‘Come for the wine and discover the brandy’ says owner Steve Autry
–Nestled in the heart of Edna Valley, overlooking rows of vineyards and a 40-mile stretch of the Santa Lucia mountain range, you’ll find Autry Cellars. Here, owner and artisan winemaker Steve Autry and his tasting room staff pour wine varietals, brandy, and grappa borne from some of the best grapes selected from across the region, along with his signature apple brandy.
Autry Cellars’ informal, unpretentious tasting room is “decorated in early American warehouse” style, jokes Autry. However, don’t be deceived by the modest décor. In this tasting room visitors can experience superb wine varietals ranging from best selling Petite Sirah to Malbec and Viogner. In addition, you can taste gold medal best-in-class grappa and silver medal winning American oak and Hungarian oak brandies, awarded by the California Mid-State Fair.
With over 18 years of winemaking experience, Steve Autry became a commercial winemaker 10 years ago and a fully licensed brandy distiller in 2012. A visit to Autry Cellars is about discovery. He says that people who visit his tasting room “come for the wine and discover the brandy.” At Autry Cellars, visitors gain access to impressive wines and brandies that are available exclusively in the tasting room. Every wine is unique, and each is produced only in small quantities.
It is undeniable that Autry enjoys offering guests an educational tasting experience. “Nobody gets out without learning something,” he proclaims. His goal is to help tasters become familiar with the various flavors and aromas they are experiencing, and how they got there. Autry assures visitors that “if you have questions, you can bet you’ll get good answers.” And most days, visitors will have the opportunity to speak directly with the winemaker.
Steve Autry is always eager to share insight and information, whether it’s about brandy, wine, or other unexpected topics. You might learn about his small 15-gallon brandy still, which he built and designed himself. Or, you could hear about the winery’s 2000 square foot production facility and how Autry selects the finest grapes that he has discovered through extensive vineyard research. And don’t be surprised if you receive an unanticipated physics lesson. As former technician in the submarine and aerospace industries, Autry has a strong understanding of physics. Not only does he apply that knowledge in his current work, it enables him to offer his guests an explanation about the rare and amazing acoustic after-effect they may hear shortly after jets from the nearby airport pass overhead.
At Autry Cellars, visitors can expect a journey of discovery. Whether it’s discovering some of the finest wines, grappa and brandies available, or expanding one’s knowledge and understanding, this tasting room is not to miss.
Autry Cellars is located at 5450 Edna Road, San Luis Obispo. The tasting room is open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For more information call (805) 546-8669 or visit autrycellars.com.