Meet The Dream Team
Say hello to the small but mighty team whose passion and dedication drives McKinney Family Vineyards.
OWNER and winemaker
A Santa Ynez native, Matt’s passion for wine began in college going wine tasting in his hometown with childhood friends. His travels abroad, and time spent living in Greece and Italy during his pro-volleyball career, further opened his mind and senses to the vast, complex, and heart-warming world of wine.
In 2013 Matt moved home to pursue winemaking full time. He studied Viticulture and Enology at Allen Hancock College and began working wine production for three of the top wineries in Santa Ynez (Sunstone, Dierberg Starlane, and Dragonette Cellars), while beginning to make his own wine on the side.
Matt was fortunate to learn from some of the best, like Tyler Thomas (Dierberg StarLane), John and Steve Dragonette and Brandon Sparks Gillis (Dragonette Cellars), and Bion Rice (Sunstone Winery). He credits these great winemakers and mentors for teaching him to go beyond average in the cellar and in life.
Originally from Bend Oregon, Justice’s passion for wine took him to Napa and Sonoma, eventually moving to the Santa Ynez Valley in pursuit of working and living around the best vineyards and wineries in California.
With 10 harvests (and counting) under his belt, Justice brings a wealth of wine knowledge and production experience. He began his career growing low-yield high-quality Bordeaux varietals on the Mount Veeder Appellation. In 2017, he was managing operations at a local winery when he met Matt and the two became fast friends. After he tasted McKinney wine, he was hooked.
Justice’s passion for fine wine and commitment to excellence is why we depend on him for most of the winemaking at McKinney Family Vineyards.
WIne Club manager
Megan first joined the MFV family, not as an employee, but as a wine club member! She has since become our wine club manager and handles all things back office to keep our operations running smoothly.
Megan’s passion for wine is addictive and she has over 10 years of industry experience, working in high-end retail wine sales and at another top winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Megan has a serious work ethic and goes above and beyond to make our club members and clientele happy.
In her spare time she loves cooking, hiking, and tending to her extensive succulent and cacti collection.
WineMAKER and Hospitality
Kristin Sandberg joined our dynamic team just in time to dive headfirst into the 2021 harvest.
Growing up around wine production with her Italian family, wine runs in Kristin’s blood. She has a passion for both winemaking and hospitality, and brings 5 years of experience in high-end wine sales and hospitality. She also has a talent for photography and we rely on her to capture many of the stunning shots you see on our social media.
Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, snowboarding, cooking, and spending time with her cats and loved ones!
WInemaker and hospitality
Karoo Meyer joined McKinney Family Vineyards as our 2022 Harvest Intern, officially joining the team full time in early 2023 to begin his journey in the Santa Barbara County wine industry.
Originally born in England, he and his family eventually established roots in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. Throughout his life, he spent summers in South Africa where his parents are originally from. During his visits with family, he was exposed to the beautiful South African wine regions, where he first began showing an interest in vineyards and wine-making. While on a wine tour at our Estate, his inquisitive and enthusiastic nature to learn more was obvious, and he soon joined the team by jumping right into production.
Karoo has recently graduated from the University of Northridge, and he’s excited about his transition to the Santa Ynez Valley!
Hospitality and wine education, CSW
The newest member of our team, local author Adam McHugh has joined us to provide wine history and education to our guests.
Originally a grief counselor and life coach, he discovered his passion for wine and wine history, eventually moving to the Santa Ynez Valley, where his wine career blossomed. While working for one of the top wine tour companies in Santa Barbara, he fine-tuned his knowledge of wine and the local area. He assists with hosting guests part-time at our Estate when he is not on tours promoting his newly released book, Blood From A Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead.
We are very thankful to have Adam share his knowledge about wine history and the vast world of wine!
Last But Not Least
Lee Ann McKinney
PRO Weed Puller
During harvest, Lee Ann still enjoys helping harvest the grapes and during the off season she labels herself as a ‘Professional Weed Puller’! She counsels her husband and son on all organic practices on the McKinney property.
A retired money manager, Harry says he finds great joy in working outdoors and watching over the vineyards. He has a passion for geology and often gathers rocks from around the property for his stone stacking hobby.
Baron and Star
Doing her part to keep the biodynamic ecosystem going, Star can often be seen hunting down gophers in the vineyard. Baron, her super-sized big brother, usually just observes in admiration, offering his moral support from afar.
Come Visit Us
Come tour the McKinney estate and taste our exceptional wines.