Santa Barbara County region
Michael’s philosophy at Zinke Wines is simple: his passion stems from the vine itself, the earth it comes from, and the fruit it produces.
Founded in 2012 by Oklahoma native Michael Zinke, Zinke Wine Company is an ultra-boutique winery nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast. Michael specializes in handcrafted, single vineyard Rhône varietal wines sourced from several of the top ‘Grand Cru’ vineyards of California’s Central Coast, including the Thompson Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Kimsey Vineyard, and John Sebastiano Vineyard, among others. It is Michael’s goal to craft unapologetic, site-specific wines that represent the land they come from, and he hopes you have as much fun enjoying his wines as he does making them.
Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Michael Zinke grew up fly fishing, camping, and working on his family’s cattle ranch in Osage County. It was there that he developed his love affair with the land, its bounty, and working with his hands. He also enjoyed cooking and the fact that it was a family affair growing up, bringing everyone together in the kitchen. Michael followed this passion for cooking and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California.
While in cooking school, Michael was exposed to a seemingly endless spectrum of flavors and he developed a deep appreciation for wine pairings, as well as the winemaking process. He spent several weekends visiting the Santa Ynez Valley for wine tastings, and became inspired by the incredible wines and terroir of Santa Barbara County. Eventually, Michael felt that winemaking was the next natural step for him.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Michael briefly moved back home to Tulsa, where he became the assistant winemaker at Girouard Vines. His dream was to start his own winery, however, and he knew the Santa Ynez Valley and Central Coast of California was where he needed to be. Michael moved back to the Golden Coast, and in 2012, founded Zinke Wines in Santa Barbara County.
Michael’s philosophy at Zinke Wines is simple: his passion stems from the vine itself, the earth it comes from, and the fruit it produces. He feels extremely lucky to be able to work with some of the very best vineyards on the Central Coast, which are all a stone’s throw from his home in Santa Ynez, and it is his mission to represent these special sites with authentic, terroir-driven wines.
Zinke Wines also operates a small tasting room that is located in the heart of downtown Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here, visitors are able to taste through his extremely limited-production Rhône-style wines, and also partake in the lawn games and live music which are often offered at the lively and hospitable facility.
We are proud to share a pair of Zinke Wines’ most popular releases with our Gold Wine Club members. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Michael Zinke, Winemaker
When it comes to Michael’s winemaking style for Zinke Wine Company, he keeps it as simple and straightforward as possible. He picks his fruit at optimal ripeness and hand sorts the berries to pick the best clusters for his wines. He does not use any additives, allowing the vineyards to completely speak for themselves. He also does small-lot, whole cluster fermentations and finds the proper balance of oak and aging time to bring out the best that the fruit has to offer.
Michael is all about passion, love, authenticity, and the pursuit of the impossible - perfection - and it’s no wonder his wines are so impressive. All of his fruit for Zinke Wine Company comes from sustainable vineyards that utilize organic processes.