Steve McIntyre, Owner & Wine Grower
Steve McIntyre intimately understands what makes the Santa Lucia Highlands a unique treasure in the world of fine wine. Being that rare combination of winegrower and winemaker, Steve earned degrees in both viticulture and enology, graduating from CSU Fresno with a Masters in Enology. He put both disciplines into practice here long before the place, in no small part due to his efforts, became known to wine lovers and critics the world over. Steve knows this collection of storied vineyards like no other. After years as a winemaker at Smith & Hook, a neighboring winery in the Highlands, he purchased an adjacent 80-acre vineyard parcel in 1987 that would eventually became McIntyre Vineyards, producing wine under his family name.
For the past three decades, Steve McIntyre and his wife, Kim, whom he met in high school, have farmed hundreds of vineyard acres on behalf of their company, Monterey Pacific, planting vineyards for Galante, Smith & Hook, Mondavi, Joseph Phelps and Bonny Doon.
Among the prestigious wineries for which they have grown fruit, are Williams Selyem, Morgan, Artesa, Jordan, Bernardus, MacRostie and Joseph Phelps. As founding members of the Monterey Wine Company, they have also produced wines for Bonny Doon, Caymus, The Hess Collection, Hahn Estates and many others.
Steve likens winemaking and grapegrowing to his love of art and music, a passion he pursued in college: “Initially I studied music, but I found out I didn’t have any talent!” With his own McIntyre label, Steve bridged the traditional disconnect between grower and vintner, tapping the talents of consulting winemaker Byron Kosuge, whose minimalist approach allows the vineyards’ true character and terroir to shine through in the finished wine.
The first limited production McIntyre wines debuted with the 2005 vintage, combining Steve’s dedication to his craft and his passion for the land. As Steve puts it: “Musicians are servants to other people’s emotions, giving folks pleasure. With our family of wines, we strive to create something sensual, like music, which brings joy and inspiration and is an artistic statement of our vineyard.”
Steve and Kim McIntyre, currently reside in Monterey County, along with Petrus, Jura, Quintessa, Duchess and Juliet, their Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Byron Kosuge is a native Californian born and raised in the Central Valley of California, the son of a UC Davis professor. Byron attended UC Davis, where he studied English Literature as well as Viticulture and Enology. He began his winemaking career in 1985 in Carneros as a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist at Saintsbury Winery. After 15 years at Saintsbury, he departed in 2001 to pursue other endeavors. They included his own label, B. Kosuge Wines, as well as Miura Vineyards, Foghorn, and Kingston Family Vineyards in Chile. All of these projects focus on Pinot Noir. He has also served as consultant to several Napa and Sonoma- based wineries.
Byron began working with Steve McIntyre in 2004. The object was to apply the A-Vine treatment to various small blocks from several different promising Monterey County vineyards that Steve farmed in order to explore their ultimate potential. In 2005, they decided to make a small amount of wine from these trial blocks and the McIntyre label was off and running. In 2006, the focus shifted to the McIntyre Family Estate in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Byron lives in Napa with his wife Mary and daughter Audrey.
The daughter of Steve and Kim McIntyre, Kristen was born and raised in the Monterey County. Her passion for animals, particularly pigs, led her to participate for nine years in the Buena Vista 4-H, where she learned about leadership, friendship, and supporting the community. Later she followed in the footsteps of her parents and attended California State University, Fresno, where she graduated with a BS in Animal Science, Livestock Business Management. In managing the tasting studio, Kristen applies the knowledge and appreciation of wine gained at a young age and indulges in her passion for working with people in an upbeat environment. She invites you to visit the tasting studio and enjoy a selection of her family’s wonderful wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands.