Autry Cellars: Orchestrating Wine from Bin to Bottle

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Feature Video

Have you ever opened yourself up to a new experience, unsure of how it might turn out but willing to look past first impressions, to allow the more significant aspects to surface? This is the fun that awaits you with a visit to Autry Cellars.

Steve Autry photo
Steve Autry pours his award-winning wines (photo courtesy Autry Cellars).

If a jet flies overhead on approach to San Luis Obispo Regional Airport, winemaker Steve Autry may take you to the deck outside the tasting room. As the aircraft passes over, you may think that’s cool enough to be at a winery on the flight path.

Wait another few moments, though, and you’ll be rewarded with something few ever hear—the soundwaves crackling in the air wake behind the jet. And it’s a good bet that if you ever do hear this remarkable sound elsewhere, it probably wasn’t a winemaker who invited you to experience the science of sound.

But Steve Autry is not your everyday winemaker.

His journey to creating the handcrafted wines at Autry Cellars in San Luis Obispo began with science. Not the science of viticulture or viniculture… the science of aerospace research. This, combined with his musical talent as a bass player and passion for both great wine and engineering creative solutions, has led to his award-winning, small production winery.

From his previous career in aerspace, he bring a curiosity of how things work, a thirst for creative solutions, and a scientist’s rigor and fascination with gauging the effects of small changes on the outcomes of an approach.

During a tasting of his wines created from grapes grown on some of the best wineries, you may get to watch a stage of wine production—punchdown or press, perhaps, depending on what’s going on at the winery. With just himself, daughter and co-winemaker Kristen, and weekend tasting-room attendant Doug, its’ a small hands-on winery, where Autry orchestrates all the pieces of production.

Another thing that sets Autry apart is his penchant for creating a better mousetrap and looking beyond the industry conventions for solutions.

For example, white wines need a lower fermentation temperature than red wines. Wineries typically accomplish this with expensive glycol-jacketed tanks. Autry knew what the end goal was—keeping wine at a certain temperature during fermentation—so he created a new way to achieve that. His cooling area is built from rigid insulation panels and ice. Once the must is chilled to its ideal temperature, it doesn’t take much ice to keep the chamber cool.

Another example: he’s creating a line of grape-based distilled spirits. Typical distilleries would use mass-produced machinery. Autry designed and built his distillery using common parts and building in additional functionality.

These are just two of the refreshing ways Autry Cellars differs from many of its Edna Valley neighbors.

If you’re looking for a wine tasting experience that’s more about what’s in the bottle and moving beyond the idea that a fancy tasting room is a requirement for quality wine, we encourage you to try it for yourself.

You’ll get to taste some good wines, and learn a little science in the process, whether it’s the science of winemaking—or soundwaves.

We hope you enjoy this slice of a day-in-the-life at Autry Cellars, when the 2017 Merlot began its transformation from bin to bottle under the direction of Steve Autry and daughter Kristen.


Leave a Reply

About Great Flavors
Central Coast

Our mission: to help you create your own unique journey of exploration on the Central Coast
Our guiding light: to build the Central Coast’s most comprehensive online travel magazine and resource guide
Our passion: to foster and encourage a vibrant community of others who believe in living a life filled with great flavors

Recent Posts

Follow Us

📸 Instagram



Knights. Swords. Jousting. Medieval fare and fun. This year’s Central Coast Renaissance Festival is back for it's 35th year this weekend at Laguna Lake Park, SLO. What’s your first quest inside the festival? ... 🎶: Suonatore di Liuto, by Kevin MacLeod 📸 @themooshu @kassatea @thewineboss ... . . . . . . . #slo #visitslo #sanluisobispo #renaissancefestival #centralcoastrenaissancefaire #lagunalake #centralcoast



We all went horseback riding a few weeks ago. But not just any horseback ride. We got to ride a few of the beautiful Clydesdales of Covell Ranch in Cambria! 🐴 What an amazing experience being around these noble horses. And Tara Covell and her team did a great job helping humans learn how to communicate gently with their horses on the ride. 🐎 If you're up for a trail ride with a HUGE (pun intended) twist, do not miss this special place!



Who's ready for margaritas?! 🍹 We can't wait to attend our first Margaritas Y Más Festival -- next Saturday, July 13, in Santa Barbara. 😎 Put on by the same awesome group that runs the Hard Core Cider Tour events (which we love!), it has the same super-fun recipe: held outdoors, unlimited tastings (margaritas & cocktails, top-quality tequilas & mezcals). Plus live music, food trucks, and giant lawn games. Fun, right?! 🎉 Check Bio link for more. We'll see you there!



😎 Happy 4th of July 🇺🇸 Central Coast. Wish you all the best! Any fun plans this weekend?



Not a bad way to start the week. Perfect sunset and high tide washing away the week. What are your plans for the upcoming week and the 4th? ... . . . . . . . . #pismobeach #pismo #5citieslove #groverbeach #july4th2019 #centralcoast #waves



Two Broads Ciderworks is making a name as a fresh and innovative hard cider producer in San Luis Obispo. 🍎 In preparation for the Central Coast Cider Festival (coming up August 10), come hear what the past, present and future hold for this quality, creative brand.



Lunch at Monterey St. Market’s grand opening. The Spicy Italian Sandwich & Chef Salad (with Tuna) hit the spot. Congrats on the Grand Opening. 🤔 Any suggestions on the next Sandwich to try? ... . . . . . . . #slo #shareslo #foodblogger #slofoodies #sandwich #nomnom #tasty #sanluisobispo #805eats #uptownslo #sloeats #slolunch #calpolyslo



🥂 This looks like a fun event at Monterey St Market tomorrow in the heart of SLO uptown. 🎆 All day activities schedule from 10 - 8pm tomorrow (including some tunes). ... 🥪🍻 We are planning on heading down for the opening and see you there. ✋Come say hi if you see us! ... 🎥 @montereystmarketslo ... . . . . . #slo #sanluisobispo #sandwiches #sloeats #uptownslo #foodies #slofoodies #shareslo



🍎 It's no secret - we're big fans of hard cider. And the Central Coast has some great cider events. One is @hardcorecidertour in Santa Cruz this Saturday. Who's ready to head up the coast for some cider? 🍏🍎🍻🍏🍎🍻 Feature link in bio ... . . . . . . . . #cider #hardcider #craftcider #apple #ciderevents #cidertasting #hops #santacruz



Purple treeeees! 😍 And maybe even better is the Purple Rain that follows when the flowers fall. Magic happenin’ Downtown San Luis Obispo.



What’s better than gelato? Two gelatos (or is that gelati 🤔). Got a sweet fix recently at SLO Sweets. 🍨 Any favorites? Mmmmmm.



A quiet morning downtown SLO. What's your favorite place to go early in the morning before the city wakes up?