James Skinner was born in 1812 in the small town of Kettle, Scotland. One of 13 children, James learned his father’s trade and went to work as a weaver when he was only 11 years old. By working during the day and going to school at night, he eventually became an engineer and moved to the big city of Glasgow. But he was still poor, with a growing family and the driving ambitions of a young man. So in 1842, he set sail for America in search of a better life and, soon after, traveled to California in search of his fortune.
By 1852, James was mining for gold at Foster’s Bar and soon saved enough money to buy some land and build a house for his wife, Jessie, and their six children. But over the years, Gold Rush fever began to die down and communities began to grow. Seeing the change going on around him, James realized there was an emerging opportunity in commerce. So in 1860, he planted a vineyard in the foothills and began to produce native wines and brandy.
Almost 150 years later, the Mike and Carey Skinner family carry on the legacy of their well-known ancestor. Though some of the roads that James walked have changed, the soil, climate, and foothills have not. Today, when you pour a glass of Skinner Vineyards wine, you’ll get to enjoy that unique experience of tasting a wine whose future promises to be every bit as bright as its glowing past.