Rancho Sisquoc Winery has been crafting quality wines in small quantities for over 40 years. We grow over 300 acres of superb vineyards for our award winning estate wines.
Located in northern Santa Barbara County on the Sisquoc River, 14 miles east of Santa Maria, Rancho Sisquoc is part of an 1852 Mexican land grant. The Chumash Indians called this area "Sisquoc", which meant "gathering place". Today, Rancho Sisquoc is again a gathering place, this time for wine lovers.
The winery is part of a 37,000 acre cattle ranch and farm purchased in 1952 by Mr. and Mrs. James Flood of San Francisco. The cattle business is the same as it has always been, but the beans and barley have been replaced with vegetables and vines. Because the area's climate and soil compared favorably with the renowned growing regions of Napa and Sonoma, Mr. Flood decided to plant grapes. The initial planting in the late 1960's consisted of nine acres of Johannesberg Riesling and 40 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Current acreage is 300 and growing. In 1972, then ranch manager Harold Pfeiffer produced the first wines. By 1974, wineries wanted grapes grown on the Rancho Sisquoc and 141 additional acres were planted. In 1977, Rancho Sisquoc became a bonded winery and the tasting room was built. Ed Holt became ranch manager in 1987 and has expanded the vineyard and winery operation. Major vineyard plantings continued in the late 1990's, 2002, 2006, and 2007. Today, the winery produces over 20,000 cases per year.
Our vineyards are situated in what is known as the transverse range of coastal mountains at the mouth of the Santa Maria Valley, which creates unique microclimates and soils perfectly suited for growing several varietals. Each of our clones and root-stock were selected for compatibility with our soil and for the complexity and balance of flavor imparted to our wines.
Our vineyards grow some of the most sought after grapes on the Central Coast, and only our estate grown grapes are used in crafting our award winning wines. We grow many varietals, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Johannesburg Riesling, Malbec, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Petit Syrah, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Sylvaner, and Syrah.
The San Ramon Chapel, which graces our label and marks the entrance to Rancho Sisquoc was built in 1875 by Frederick Wickenden, at the request of his wife, Ramona Foxen Wickenden. He drove 5,000 sheep to Redwood City, California in order to purchase redwood boards to build his bride her chapel. In 1879, the Chapel was officially dedicated as the San Ramon Chapel and services were held once a month.
In July, 1966, the Chapel became the first official landmark in Santa Barbara County. It was dedicated as State Historical Landmark #877 on August 31, 1975. Following the dedication, Mass was celebrated by Father Bartin Foxen. This dedication marked the Chapel's 100th birthday. Since that time, Mass has been held every Sunday.