Located in the southeastern portion of San Luis Obispo County, the Arroyo Grande Valley is a study in opposites. The land is largely made of marine sediments that are part of the Franciscan formation but is crisscrossed with volcanic intrusions and faults. The weather is largely warm and dry but marked with a fog line that separates cooler and wetter microclimates from those that are warmer and drier. Naturally, this carries over into their wine making, with part of the valley producing Bordeaux and Mediterranean (Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah) varietals being produced at the far end of the valley and Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling further west.
The region was first settled by Europeans in 1792 with the establishment of the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa by Father Junipero Serra. The mission had the first viticulture in what is now known as San Luis Obispo County.
The place known as Arroyo Grande wasn’t established until the 1830s when the Governor of Alta California granted land called Rancho Santa Manuela to Francis Ziba Branch and his wife María Manuela Carlón who operated a cattle ranch and later sold land to settlers such as Henry Ditmas who in 1879 imported Zinfandel and Muscat grapes to grow on Rancho Saucelito. That property remained in the Ditmas family until 1974 when it was sold to the Greenough Family who re-established the winery using the original Zinfandel vines planted over 100 years ago.
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