our History

Red Car as it is known today was first imagined during our inaugural trip to the coastal mountains of western Sonoma County. Driving up King Ridge Road researching potential sites, we had a clear sense that this was the place where Red Car should settle, a place to call home. It is hard to express something not fully formed, but that morning’s sights and smells of the Pacific fog mixing with the giant redwoods as the sunshine pushed it back out to sea inspired in us a harmony with nature. We felt connected to the hum of the land and couldn’t wait to express its uniqueness in our wines. In a short number of years, we purchased land, planted a vineyard and quietly went about our work so that we might listen and clearly discern the essence of what came to be called the West Sonoma Coast.

The inaugural vintage for Red Car was 2000. It was only 50 cases from a single ton of purchased grapes. Founders Carroll Kemp, Mark Estrin (now deceased) and Richard Crowell have worked tirelessly ever since to transform Red Car from its passionate hobby roots into a devotee of cool climate wines distributed around the world.The winery name is a tribute to trolley cars that serviced Los Angeles through the first half of the 20th century. It serves as a reminder of our original connection to the City of Angels, the place that inspired our founders to dream.