J & L Wines Photo

Alta Maria Vineyards

You would be hard pressed to find a better cheerleader for the Santa Maria Valley than James Ontiveros.

The cowboy turned respected viticulturist and vintner feels right at home here, and with good reason.

On St. Mary’s Day, 1855, it was his great, great, great, great grandfather, Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, who set foot on Rancho Tepusquet, an 8,900 acre Mexican land grant along the Sisquoc River. The cattleman settled there and named the area, the Santa Maria Valley, in honor of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

In 1856, he and his wife, Martina, built their home, the Ontiveros Adobe, a historic building that still stands in the middle of Bien Nacido Vineyards.

Another adventurous forefather, Josef Ontiveros, arrived in California way back in 1781, helping to build the mission in Santa Barbara.

“At the end of the day, there are so many great wines out there, but wine is about a place and it’s about a story,” Ontiveros said. “I’m proud of this project! It’s gonna pay homage to the women of our family.”

Wines Produced

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Sauvignon Blanc