Karmère Vineyards and Winery of Shenandoah Valley is a result of five generations of farming and a love of the land and rural life. Marilyn K. Hoopes, co-founder of Karmère, grew up in Teton Valley, Idaho on a potato farm on the Teton river in full view of the Grand Tetons. In 1978, at age twenty-six, she moved to Amador county and fell in love with the bucolic Shenandoah Valley.
She also fell in love with Todd Pickens who had recently moved from the Bay area and prior from L.A. to Amador County to become a "back to the lander." They made their home in Jackson, California and in 1990 bought their first piece of property in Shenandoah Valley: a seventeen acre parcel adjacent to Terre Rouge. This is their home place.
In 1994, they completed an IRS 1031 real property trade and obtained the eighty-nine acre Jameson Ranch where the winery and tasting facility now exists. The name "Karmère" (car-mare) is in honor of Marilyn's mother.
Karma Hoopes: "mère" is the French word for mother. Since the land exchanged came from Marilyn's parent's estate and the existing farm in Idaho bears her father's name, Marilyn decided to honor her mother's hard work and vision and thus the name was created. The first Zinfandel vines were planted in 1994. Plantings of Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera, Viognier, Primitivo and Nebbiolo have continued with sixty-seven acres planted of the hundred and five total.