Kynsi Winery is a family run operation located in California’s Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Owners Don and Gwen Othman founded Kynsi in 1995, after gaining over 30 years of experience in the wine industry with their specialty wine equipment business, Bulldog Manufacturing. Don is known for creating “The Bulldog Pup”, a gas pressure racking wand that transfers wine from barrels without oxidation or agitation.
The Kynsi Winery is in an old dairy that was renovated after resting dormant for decades. The inspiration for the Kynsi name, which means “talon” in Finnish, came from their initial struggles with a plague-like infestation of gophers in the winery. They quickly learned that barn owls are gophers’ top predator, and they built two wooden boxes to encourage nesting and owlets. The owls ended up saving the ranch by bringing nature back into balance. They chose Kynsi to honor their family heritage and their beloved barn owls.
Today Don and Gwen work with their daughter, Kala, and her husband, Michael, to maintain consistency and quality in Kynsi wines. Don is Kynsi’s winemaker and uses traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. Grapes are hand harvested under lights are in the cool early morning hours.
Kynsi wine quality starts with the grape,s which are sourced from intensely farmed, low yield vineyards in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Estate Pinot Noir from their Stone Corral Vineyard. Kynsi has over 5 acres of Pinot Blanc, Zb block Syrah and Pinot Noir from 36-year-old vines (including Pommard and Martini clones) in Bien Nacido Vineyard. The soils range from Los Osos clay loam, elder loam, elder shale loam, sorrento sandy loam and mocho sandy loam. Stone Corral Vineyard is a venture Kynsi Winery developed with Talley Vineyards and Stephen Ross Cellars. They carefully planned the vineyard’s layout by digging six to eight-foot-deep pits to analyze the soil of this diverse terrain. Stone Corral’s soil is marine in origin and contains sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly clay loam – all fine angular blocky. These well drained soils have many areas of underlying layers of decomposing sandstone. Low vigor rootstocks, 101-14, 3309 and 1616C were selected by soil profile. Three French Dijon clones 666, 777, and 115 were also chosen and a 2A (Wadenswil) clone from Switzerland.
Kynsi Winery produces 4,500 9-liter cases annually from Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Rose, Pinot Noir and Syrah from vines up to 43 years old.