IN 1962, MY GRANDFATHER AND FATHER PURCHASED 1,800 ACRES OF UNDEVELOPED LAND STRETCHING ACROSS THE EASTERN END OF SANTA YNEZ VALLEY. WITHIN A YEAR, THEY STARTED A CATTLE OPERATION AND CONVERTED 600 ACRES INTO FARMLAND FOR VEGETABLES, FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND HAY CROPS THAT HAVE SUSTAINED OUR FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS.
After my grandfather passed away, my father took over farming our Home Ranch and planted 50 acres of grapevines, nurturing a dream he had of one day producing a Gainey family wine. In 1984, he established our Spanish-style winery – designed to produce small quantities of high-quality wine – and released a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The following year, I joined my father in the family business and set about learning it from the ground up. In 1996, I purchased an additional plot of land in what would become the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in western Santa Ynez Valley, and planted 60 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. I named the vineyard Evan’s Ranch after my great-grandfather. The Sta. Rita Hills proved ideally suited to those varieties, so in 2007, I planted another 50-acre parcel in this cool, maritime appellation and named it Rancho Esperanza.
Today, our vineyards and winery comprise an important part of my family’s agricultural operations, and we’re fortunate to have vineyards that yield enough high-quality fruit to estate bottle all our wines. My wife, Diane, and I are proud that our son and daughters, the fourth generation of Gaineys in the Santa Ynez Valley, are continuing our family’s tradition of farming and winemaking in this most beautiful region of California. We invite you to come visit us the next time you’re in Santa Barbara.