Gleason Family Vineyards (GFV) is the corporate umbrella for 3, separate, distinct wineries located in the Santa Ynez Valley under the leadership of two generations of the Gleason Family. Their Winemaker is Max Marshak. The properties are Roblar Winery & Vineyard, Refugio Ranch Vineyards, and their most recent acquisition, the historic Buttonwood Winery & Vineyard. Director of Marketing Callie Gleason and Winemaker Max Marshak join us to pull the cork on both Refugio Ranch Vineyards and Buttonwood Winery & Vineyard. in Solvang.
“Located at 2990 Grand Avenue and Hwy 154, Refugio Ranch is a 415-acre estate located in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA of California’s Central Coast. Within the property, covered largely by old oak trees, twenty- six select acres were mindfully planted and have been well cared for by the Gleason Family. Refugio Ranch represents a centuries-old history of cowboys and cattle ranching. The native land has been left largely untouched but for the vines that the land itself nurtures and readies for harvest. The Gleasons believe it is “terroir” or that sense of place, that gives a wine its soul.”
“The charming town of Los Olivos, CA was founded in the late 1800’s as the southern terminus of the Pacific Coast Railroad. Many historic buildings from that era still stand in Los Olivos today, including the present home of the Refugio Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room. The building was built circa 1912 as the warehouse for the Pinal-Dome Refining Co. (later Union Oil) where the tank cars from the railway were filled.”
“The Gleasons have taken great care to preserve the structure and spirit of this slice of history. The early 1900’s warehouse is now home to Refugio Ranch’s two tasting bars, a VIP lounge and an expansive outdoor deck ~ making it one of the largest tasting rooms in Los Olivos.” There is convenient on-site parking as well as accommodating restrooms.
“Buttonwood Winery & Vineyard (and Farm) is a small gem set amidst the splendor of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. The farm is a shining example of the vision of its late founder, Betty Williams. Betty was always ahead of her time, and in the 60’s set out to create a working farm based on good practices for people, animals and the earth. First there were horses, then organic vegetables and finally, a vineyard.”
“Today, the 42-acre vineyard (now owned by Gleason Family Vineyards) stretches across a sun-drenched mesa on the eastern portion of the 106-acre property. Buttonwood started planting in 1983 and now have 38,000 vines, small in the world of wine, but huge to Buttonwood. The on-site tasting room is surrounded by other bounty from the farm, including olives, pomegranates, peonies, herbs, summer vegetables and of course, their famous peaches!” Adding a farm-focused, limited menu under the culinary direction of Executive Chef Peter Cham is on the immediate horizon.