Reynolds Family Winery
Napa Valley AVA
A world-class winery crafting top-rated wines
Steve Reynolds feels he was destined to be in the wine business since his youth. The Oklahoma native’s father was in the electrical business and the family moved numerous times during Reynolds’ youth, including a seven year stint in a small town just south of Munich in southern Germany.
“My father was almost fanatical about wine and was an avid wine collector,” Reynolds recently recalled. “Most of our family outings centered around wine and wineries and we never had a meal where there wasn’t a bottle of wine on the table.” Reynolds returned to the United States after high school and attended the University of Washington. He next went to the University of the Pacific where he graduated in dentistry in 1986.
He eventually wound up in the Lodi-Stockton area where he practiced dentistry and where he was first introduced to his future wife, Suzie.“Suzie was at St. Mary’s College in nearby Moraga, and we started dating. She had a best friend at the school that was dating a guy from Napa named Oscar Renteria,” Reynolds added. “We all started hanging out together during the late 1980’s and going to the Napa Valley on weekends and holidays where Renteria’s father was a vineyard manager.”
In 1993, the couple became engaged. A fifteen-minute conversation between the pair on a return trip from Napa persuaded Reynolds to sell his Central Valley practice and move to Napa.“We decided we loved Napa and I wanted to be one of those gentlemen farmers making homemade wine on the side of our garage. I started a new practice and Suzie continued to work in her family’s insurance business.”The Reynolds’ jump into the wine business began for real in 1995 when an old chicken farm on the Silverado Trail, just south of the prestigious Stag’s Leap District, became available. With the help of the couple’s old friend Oscar Renteria, Steve Reynolds bought the property and planted vineyards to the fertile land.
By 1999, the first wines were made from a small portion of some very specific vines that had dropped fruit a few months earlier. The finished wines were well received by friends and acquaintances and Reynolds decided it was time to get into the wine business on a larger scale. The Reynolds Family Winery’s first release of around 2,000 cases came at the start of the new millennium amid a rash of personal problems for Reynolds. With a six month old baby and its needs to deal with, Reynolds lost his inspirational father (and winery investor) and was then forced to give up his dental practice when the running of the new winery operation proved too time consuming.
“I was really up against it,” Reynolds admitted. “It was a very difficult time in my life, but I had no real choices. The winery demanded someone be there on a full time basis. I called on my friends and neighbors, and everyone pitched in and helped out.”
Basically self taught as a winemaker, Steve Reynolds took courses at UC Davis for two years to perfect his art. He credits South African winemaker Anthony Bell for seeing him through the hardest time in his winery’s evolution.
The rest is practically a chapter from a romantic novel. The first Reynolds Family wines were incredibly well received, as were the succeeding releases. Today, Reynolds Family Winery has grown to a comfortable level of 8,000 cases.
Reynolds has also been active in two other winery ventures, a fun brand called Naughty, as well as an innovative brand called Fifteen Appellations (which evolved from its original name, Thirteen) that brings together grapes from Napa’s finest growing districts in one amazing bottle.
Through it all, Steve and Suzie Reynolds have truly enjoyed the experience and path that has lead them to where they are today. They have three beautiful children (Cameron, Rebecca, and Sarah), dozens of accolades, medals, and achievements for their wines, and most of all, each other.
Steve is one of the most honest, giving and sought-after winemakers in the Napa Valley and his passion for his craft is shown with each new release. Enjoying the view of his bustling tasting room, drinking the juice of his labors, and knowing he followed his heart to pursue what he loves, makes all of the rough times truly worth it.
Steve Reynolds - Winemaker
Steve Reynolds’ interest in wine started when he was living in Germany as a young teenager. Wine was always a part of his daily life and his father often took the whole family on wine tasting trips throughout Europe. At the time, he’d curse his father as he spent his day throwing rocks into a pond while his father tasted. Now, of course, Steve is grateful to his father for sharing his passion and infecting him with the same enthusiasm. Steve is pleased to be sharing his wine with the Pinot Noir Series Wine Club members.
After leaving the field of dentistry, Steve Reynolds found his true calling in life, making wine, running a world-class winery, and having a great time doing it. The winery is run by his tight knit family and was built in a Tuscan style to honor his father’s favorite wine growing region.
Steve Reynolds is mostly a self-taught winemaker, which is incredible that he has become one of the top winemakers in all of Napa Valley. He uses often complex and time-consuming methods of winemaking when making his Reynolds Family wines, and while they are not inexpensive processes, the results speak for themselves. Reynolds Family Winery is a true labor of love and we are thrilled to feature one of Steve’s celebrated releases.
About the Vineyard
Reynolds Family Winery works in partnership with the owners of Corotto Vineyards in Los Carneros to produce the Reynolds Los Carneros Pinot Noir. The Corotto family has lived in Napa for nearly 50 years and the vineyard that is now known as Corotto Vineyards became a part of the family in 1999 when it was purchased by Jeff and Claire (Corotto) Mallet. The vineyard is planted to thirty acres of premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines and produces fruit for some of Napa’s most well known wineries.
Wine grapes from Los Carneros are among the most distinct and unique in wine country. In addition to being cooler, the Carneros region is much drier that other appellations in Sonoma and Napa Valley and the soil and climate conditions dictate that grapes grown here will struggle to produce fruit. The terroir combined with a long growing season results in low yields of highly concentrated fruit. While Carneros’ natural temperament tests the best winegrape grower’s skills, they are often rewarded with grapes that are highly sought after by world-class wineries. Carneros has become known as a hot spot for premium, distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A Letter from Steve
Dear Platinum Series Wine Club Members,
Truly a wine maker's year handed down to Napa Valley by the Gods! As a wine maker we dream of vintages like this one and it is just starting to show it's elegance after being housed in such a giant, firm well constructed fortress.
Persistence is that one of a kind wine I have always loved to produce and is made to be a distinct Napa blend. Unlike many traditional Bordeaux Blends from CA, this has a complex fruit back-bone is fantastic alone but really comes to life with food. A unique blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petit Verdot from nine vineyards in Napa Valley have made this our most popular wine from Reynolds Family Winery. I am proud to call this one of my babies!!
Cheers and Enjoy.