Refugio Ranch Vineyards
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
A particularly special addition to the Santa Ynez family of charming boutique wineries
The name, 'Refugio Ranch,' has deep roots in Santa Barbara County, dating back to 1769 when the first Spaniards arrived in the area. Among the Spanish explorers was a Sergeant named Jose Francisco de Ortega, who was taken with a particularly stunning stretch of coastline west of Santa Barbara. He petitioned the King of Spain for a land grant and named this swath of land "Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio," or "Ranch of Our Lady of Refuge" - the original Refugio Ranch. Ortega's 26,529 acre ranch stretched from Cojo Canyon in the west to Refugio Canyon in the east. Today, if one follows Refugio Canyon from the sea, up and over the Santa Ynez Mountains, and into the valley, you arrive at the present-day Refugio Ranch.
Nestled against the northern flank of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Refugio Ranch Vineyards was established in 2008 and is producing some of the Valley's most prestigious wines crafted in the spirit of cowboys and ranch lore. Kevin and Niki Gleason purchased this bucolic piece of property in 2004 and transformed the old 415-acre cattle ranch into a biodynamically farmed 26-acre vineyard of mostly Rhône-style varietals. Their connection to and celebration of this piece of land has made Refugio Ranch Vineyards a particularly special addition to the Santa Ynez family of charming boutique wineries.
With the guidance and expertise of vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano, the Gleasons and winemaker Ryan Deovlet bring a sincere respect for the land with the Refugio Ranch winemaking venture. They honor the land's natural terroir, incorporating the varietals that work best in this particular place, while also respecting its health and beauty by farming biodynamically and preserving the landscape they originally fell in love with. It is rare to find a family as deeply connected to the land as the Gleasons, earning them great admiration in the Santa Ynez community.
In 2008, winemaker Ryan Deovlet crafted the inaugural vintage for Refugio Ranch, a red blend entitled 'Barbareño' (named for one of the historical Native American dialects once spoken in the Santa Barbara area). They have since added a handful of limited production Rhône-style wines, each named to convey the history of Refugio Ranch, while celebrating their family's own story as well.
The winery's current overall production is under 4,000 cases per year, a tiny number by any standards, and the wines continue to be honored and awarded by the wine industry press. Refugio Ranch Vineyards also operates a tasting room in downtown Los Olivos where visitors can meet the Gleason family and taste their unique line-up of ranch inspired wines. We are excited to present our Gold Wine Club Plus! members with this fantastic bottling.