Presqu’ile Winery land purchase in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.
Presqu’ile Winery of Santa Maria recently purchased more than 1,000 acres in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, just east of the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Most of the acreage is too hilly for vines, so the new owners hope to protect the majority of the site under a conservation easement with Santa Barbara County. (Courtesy photo)

An affiliate of Presqu’ile, a family-owned winery in the Santa Maria Valley, has purchased 1,100 acres in the famed Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and plans to develop a new sustainably farmed vineyard.

Arc Vineyards LLC made the purchase, according to a news release.

The property’s address is 5930 Santa Rosa Road, and its western boundary abuts the historic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. According to, the property was listed for $7.5 million.

The site, formerly known as Donovan Ranch, features steep hills with ocean views as well as expansive pastureland for cattle. Most recently, the site housed Iron Angel Ranch, a now-defunct cannabis operation, according to the news release.

“This is one of the last jewels yet to be discovered in the Santa Rita Hills,” said Andrew Heilbrun, Presqu’ile’s vineyard manager.
Of the total acreage, only 200 acres can be planted to vines, so Presqu’ile is exploring how it might protect a large portion of the property via a conservation easement that aligns with Santa Barbara’s new Recreational Master Plan, which could include hiking trail systems through the area.
“We are doing our early due diligence and exploring conservation easements and other stewardship opportunities,” said Madison Murphy, co-founder of Presqu’ile. “We are certainly encouraged by Santa Barbara County’s efforts with its Agriculture Ordinance and Recreational Master Plan, especially its incentives for landowners, and look forward to a continuing dialogue as we move forward.”
In spring 2025, Presqu’ile will plant the first phase at the new site — 45 acres of pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah. Grapes from the new acreage will be added to Presqu’ile’s portfolio and available for sale to select wineries.
Presqu’ile’s “home” estate is 123 acres off Clarke Avenue, but it also sources grapes from throughout Santa Barbara County.

Treasury Wine Estates Buys Daou Vineyards for $900M

Treasury Wine Estates has bitten off a big chunk of California’s wine industry with its $900 million purchase of Paso Robles’ Daou Vineyards.

Treasury is based in Melbourne, Australia.

The deal, announced Oct. 31, includes an additional $100 million earn-out fee; the agreement is expected to close in mid-December, according to

According to Treasury, the purchase fills a key niche in the $20 to $40 (per bottle) range and strengthens its luxury portfolio, where bottles are $40 or more. According to Impact Databank, Daou has been among the fastest-growing wine brands in the U.S. market, expanding from 305,000 cases in 2019 to 590,000 cases in 2022.

Included in the purchase are the Daou brand, the Daou Mountain Estate and hospitality site, four boutique luxury wineries and approximately 400 acres of vineyards in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles.

Georges and Daniel Daou will remain involved in the business, with Georges as founder and Daniel as founder and chief winemaker.

“This is a transformative acquisition that will accelerate the growth of our luxury portfolio globally and paves the way for new luxury consumer experiences,” TWE Chief Executive Tim Ford said. “Daou is an award-winning luxury wine business with an outstanding track record for growth, and we have grand plans for Daou to become the next brand with the international scale and luxury credentials of Penfolds.”

Wildling Museum to Launch George Rose Photography Exhibit

The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature in Solvang has announced “California’s Changing Landscape: The Way of Water,” an upcoming solo exhibition by longtime regional photographer George Rose.

The exhibit will be on view from Nov. 18 through July 8 at the museum, 1511-B Mission Drive in Solvang. Featuring more than 20 large-format documentary inkjet photographs of the Golden State, this timely exhibition showcases Rose’s recent expansive documentation of California’s dramatic water story.

An artist’s reception is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.

Rose started the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as the effects of California’s lengthy drought were becoming more visible. Early in 2023, California received record-setting rain and snow, which filled reservoirs and — at least temporarily — ended the drought. Rose was able to capture the state’s landscapes as both bone dry and thirsty, followed by lush and full.

Rose’s vast exploration of the state and its fraught relationship with water will culminate with the release of his forthcoming book, “California’s Changing Landscape: The Way of Water,” to be released next spring.

Rose began his photography career more than 50 years ago. He has wound through the elite worlds of popular music, film, news, politics and sports. Eventually, he found his way to the state’s expansive wine country.

Santa Ynez’s Global Gardens Unites with Foodbank for November

Global Gardens of Santa Ynez has created a “30 Days of Giving Drive” in collaboration with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Throughout November, Global Gardens will contribute $20 to the Foodbank for every person who joins Global Gardens’ olive oil club.

“This endeavor mirrors the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s mission: to end hunger and transform the health of Santa Barbara County through good nutrition, working to eliminate hunger by providing food, education and other resources,” said Theo Stephan, owner of Global Gardens.

Global Gardens is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 3570 Madera St. in Santa Ynez.