Legendary Vineyard, World-Class Wine
A California Icon in the Heart of the Santa Maria Valley
One of the oldest cool-climate vineyards in California and home of the world’s most single vineyard designations, Bien Nacido Vineyard has been an acclaimed source of world-glass grapes and estate wine since its founding in 1973 by brothers Stephen and Bob Miller.
Meaning “Well Born” in Spanish, Bien Nacido was planted on the historic site of the Rancho Tepusquet land grant, a plot of land that was granted to Tomás Olivera in 1837, when California was still a part of Mexico. The Olivera Family’s adobe, built in 1857, still graces the estate today – a majestic sentinel looking after the vines.
Purchased by the Miller Family in 1969, what is now Bien Nacido Vineyard began as the shared vision of brothers Bob and Steve Miller: to develop a vineyard that would be acknowledged as among the elite vineyards of the world. Four years of hard work and sweat equity led to the original vineyard plantings – 300 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – in 1973.
Since then, under the Miller Family’s stewardship, Bien Nacido Vineyard has become one of the most coveted sources of cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah in California, if not the world. Celebrated as the most single vineyard-designated site in the world, the combination of remarkable terroir and an incredibly dedicated team who cares for the land, enables Bien Nacido’s legacy of exceptional winemaking and grape-growing to further grow with each passing vintage.
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From Land Grant to Iconic Vineyard
The History of Bien Nacido Estate
In 1837 Tomas Olivera received a Spanish land grant that stretched from the Santa Maria Mesa to the San Rafael Mountains. He called it Rancho Tepusquet after the nearby creek.
Olivera’s daughter and son-in-law, Don Juan Pacifico constructed an adobe in 1857 and lived there with their family, raising cattle, grain, and wine grapes. Over the years, Don Pacifico’s family divided up the property and the Rancho diminished in size until the two largest parcels were reconnected by the Miller family.
In 1969, brothers Bob and Steve Miller came together with one vision – to develop a vineyard that would be acknowledged as among the elite vineyards of the world.
The vineyard was planted in 1973. Bob and Steve called it Bien Nacido, meaning “well born” in Spanish, because of the passion and commitment they shared in bringing it to life.
Jim Clendenen, founder of Au Bon Climat winery, was an early client of Bien Nacido Vineyard and instrumental in building the reputation and renown of the vineyard. In 1992 the Los Angeles Times named him “Winemaker of the Year”.
In the Fall of 2002 Wine & Spirits magazine named Bien Nacido as one of the “Top 25 Vineyards in the World”, solidifying its place among the elite vineyards of the world. Similar acclaim and recognition continues to this day.
The official estate wine program at Bien Nacido started with the 2005 vintage, which was given to family and friends. Two years later the program was opened up commercially with Bien Nacido Syrah.
Bien Nacido earned the distinction of being named the “California Vineyard of the Year” in 2010 by the California State Fair.
In the Fall of 2020, Paul Lato’s 2018 il Padrino Syrah earned a perfect 100 point score from prestigious critic Jeb Dunnuck. Lato’s Syrah is the first vineyard designate wine for Bien Nacido to score 100 points.
In January of 2021, Wine Enthusiast included Bien Nacido in “10 Vineyards Behind the World’s Most Famous Wines”, further establishing the vineyard’s global reputation as an elite site.