San Luis Obispo County
One of the best micro-wineries you haven’t heard of.
One of the best micro-wineries you haven’t heard of on California’s Central Coast is Etnyre Wines, owned by winemaker Ethan Etnyre who enjoys making coastal wines from his estate property, Quin’s Vineyard. He focuses on Pinot Noir and Syrah, and only releases about 200 cases total each year, making these bottlings extremely limited and nearly impossible to find. Hidden gems like Etnyre Wines are exciting finds for our Garagiste Wine Club members and we are happy to introduce this under-the-radar producer to you.
Ethan Etnyre grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and some of his favorite memories there include enjoying wines with friends and family. When he and his wife moved to
California’s Central Coast in 1992, they found themselves living in an extremely high quality viticultural area and they were immediately inspired. Within 12 days of arriving, the Etnyres were fermenting grapes in a 32 gallon food-grade trash can in the basement - they were hooked.
Over the years, the Etnyres’ passion for wine and winemaking continued to grow. Ethan enrolled in UC Davis Viticulture and Enology classes, and applied that knowledge to his craft, enhancing his skills and his palate, year after year. After 13 years of home winemaking, the couple was finally ready to release their first vintage of Etnyre Wines in 2005.
The fruit for Ethan’s wines are sourced from the family’s estate property, Quin’s Vineyard, which they began planting in 1998. Named after their son, Quin’s Vineyard is located just 3.3 miles from the Pacific Ocean - one of the closest local vineyards to the coast - which has a profound effect on their viticultural practices and quality of the fruit. The cool climate and consistent morning fog allows the grapes to ripen slowly, and this longer growing season adds complexity to the finished wines.
Interestingly, the whole Etnyre family is represented on the wine label. Etnyre is Ethan’s last name, ‘Mikuni’ (the round Japanese symbol) is his wife’s last name, and Quin’s Vineyard is named after their son.
After 17 years, Etnyre Wines remains a micro producer and the family wouldn’t have it any other way. They enjoy the challenge of farming their 2 acre vineyard and having the ability to maintain excellence in small volume concentration. We hope our Garagiste Wine Club members enjoy the latest cool climate release from this remarkable little winery. Cheers!