Our story

Mark overlooking Cargasacchi/Jalama Vineyard
My family has been raising Black Angus cattle and growing beans here for decades. Two of our ranches are now amazing locations for Pinot Noir, in some of the best Pinot areas of the country.

Coastal fog funnels up the valley through the afternoons and evenings of the long summers here, making it some of the coolest climate for Pinot Noir in California. The cool temperatures allow the fruit to hang for an extended period, ripening slowly, and producing deep, flavorful tannins.

-- Mark Cargasacchi

Cargasacchi Vineyard—Sta. Rita Hills
This is one of the few areas in the Sta. Rita Hills where the botella clay loam is exposed, along with the diatomaceous earth, and Monterey shale, producing crisp and distinct minerality. These 12 acres of Pinot Noir consist of Dijon 115 clone.

Jalama Vineyard—Santa Barbara County
This is one of the western-most vineyards in the county. With its proximity to Point Conception, coastal weather on three sides keeps the vineyards cool. Soils are predominently adobe clay. These 15 acres are primarily Pinot Noir (Dijon 114, Dijon 115 and Mt. Eden clones), along with Pinot Gris, Viognier and some cool climate Syrah.

Reinventing the family farm

Pinot Noir Grapes
"...the future of the land is secure; swirling in a glass instead of down a drain"
Mark Cargassachi Pressing Grapes
Pressing Grapes
As a young man, growing up on the family ranch on Jalama Road didn’t hold much future for Lompoc native, Mark Cargasacchi. With cattle and bean prices stagnant, Mark decided the only way to make a living was to leave.

After successfully pursuing a career in environmental chemistry in Texas and San Francisco, word was getting out about the amazing wine being produced by Richard Sanford in the area now known as the Sta. Rita Hills. This piqued Mark’s interest and he returned home to help plant the first of the family vineyards back in 1999.

His desire to learn winemaking dovetailed with his chemistry background, leading him to work at Fess Parker and then Rideau Vineyard as their enologist. While there, he learned winemaking and honed his vineyard skills.

It seemed he had a natural instinct when it came to winemaking. After a year or two of following rigid instruction, he began developing his own techniques, borrowing here and there from his peers.

Some influences are apparent on the surface, such as his decision to switch pruning styles to cordon, which produces much smaller, even clusters at their vine- yards than the traditional cane pruning.

Other influences are not visible, but are experienced with each sip of wine. For example, he now shies away from using commercial yeasts, instead relying on the native yeasts present in each vineyard to produce their own unique flavors during fermentation. Although there is risk inherent in this, as some yeast can produce off- flavors, his instincts have proved correct, with wines rich in complex flavor, each vineyard unique.

The wine industry has allowed Mark to help reshape the future of the family ranches. Not only is it bringing much needed revenue into Lompoc through tourism and taxes, it has provided a path for Mark to return and make a living on the family ranch.

With his family, he still runs cattle and leases out the flat lands to bean and vegetable farmers, but the future of the land is secure; swirling in a glass instead of down a drain.
Jalama Road Marker
Chicken Shed

Visit Thursday through Sunday 11 am - 5 pm, or by appointment

Contact us

  • Phone:
    805-735-8937
  • Email:
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  • Address:
    Tasting Room NEW!
    119 La Plaza
    Palm Springs 92262

    Winery
    1637 E Laurel Ave.
    Lompoc 93436