The History of Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estate
Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estate dates back to 1837 when Tomas Olivera bought a Spanish land grant of “two square leagues” from Juan Bautista Alvardo. The latter was the Gobernador, of Governor of Alta California at that time. The land grant stretched from the San Rafael Mountains to the Santa Maria Mesa that bordered the Cuyama and Sisquoc Rivers.
Passing Down the Winery, Generation after Generation
Thomas sold the estate to his son-in-law Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, in 1855. He started building an adobe home there and moved to the ranch the following year. Along with his wife, he raised horses, sheep, cattle, grains, and grapes for producing wines. Even today, at Bien Nacido Vineyards, the historic adobe is a gathering place for Santa Maria Valley winemakers. A fifth-generation family, the Millers, purchased land in Santa Maria in 1969 and, by 1970, planted the Bien Nacido vineyards at the place.
Grape Varietals, Climate, and Wines
The terroir they work with at Bien Nacido is excellent as it has rocky soil, a cool climate, yet adequate warm days, and rainfall for the cultivation of vines. The vineyard workers are out in the vineyards daily and use the best farming methods to obtain healthy, ripe grapes. The main varieties of grapes grown in their estate are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
The best grapes are handpicked and further processed to make their quality red, white, and rosé wines. Their wines have a unique structure, aroma, and an abundance of flavors that reflects the quality of their terroir and the hard work and commitment that went into the winemaking.