Christy and Wise

Christy & Wise History

This property was part of the original Rancho Santa Rita land grant that was given in 1845 by Governor Pio Pico to José Ramón Malo. Malo was one of the first members of the first Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in 1854. Malo passed away in 1859 before the US Public Land Commission confirmed his ownership in the Rancho in 1875.

In 1870, John Wise purchased our portion of the Rancho Santa Rita. Wise was a partner in Christy & Wise, which was the largest wool merchant on the pacific coast. Wise also owned almost 30,000 acres on the Estrella creek near Paso Robles.

For most of the 20th century, the property was pasture land for dairy cattle, grew dry beans for feed. The existing farm house was built in 1914.

My brother and I purchased the 514 acre property in 2015. The property borders La Purisima Mission State Park, Duvarita Vineyard and Purisima Golf course. We planted a 37 acre vineyard in 2016 and planted another 14 acres in 2019, the latter is included in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The property also includes about 45 acres of crop land while the remaining is left for wildlife habitat.

The Vineyard

We started prepping a couple sections of the property as soon as we purchased it. By 2016, we were able to plant 37 acres of vines, a third of which was own-rooted (meaning without grafting any rootstock). We selected Syrah, Grenache and graciano for the wind tolerance and my favorite wines. Pinot noir for is market popularity. Chardonnay since it’s my wife’s favorite and Viognier to co-ferment with Syrah.

In 2018, we planted a nursery of cuttings from our sister vineyards, Duvarita and slide hill, and a vineyard I use to work for. Then in January 2019, we dug up the vines, trimmed their roots and replanted them on 14 acres in your section of Sta. Rita Hills AVA. We, again, selected wind tolerant varieties (Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre). I believe that with climate change, the interior valleys will get hotter and then we will get windier, this the importance of the wind tolerance.