The story of Rancho Maria begins with an idea and a dream. Monte, Stella and Sebastian were enjoying a sunny summer morning on the golf course. They were having a competitive round while discussing the current crop and how to approach the current drought. Sebastian mentioned that he would like to use some of the fruit to build a brand. Something that represented the family and the special place it grew from. They had discussed the idea of creating a label before but this conversation was being held with more serious consideration. At the time, all the fruit from the family vineyard was being sold to Wilson Artisan Wine Group. The fruit had a great home and the wines produced was beloved by all. Ultimately the conversation ended on the golf course but the idea and the dream continued to burn hot.
It wasn’t but a few weeks later did Monte and Sebastian find themselves talking about Rancho Maria again, but this time over Sunday night football, BBQ, and a bottle of Petite Sirah. They talked basic strategy, brand identity, and distribution. Until, by the end of the dinner, they had something that resembled a game plan.
In the harvest of 2011, after months of careful planning and several bottles of wine, we harvested 6 tones of estate fruit intended for Rancho Maria Wines. We bottled 350 cases for the ‘11 vintage. It was a major leap for a family that are traditionally farmers, not producers.