine in good time.
Brendan is by acclimation the best cook in the family, which is both convenient for all family gatherings and useful when Carey, Mike and their crew are thinking about new and creative food and wine events and approaches. He’s also a sounding board for Carey because Brendan and his friends offer a younger adult’s outlook on wine and the winery.
Brendan isn’t all just food creativity. He brings a logic and business side to help winery operations – he’s a CPA and helped set up the accounting and finance systems for the winery. He, too, loves coming to winery festivities, but he’s not there to check on the accounting. He comes for the food, wine and family.