This property dates back to being 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 co-partner in Christy & Wise, which was the oldest wool merchant on the pacific coast. Wise also owned almost 30,000 acres on the Estrella creek near Paso Robles.
From 1963 to 1972, it was part of the Mission Belle Dairy where it was used to grow corn and oats and used for pasture. Then, our property was home to the Lompoc Sportsmen’s Club until it closed in the 1992. Presidio Winery purchased the 100 acre parcel in 1999 and planted the vineyard in 2000.
In November 2012, my siblings and I purchased the vineyard, a cool site west of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA near Lompoc and the La Purisima Mission. We renamed the vineyard to Duvarita which combines our parents’ first names with the Rancho Santa Rita land grant, which this property was originally part of.
Planted in 2000, the vineyard now totals over 28 acres with 16 acres of Pinot Noir (2A, 4, 113, 115, 667, 777 clones), 7 acres of Chardonnay (Calera, Mt. Eden, 76, 95, 548 clones), 4 acres of Syrah (Estrella, 470, 877 clones), and less than 1 acre of Viognier. The site consists of two south facing slopes with a small flat step in the middle. The elevation starts at 180 feet and tops out at 370 feet above sea level.
The vines are planted close together and low to the ground to protect them from the ocean breezes and provide heat from the soil. The sandy soils provide light reflection and are well drained.