Slide Hill History
Originally part of the Rancho Corral de Piedra (Stone corral) land grant awarded to Jose Maria Villavicencio (known as Villa) in 1846 and totaled almost 31,000 acres. It included most of the southeastern portion of the Edna Valley, between the towns of Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo.
The rancho had financial troubles during the drought of the 1860's and was mortgaged and then sold to Benjamin Steele and his brother Isaac. In the late 1860's, the original owners contested its sale and the case went to the US Supreme Court which they won. The family was represented by a New York attorney, who took the majority of the property as payment for his services. It was parceled up and sold in 1873.
In the 1973, parcel #6 of the Rancho was purchased by the Spreafico family and named 3S Ranch and consisted of about 700 acres.
In 1982, the Edna Valley AVA was approved and includes about 22,400 acres. It is known for having one of California’s longest growing seasons.
In 2002, our 80 acre portion of the 700 acre 3S Ranch was purchased by Bob and Louisa Lindquist for Qupe and Verdad wineries. In 2005, they planted almost 40 acres of vines, mostly with Syrah and Grenache, but also Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Albarino, Marsanne and Viognier. They named it the Sawyer-Lindquist Vineyard and produced vineyard-designated wines under the Qupe and Verdad labels.
In September 2013, my siblings and I purchased the Sawyer-Lindquist Vineyard from Bob and Louisa. Rightfully, they kept their name and we renamed it to Slide Hill Vineyard. Slide Hill is the mountain 2½ miles north and at 2200 feet elevation watches over our vineyard from its perch in the Santa Lucia mountain range.
In December 2020, we sold the vineyard knowing that it is in good hands and to consolidate our efforts on our Santa Barbara vineyards. This vineyard started us on our Biodynamic journey and thankfully we have wines from it through the 2020 vintage to share over the coming years.
Planted in 2005, the vineyard totals 39 acres with 22 acres of Syrah (Alban 1, Alban PB, Estrella, UCD 1, 174, 383, and 877 clones), 7 acres of Grenache (Alban and Tablas clones), 3 acres each of Pinot Noir (115, 667 and 777 clones) and Albarino, 2 acres of Tempranillo and a little over an acre each of Marsanne and Viognier. The Rhône varieties have done very well in our area.
The site consists of 3 rolling hills and a meadow with a variety of slopes, orientations and soils. The vine spacing is 9 feet between rows and 5 feet between vines while the row directions vary according to the slope. Wind has an impact on the western slopes of the vineyard.