The history of Bien Nacido can be traced back to the year 1837, when a Spanish land grant of some two square leagues was secured by Tomas Olivera from Juan Bautista Alvarado, then Gobernador of Alta California.
This land grant stretched upward to the San Rafael Mountains from the Santa Maria Mesa, which bordered the Sisquoc and Cuyama Rivers. In 1855, Thomas Olivera sold Rancho Tepusquet to his son-in-law Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros. Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros started construction on an adobe in 1857 and moved to the ranch the following year. He and his wife raised horses, cattle, sheep, several grain crops, and grapes for the production of wine. The historic Ontiveros Adobe still stands today, surrounded by vines at Bien Nacido Vineyards, and is a meaningful gathering place for the community of Santa Maria Valley winemakers and farmers.
In 1969, the Millers, a fifth-generation California farming family purchased a stretch of land in California’s then-nascent Santa Maria Valley wine country. By the early 1970’s, the Miller Family had planted the vineyard land, and christened it Bien Nacido Vineyards.
Since that time, winemakers throughout California coveted the fruit from this singular piece of land. Heavily influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean, pinot noir, chardonnay, and syrah have found great expression here.
The terroir of Bien Nacido Vineyards is a combination of the rocky soils, cool climate and good people that work the vineyard on a daily basis. We would like to think that Bien Nacido Vineyards finds its true calling in the hands of those who farm and tend to it year round. It has something to say, and our winegrowing team has allowed it to find its voice through a mindful, dedicated and nearly obsessive commitment to excellence in farming.
The Solomon Hills Vineyard was planted by the Miller Family in the late 1990’s. Known for pinot noir and chardonnay, Solomon Hills found its tenor early on in its relatively young life among a broad range of talented winemakers who found its vibrant, youthful flavor profile exhilarating, and, at times, profound.
The soils of Solomon Hills Vineyards are composed primarily of ocean derived sandy loams. Because it is the western most vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley appellation, it is the coolest of all vineyards in this growing region. With the Pacific coastline only miles away, a constant maritime influence results in wines of precise acidity, bright fruit and an inherent elegance.
The Solomon Hills Vineyards takes its title from neighboring hills named for Salomon Pico, a celebrated bandit who in the 1850’s traveled frequently along the stretch of El Camino Real that is known today as Santa Maria Valley.