Steve McIntyre helped write the book on sustainable winegrowing in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. The McIntyre family has been farming in a responsible, sustainable manner long before such practices became vogue. While they grow grapes organically and biodynamically for other wineries, and do apply many of these techniques to their own operation, they prefer to farm in a sustainable system. A sustainable system is a much broader, more comprehensive, bigger carbon footprint program than an organic system, carefully taking into account everything that happens in and around the vineyard. Sustainability is a self-correcting discipline that not only impacts the environment, but society, employees and business.
McIntrye Family Estate - Santa Lucia Highlands.
Sparkling Wine special - 91 Points, International, WineReview.com
- McIntyreSparkling Wine
- L'Homme Qui Ris
- Monterey County
- 91 - Int'l Wine Reviewid: 1156
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 McIntyre family
Through three decades, the McIntyre family has been setting the standard for winegrowing on the Central Coast and in Monterey County. Steve McIntyre graduated with a Masters Degree in Enology from CSU Fresno (Initially I studied music — but I found out I didn’t have any talent!). He has planted and managed vineyards for numerous wineries including Galante, Smith & Hook, Mondavi, Joseph Phelps and Bonny Doon. Steve met his future wife and partner Kim in high school and their vineyard management company, Monterey Pacific, has grown grapes for such prestigious wineries as Williams Selyem, Morgan, Artesa, Jordan, Bernardus, MacRostie, and Marilyn Remark to name a few. As managing partners in the Monterey Wine Company, they have produced wines for Bonny Doon, Caymus, Hess Collection, Hahn Estates, and many others.
Their own McIntyre Vineyards was founded in 1987, with Steve’s purchase of eighty acres in the Santa Lucia Highlands. With all of his acquired experience, it was only natural that he should begin making wines under the family name and label. The first limited McIntyre wines debuted with the 2005 vintage, combining Steve’s dedication to his craft, his passion for the land, and his love of art and music. 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, daughters Kristen and Kassandra and son Matthew reside in Monterey County, along with Petrus, Jura, and Quintessa, their Bernese Mountain Dogs
About The Region
The McIntyre Estate Vineyard is located in the central section of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Originally planted by the McFarland family in 1973, it boasts some of the Highlands’ oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. A 1979 Pinot Noir from the vineyard, under the Stony Hill label, is still regarded as one of the finest early varietally-labeled Pinots from the district.
In March, 1987, Steve McIntyre purchased the eighty acre property. With his experience from neighboring Hahn estate, Steve was an enthusiastic early believer in the Highlands and was instrumental in helping define and promote it, eventually resulting in official recognition of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation.
Steve McIntyre’s three decades of experience as a winegrower in the Santa Lucia Highlands has translated into huge demand for his grapes. In addition to the fruit set aside for his own McIntyre brand, Steve sells Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the property to several other ultra-premium producers, including Morgan, Ariana, De Tierra, Joullian, and La Rochelle.
Early bud break and fruit set are one of the advantages of McIntyre’s Highlands location. Mid-season leaf pulling and other canopy management techniques help focus the vines’ efforts. Harvest on the McIntyre Estate typically begins in mid-September and can run into late October. The McIntyre family employs sustainable viticultural practices on the home estate through the use of bio-diverse systems and cover crops.