Carina Cellars Winemaker
Joey Tensley was just 12 years old when he visited a winery in the Bordeaux region of France. It was his first exposure to the wine making business, and the bug bit hard. Ten years later, in 1993, he found his first job in the business, supervising the bottling line and working in the cellar at Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County.
After only three years, he became assistant winemaker at Babcock Vineyards. Tensley credits winemaker Brian Babcock with teaching him the importance of the vineyard - that great wine comes from great grapes. It's a philosophy to which Tensley strictly adheres today. In 1998, Tensley moved on to become assistant winemaker at Beckmen Winery, where he found his passion for Rhône varietals, particularly Syrah, which would become the basis of his signature wines.
Joey Tensley with wife Jennifer
In 1998, Tensley also launched his own brand, Tensley Wine Company. Under his label, Joey makes only vineyard-designated Syrahs. Each wine is made exactly the same way in order to keep the focus on the clone and the unique characteristics of each vineyard. His wines have received high praise, such as that of West Coast Wines, which writes, "Major kudos to Joey Tensley. He has steadfastly propelled himself into the upper echelon of Syrah producers in California." And Robert Parker, Jr. no less praised Tensley in Wine Advocate, who raved about the Syrah's from Joey Tensley. He stated, "These stunning Syrahs produced by proprietor Joey Tensley will quickly propel this small winery to the forefront of the Santa Barbara wine scene."
Joey brings that same talent, passion, and attention to detail to the fine wines at Carina Cellars.