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History

Grapes were first planted at Santa Margarita Ranch by Franciscan missionaries in 1780. We recently replanted a small vineyard in the same location as the original Mission vineyard in honor of the ranch’s winegrowing history.

Santa Margarita Ranch enjoys a long and illustrious cultural pedigree, beginning with the Chumash and Salinan Indians more than 10,000 years ago. In the early 1770s, the ranch became part of Father Junipero Serra’s famed Mission Trail, culminating with the establishment of Santa Margarita de Cortona, a sub-mission of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. This historic structure, known as the Asistencia, remains a centerpiece of the ranch.

Today, Santa Margarita Ranch, Margarita Vineyard and Ancient Peaks Winery are owned by three longtime local ranching and winegrowing families, the Filipponis, Rossis and Wittstroms. We are proud to be stewards of the ranch’s winemaking tradition and its legacy of early California rancho hospitality.