Our team

  • Eric Hamacher

    Eric Hamacher was born in and raised around Carmel California. His youthful work in the restaurants of the area introduced him to great wine, specifically Burgundy. Although Hamacher never intended to enter the winemaking business, he was drawn from studies in biochemistry to wine chemistry (enology). By the time he graduated from UC Davis in 1988, he already had worked four harvests and the die had been cast. It was clear that Pinot Noir would be his passion and Oregon was the Promised Land! He moved north and opened Hamacher Wines in 1995 with a focus on making elegant wines.

    He worked as a “winemaking gypsy” of sorts moving production from facility to facility; that life came to an end in 2002, with the opening of a high quality, “incubator styled” multiple producer, winemaking facility called The Carlton Winemakers Studio.

    He and Luisa live on a forty acre farm with their four kids and an ever increasing menagerie of farm animals.

  • Luisa Ponzi

    Luisa Ponzi graduated from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, with a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Biology in 1990. Following her undergraduate studies, Luisa moved to Beaune, France, where she continued her education. As part of the required curriculum, Luisa apprenticed with Burgundian producer, M. Christophe Roumier of Domaine Roumier of Chambolle Musigny, France and Italian producer Luca Currado of Vietti in Piedmonte, Italy. In 1993, Luisa was awarded the degree Brevet Professional D’Oenologie et Viticulture.

    In addition to her formal studies of enology and viticulture, Luisa has traveled extensively throughout other prominent wine regions including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the United States. Since 1986, she has participated in all the International Pinot Noir Celebrations in McMinnville, Oregon and has attended all of the accompanying Steamboat Technical Pinot Noir Conferences.

    The majority of Luisa’s winemaking experience is drawn from her life long work with her father, Dick Ponzi, at their Willamette Valley vineyards and winery. She blends her formal European education of enology and viticulture with the wine expertise of her world class winemaker father.

  • Ned & Kirsten Lumpkin

    Ned and Kirsten Lumpkin had planted 33 acres of grapes. What do to with them? Eric Hamacher wanted his own winery. Ned was a contractor with considerable experience, who needed a winemaker. The result … a partnership between the Lumpkins, Eric Hamacher and his wife Luisa Ponzi. The four envisioned a pioneering project, The Carlton Winemakers Studio, a sustainable facility built to accommodate the needs of boutique winemakers.

    Lazy River Vineyard has developed into an esteemed Willamette Valley vineyard, producing beautiful fruit worth coveting. Their wines are produced and sold at the studio.