Michael Carr - Winemaker

Michael Carr


If you were to ask our winemaker, Michael Carr, what his secrets are to making such fantastic wine here at Roche, one answer he would provide is “knowing the family’s lands, our unique growing conditions and changing weather patterns…all of these are fundamental.” Michael has gained that experience due to a long history with our winery and working with our vineyards. In fact, he served as our Assistant Winemaker for eight years from 1991 until 1998, before becoming our full-time Winemaker in the Fall of 2002. During his five-year stint away from Carneros, he gained valuable knowledge on how to establish winery operations from the “ground up” while with MacRostie Winery in Sonoma, California. He also perfected his winemaking and vineyard management skills while producing Gold Medal award-winning wines with San Juan Vineyards on San Juan Island in Washington.

No small task, Michael oversees all aspects of winemaking at Roche. From picking to bottling, his influence can be seen in every glass of Roche wine poured. His skills and knowledge allow us to continue to deliver the highest of quality wines.

Michael brings with him a positive, relaxed attitude. When not thrown into the chaos of harvest, he often can be found touring our vineyards or inspecting our production equipment with his trusted canine sidekick, Jacie. During baseball season, you’re always sure to hear the Giants games on full volume inside our barrel room, which is why we think Michael’s wines are always a grand slam for your dinner table.

Michael has won numerous awards and medals while at Roche Winery. 

Michael has a Bachelor’s degree in enology from U.C. Davis and resides in nearby Marin County with his wife, Terra, and children, Jack and Daniella.

 Steve Bowen, Assistant Winemaker

Steve Bowen

Assistant Winemaker

Although born and raised in Napa, Steve admits that he was "almost completely oblivious to the wine industry that was expanding around me for years." Eventually, he began working for businesses and companies which served the wine industry in the Napa Valley until he was offered the opportunity to work his first harvest. After just a week working in the cellar, he says he "was hooked!" From that moment on, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career to become a winemaker.

Over the years, Steve has occupied various positions in the Napa Valley both in tasting rooms and in the cellar. In fact, before joining Roche Winery, he worked several harvests at The Good Life Wine Collective (Napa, CA) which specializes in small-lot, handcrafted wines. In this position, Steve gained invaluable experience as he worked with a wide variety of grapes brought in from numerous growing regions.  

Steve came to Roche because "he wanted to further expand his knowledge by working at a highly regarded estate winery in Sonoma." At our winery, you can find Steve working closely with Winemaker Michael Carr tasting the latest vintage, working in the tank room, or performing analyses in the Roche wine lab. When not at work, Steve enjoys playing softball, skimboarding, or even dirt biking with his buddies. He and his wife, Jenn, reside in the city of Napa with their daughter, Lydia, and German short-haired pointer, Rocko.

 Ned Hill - Vineyard Manager

Ned Hill

Vineyard Manager

Having been immersed in Sonoma Valley grape growing since his father planted his fist vineyard in 1979, Ned brings to Roche Winery a lifetime knowledge of Carneros and its world-famous Sonoma Valley terroir. Ned and his wife Erika’s vineyard management company, La Prenda Vineyard Management, oversees the farming of 900 acres of vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Carneros, including Roche Winery’s 50-acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Ned was instrumental in the planting of these vineyards and he works closely with Roche winemaker Michael Carr and Brendan Roche to ensure the quality of this vineyard’s fruit to achieve the same year-after-year consistency of Roche Wines. This comes easy for Ned, as Brendan Roche and Ned grew up together in Sonoma Valley, and Michael has worked with Ned for many years in sourcing fruit beyond the Roche estate. While this team works extremely hard each year to maintain the quality of Roche wines, it is Ned’s great sense of humor out in the vineyards that makes this more “fun” than work for Brendan and Michael.