The current Rio Vista Vineyard property
was settled in the late 1800’s by Portuguese immigrants,
many from the Azores.The farmhouse, recently restored, was
built around the turn of the century. There have been a number
of visits from early occupants who were born or grew up on
the property. Their stories describe an original vineyard
that was in the same location as block 7 of the present Rio
Vista Vineyard. They also brought photographs of large catches
of steelhead from the Santa Ynez River displayed on the front
porch of the farmhouse.
The Rio Vista Ranch has been in the family for over sixty
years of raising cattle and farming. Bobbie Thorne’s
father Jack Wiester acquired the property in the mid fifties
and Bobbie and Graner Thorne were married in the area in 1958.
Over the years the Thornes and their children, John and Karey,
shared their time on the ranch with their city home in Palos
Verdes. They rode horses, worked cattle, and earned their
keep during the summers on the ranch. Over the years, the
Rio Vista Ranch has continued to be a gathering point for
the immediate and extended family.
Graner and Bobbie Thorne continue to share their time between
the Southland and Sta. Rita Hills, though their active involvement
with their vineyard and the new wine brand finds them on the
Rio Vista property with increasing frequency.