Ignacio Pacheco, one of California’s early pioneers, settled in what is now Marin County in 1840. He is believed to have been the first to plant grape vines in the region and his influence can still be seen in the names of places throughout the area.
Ignacio received a Land Grant for his services to the Mexican Government as the head of the customs house in Monterey, California. He was originally given the Agua Caliente Rancho grant in Sonoma, which he deemed “unsuitable for agriculture” and later exchanged it for the Rancho San Jose grant which consisted of 6,680 acres in what is now Marin County. Today, Pacheco Ranch is comprised of roughly 70 acres of the original Rancho San Jose Land Grant.
The vineyards on the property were planted by Ignacio’s decedents and winery partners in 1970. The initial block of vines was expanded over the following ten years and vines now cover 5 acres of the South East facing slopes of Pacheco Ranch. Many of the vines are over 44 years old and a living testament to the rich history of Pacheco Ranch.
The historical elegance of the property has been carefully preserved over the years and can be seen in the structures and in the beauty of the surrounding land. Perhaps the most striking feature of this historic vineyard and winery is the stately, white, two-story Italianate home built by Gumesindo Pacheco in 1876 and where his great-great-grandson and his wife reside today. Even the winery itself has historic significance as it is the former carriage house, used by generations of Pacheco’s.
Herb Rowland is Ignacio Pacheco’s great-great-grandson and the manager of the vineyard. Herb’s wife Debbie also plays an important role in the business as the head of finance and distribution. In addition, Herb’s sister, Ann Meves, and her husband, Jamie Meves, play crucial roles in Pacheco Ranch Winery’s vitality. Jamie is Pacheco Ranch Winery’s award winning winemaker.
The land has been in the family for over a century and a half and to this day the business has remained very much a family affair, shared by close friends Fritz and Jan Schulte, John and Jeanie O’Neill and the next generation of entrepreneurs, Herb and Jessica Rowland III, Cassandra and Drew Montell, Sofia Montell, Patrick Meves, Nicholas Schulte and Victoria O’Neill.
Pacheco Ranch Winery represents one of the most unique endeavors in California’s fabled wine country. “A heritage of excellence” has become the slogan of Pacheco Ranch Winery because of the rich family history that can be appreciated in every aspect of the estate bottled wine. Situated in eastern Marin County, the winery site was originally part of an 1840 Mexican land grant to Ignacio Pacheco and since then, has been continually occupied by his descendants. The neatly terraced vineyards and historic winery are located on 70 acres in the North Coast Viticultural Area of California’s famed wine country. As such, the vineyards of Pacheco Ranch enjoy ideal climatic conditions, influenced by the San Francisco Bay and are similar to the Carneros District of Napa Valley. Pacheco Ranch annually creates approximately 800 cases of hand crafted wines in their small, modern winery.