Steve Carter has worked in the wine industry virtually his entire adult life. After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in viticulture, he and his wife moved to New Zealand. They settled in the South Island, where they developed their own small vineyard, and managed several others, while Steve worked as a grower’s representative for a large winery.
Returning to California, Steve moved to Paso Robles in 1989 where he met and began working for Jerry Lohr as viticulturist for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Steve oversaw the meticulous development of several vineyards in San Luis Obispo County, while also consulting on vineyards owned by Jerry in Monterey and Sacramento counties. In 1995, with J. Lohr’s ever-growing Paso Robles vineyards demanding more and more attention, Steve switched hats, taking on the position of vineyard manager for the region, overseeing the establishment of such well-known properties as Seven Oaks and Hilltop. Today Steve manages J. Lohr’s fourteen vineyards and more than 2600 acres of wine grapes throughout the Paso Robles AVA.
Grape growing in Paso Robles provides plenty of challenges and rich opportunities as the vineyard and winery teams work side-by-side to produce top-quality wines. In the vineyards, this ongoing endeavor includes: experimenting with numerous varietal clones and rootstock combinations, optimizing irrigation to achieve appropriate vine stress, adjusting cropping levels, and optimizing sun exposure on the fruit to enhance red grape composition. Under Steve’s guidance, this exacting work has yielded world-class fruit for J. Lohr’s five tiers of award-winning wines – J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, J. Lohr Gesture, and J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon.