Matt McKinney, Owner/Winemaker
After winning the 2010 pro volleyball championship in Puerto Rico, Matt's dad allowed him to plant an acre vineyard on the property.
In 2013 he moved home to pursue winemaking full time, going back to school at Allen Hancock college for Viticulture and Enology. He then began working for three of the top wineries in Santa Ynez in production (Sunstone, Dierberg Starlane & Dragonette Cellars) while also making his own wine on the side.
From those experiences he says he eventually crafted his own winemaking style he says is a balance between new world & old world winemaking ideology.
His passion for wine began in college going wine tasting with best friends from childhood in Santa Ynez. Those two best friends then started a boutique wine distribution company in 2008 further accelerating Matt's appreciation for boutique wine. Also his travels abroad, living in Greece and Italy for pro-volleyball, opened his mind and senses to the vast, complex, and heart-warming world of wine.
He credits great winemakers like Tyler Thomas of Dierberg/StarLane Winery, John & Steve Dragonette & Brandon Sparks Gillis of Dragonette Cellars, and Bion Rice of Sunstone Winery for teaching him to go beyond average in the cellar and in life.
Harry McKinney, Vineyard Manager
Following the advise of many of the Santa Ynez Valley's top vineyard managers, together Harry and Matt have established a premium organic vineyard on their home property.
Harry is a retired Money Manager who says he finds great joy in working outdoors and watching over the vineyard. "It's been the perfect retirement hobby, which now because of Matt, has become something more! It's a fun process and we enjoy doing it together."
Lee Ann McKinney, Harvest Hand & Estate Beekeeper
Since Lee Ann's 25 year career as a Nurse Practicioner she has become heavily involved in the Vanishing of the Bees Movement. Her love of nature and desire to keep the local ecosystem in balance has led her to begin caring for multiple bee hives on the property.
During harvest time, Lee Ann enjoys helping harvest the grapes and in the off season she labels herself as a 'Professional Weed Puller'! She counsels her husband and son on all organic practices within the vineyard and property as a whole.
Justice Massara - Assistant Winemaker
Justice is our second son and brother from another mother. He is from Bend Oregon and moved to Sonoma and then Santa Ynez in pursuit of working and living around the best vineyards and wineries in California. We are blessed to have someone like Justice with passion and charisma working in both the wine cellar and with our wine club, hosting private tours for our guests.
Megan Washington - Wine Club Manager & Hospitality
Megan, who has become all things in the back office for McKinney Family Vineyards, has been in the wine industry for the past 10 years, working in high-end retail wine sales and at another one of the top wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. Megan moved with her husband to Santa Barbara County over 5 years ago, I met them when I was still renting smaller wine making facilities on the other side of Buellton. Her passion for all things wine related is addictive, and she of course loved the story of our wines and family estate. In addition to working to make our club members and clientele happy, Megan loves to continuously explore the Central Coast, whether it be through hiking, landscape photography, visiting organic farm stands, or of course, wine tasting!
Jared Kent - Hospitality/Sales Director
Jared began his wine career in culinary school at home in Rhode Island, where he was exposed to some of the best wines from around the world. This led him to pursue a degree in wine, with a focus in hospitality.
He continued his education and has participated in multiple top tier wine programs, including becoming a certified sommelier. Over the past 10 years, Jared has worked all over the world in a variety of roles in the wine industry. This includes running a boutique wine shop and managing the hospitality for a high-end winery in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Subsequently, he found himself relocating to the Santa Ynez Valley to launch the hospitality program for another top winery.
Jared’s love for the region and passion for all things wine has brought him onto the McKinney team, where he will guide you across the Santa Ynez Valley through our wines.