Central Coast AVA
Securely among the elite boutique producers in the region
When the Miller family of California’s Central Coast launched their most recent winery project in 2008, most industry insiders were already convinced of the operation’s eventual success. These early predictions have already proven to be accurate and Solomon Hills Vineyards is securely among the elite boutique producers in the region.
The vineyards involved in the entity are located directly along Highway 101 just south of Santa Maria, the stretch of road known for centuries as the storied El Camino Real. Their location is also the westernmost in all of California, making them compliant to the caprices and whims of the Pacific Ocean. It is also interesting to note that the Santa Maria Appellation is the second oldest appellation in California, coming just seven months behind Napa Valley in 1981.
Solomon Hills also has its share of history. Supposedly named after an early 19th Century bandit named Solomon Pico, whom folklore has it was the main focus for the Zorro legends, the area has become a prime component for the prestigious Santa Maria growing appellation. The fruit from this area is always in great demand and is made into numerous vineyard-designate wines throughout the Central Coast.
Nicholas Miller, a fifth-generation member of the Miller Family, is one of the partners behind the Solomon Hills Vineyards brand and currently handles all of the company’s sales and marketing chores. His brother Marshall oversees the financial and operational duties, and family patriarch Steve Miller is still active in all aspects of the sprawling Miller viticulture empire. This “empire” includes the iconic Bien Nacido Vineyard, owned by the Miller family and considered by many one of the prime producing vineyards in all of California. A state-of-the- art winery facility at Bien Nacido is where most of the family’s wines are made, including those from Solomon Hills Vineyards.
It seems as if everything is in place for Solomon Hills Vineyards to continue its award-winning pace for many years to come. With incredible fruit from its namesake vineyard and the carefully thought out winery plan for the company itself, Solomon Hills Vineyards is certainly poised for even more greatness in the future. We are proud to present Solomon Hills Vineyards to our Platinum Plus! members.
Nicholas Miller - Partner, Head of Sales and Marketing
Dear Platinum Series Members,
I am a fifth generation farmer in California. My great, great grandfather started farming lemons in Southern California, but in the late sixties, my late uncle and father recognized a unique opportunity. They purchased two farms, one in Paso Robles, the second in the Santa Maria Valley, and then planted them to wine grapes. The Paso Robles vineyard they named French Camp Vineyards and the Santa Maria Valley vineyard was named Bien Nacido Vineyards.
With the success of our Bien Nacido Vineyards and our family’s love of the wines coming from the Santa Maria Valley, in 1999 we planted a second vineyard in Santa Maria and named it the Solomon Hills Vineyards. This vineyard is the farthest western vineyard in the AVA (which is the third oldest AVA in the country), and the closest to the ocean. In fact, it used to be under the Pacific Ocean, but now is just the sandy ocean floor left behind. This makes it one of the coolest sites in the Santa Maria Valley, with well drained sandy soils. It is primarily a Pinot Noir Vineyard and is the source of the two highest Robert Parker rated Pinot Noirs in the Santa Maria Valley. There is only a little bit of Chardonnay at the very Southern tip of the vineyard. We sell it to a few other wineries, but jealously guard the section we get for our own Estate program. We farm this section organically and only produce about 100 cases of this wine each year. We see it as a true gem in our family’s vineyard portfolio.
Solomon Hills, as the name of the hills we are set in, comes from a bandit that used to hide in them. Solomon Pico would find lookouts for those hills to rob unsuspecting wagons coming through the valley. Solomon Pico is the historical figure that the legend of Zorro is based upon.
The Solomon Hills 2008 Chardonnay was the first white wine I ever made under our own label. Now, two vintages later, we produce a Bien Nacido Chardonnay side by side with the Solomon Hills Chardonnay under our own label. However, the Solomon Hills 2010 Chardonnay was the first wine to sell out from our current releases, so you will be one of the few people in this Country to still have access to this wine. Cheers!
Solomon Hills Vineyards / 5th Generation California Farmer