My dad was a nurseryman, and as a child, I grew up next to acres of plants and seedlings growing in our greenhouses. During the work day there was a staff of people planting, loading up the delivery trucks; and a constant fragile and respectful relationship with nature's effect on the land and the plants.
When I met Kristen, daughter of proprietor and winegrower Steve McIntyre, I could see the connection. While she had respect for the wines McIntyre sells, there was a deep affection and almost belonging to the McIntyre heritage and vineyards. The more interaction with the land and the vineyards, the more it becomes a facet of who you are.
Kristen is the Tasting Studio and Sales Manager, as well as the social media gal. As a family business, it's common for her to wear many hats—all while being welcoming and gracious. When you taste at McIntyre, feel free to ask about their vineyards, which are SIP Certified http://www.sipcertified.org/. Steve and his wife Kim bought the land in the early '80's. He's a man of the earth and a farmer at heart. The McIntyre's have played a pivotal role in the Santa Lucia Highlands wine region, planting over 20% of the AVA. They manage their own Estate vineyards and own Monterey Pacific http://montereypacific.com/ which grows wine
grapes for many well known vintners in the Bay Area.
Every winery has natural yeast floating around, similar to a bakery. The McIntyres rely on these natural yeasts in their wine making.
The 2014 Estate Chardonnay is aged in 20% new French oak and goes through the full malolactic process. So it gets a bit of the creaminess from the two. It's a nice California style Chard: it isn't heavily oaked, fresh but not as tart as a stainless.
True to the Santa Lucia Highlands area, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are their main wines.
2013 Kimberly Merlot. The grapes were grown just inside the mouth of the Arroyo Seco Canyon which is a warmer area. It was intriguing tasting a Merlot from the area, and experiencing its distinctiveness. It's dry, slightly smoky, rich, with hints of herbs, fruit forward, but not heavy. The wine is expected to cellar well.
Guests can visit the Tasting Studio and bring home McIntyre wines, but the McIntyres hope you take away a taste of who they are and what's important to them: leaving a small footprint on the environment, giving to the community, and being customer focused as well as caring about relationships with their business peers.
In addition to McIntyre Tasting Studio, other neighborhood tasting rooms wineries http://www.calwinejaunt.com/monterey-region.html are nearby. Safe travels!
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