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Our Story

At TriCal Wine we produce handcrafted, Santa Barbara County wines with minimal intervention to express the natural elements of each vineyard. Every bottle can be traced back to the specific row of grapes that were hand-harvested and carefully chosen at exclusive vineyards for each of our wines. We produce limited quantities and our wine is only made in small batches to ensure the highest quality.

TriCal Wine was started by three best friends: Kevin, Matt and Wes. Bound together by surfing, the trio frequented Santa Barbara County for its great wine and surf breaks over the last decade. As each of the three live in different parts of California, Santa Barbara was the perfect meeting point and they quickly learned of the unparalleled wine in this region. Trical Wine was born with a mission to merge premium wine with a fun and relaxed Central Coast culture–the way they first experienced Santa Barbara wine.

Meet the Team

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Kevin Kane

Kevin is a San Francisco-based physician by trade, as well as a surfer, wine connoisseur, avid hiker and admirer of California's Central Coast. Kevin first experienced Santa Barbara County from the perspective of a surfer under the cover of salty barrels at Rincon Point with Co-founders Matt Minshall and Wes Jones back in their college years. Around this time he had his first taste of Santa Barbara County wine, which was a pivotal moment for him and in turn sparked a deep appreciation for winemaking.

Brought to the SF Bay Area for his medical training, he frequently visited the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in his free time and became fascinated with the process of making wine from the detailed work in the vineyard to the finesse in the cellar. He soon realized that winemaking is similar to the practice of medicine: a critical balance of science and art. His budding dream of making wine in Santa Barbara County slowly evolved into an enthusiasm he could no longer contain and he knew exactly who to call; his good friends Matt and Wesley, who share his excitement for this luscious wine region in California.

Matt Minshall

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Matt is a Los Angeles based film and television producer by trade, but a surfer, writer, wine enthusiast and outdoorsman at heart. He was first lovestruck by the great outdoors as a child when introduced to the Central Coast by family and friends. As a young man growing up in Southern California, there was no better place to escape than to the isolated, rugged coastline from north county Santa Barbara all the way up to Big Sur. For fun he would pack a car with surfboards, tents, and a few friends and hit the road north for days on end exploring new surf spots in cold waters and finding new places to camp on every trip.

It was during these times that Matt discovered the majestic charm of the Central Coast’s corduroyed hillsides of vineyards which at the time were just budding wine regions. As these wine regions grew, so did Matt’s appreciation for them and the quality wine that they produced. So when he received a call from Kevin asking if he’d be interested in starting a winery, Matt’s immediate response was “Hell yes.” After a few phone calls with longtime winemaking veteran Rick Pratt of Two Papas Wines, Matt realized the idea of starting a winery was actually within reach.

Wesley Jones

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Our San Diego local, Wesley, is an entrepreneur and engineer who brings a boisterous enthusiasm and positivity wherever he goes. When he is not innovating medical devices, Wesley is seeking out adventure as an avid surfer, mountaineer, and skydiver. Growing up in southern California, he was introduced to the richness of the central coast’s waves and wine by Matt, his longtime college friend and co-founder. Having spent most of his professional career in San Diego and depriving himself of the much-needed time in the empty northern waters, he jumped at the opportunity to converge his passion for surfing with his love for quality wine. With ten years of experience in operations and a MBA from UCLA, he joins this old college trio on a new adventure - TriCal Wine.

Norm Yost
Winemaker

With 42 years of winemaking experience, Norm has amassed a reputation as a master in the cellar. He has crafted the wine for diverse wineries in Napa Valley, Russian River in Sonoma County, Margaret River in Western Australia and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. He then went on to refine his cool weather winemaking techniques in Santa Barbara County, where he has spent over half of his career. Norm’s vast experience and dedication to minimal intervention have contributed to the wild success of his personal labels Flying Goat Cellars and Goat Bubbles Sparkling Wine, which he launched in 2000. After hearing Matt, Kevin, and Wesley’s story, he happily agreed to share his knowledge of winemaking and passion for vineyard-designated wines, making the wines produced by TriCal a truly unique and remarkable expression of Santa Barbara wine.

Andre Baltazar
Cellar Master

An innovative Cellar Master and a winemaking protégé of Norm’s, André takes great pride in the quality of his craft. Originally recruited into the wine industry for his people skills in the tasting room, André quickly fell in love with the artistry, science, and intense commitment of crafting wine. With 10 years in the wine industry, he continues his pursuit of knowledge and eagerly participates in wine blending and other production decisions. When not running the cellar for TriCal and Flying Goat, Andre spends his free time working on his personal label Baltazar Family Wines which allows him to hone his skills as a winemaker and express himself creatively in the cellar.

Rick Pratt
The Reason We Made it This Far

We refer to Rick as the Godfather of TriCal Wine. Rick is a true lover of the art of winemaking and committed to making wines of the highest quality. He has spent decades forging relationships with Santa Barbara’s premier vineyards to obtain grapes that are otherwise untouchable. He is even known to pour out barrels of wine that aren’t up to his standards. Rick’s interest in winemaking began in the 70's and started in his own garage. Before going commercial, he shared his precious garage wine with friends and co-workers, creating a dedicated following and a strong local reputation. One of these co-workers was our very own, Matt Minshall. Matt was astonished to find that this artisan wine he received from Rick turned out to be one of the best bottles of wine he had ever experienced. When it was time for the three California kids to fulfill their dream of combining surf culture with wine culture, Rick was the first person to get a call.

The Team at Work

HANDCRAFTED IN ACTION
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