THE BEST PLACE TO HAVE A PICNIC IN OJAI & DRINK GREAT WINE AHHH!!!
Old Creek Ranch Winery a little history
The Old Creek Ranch Winery is owned and managed by John and Carmel Whitman. Carmel is the daughter of Mike and Carmel Maitland, the original founders of the winery in 1981.During the 29 years of the Winery’s operation there have been many award winning wines produced. The Winery has been a contributor to the economy and as a visitor site of the Ojai Valley since 1981.The greatest attention to quality and detail are forefront to our winemaking process. The winery focus now are wines of Southern France, Spain, and Italy.
The Winery is open Daily from 11am to 5pm.
The Winery is located on the Old Creek Ranch. The Ranch is part of a Spanish 22,000 acre land grant awarded to Don Fernando Tico, dating back to the early history of California. In the late 1800′s Antonio Riva of northern Italy purchased the ranch. He was a chef in Paris, London and later in San Francisco. He built a winery on the ranch at that time.Today the original winery still stands and has been depicted as the logo and on the label of previous wines. At that time, wines were made without electricity and utilized gravity as a means to move the wine in the processing. Riva produced wine until about 1942, including the prohibition years. Wine purchasers would leave an order and money on the clothesline and would return later to pickup a jug of red wine left at the base of an oak tree. On one occasion he was warned the FBI was coming to raid the winery. All wine beyond what was legal for one family to produce was dumped prior to their arrival.
In 1976 the Maitland’s purchased the property with the intention of revitalizing the old ranch. A couple of years later they were approached to start a new winery on the property. In 1981 the first vintage was introduced. Many award-winning wines were to follow.As of 2007, Michael Meagher has been in charge of the winemaking. He has been making his own wines at the ranch since 2004 under his label, Vino V Wines.A vineyard of 20 acres was planted during the 1980′s. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc were produced. Sadly, the vineyard fell prey to the bacterium that causes Pierce’s Disease. Plans are now being developed for a new vineyard at the top of the Ranch that will distance the grapes from the insects that transmit the disease.The Winery now out sources grapes. We now lease portions of premier vineyards, Branham Obsidian Vineyard (Napa), and from Santa Barbara County, Stolpman Vineyards, Sanford Benedict Vineyard, White Hawk Vineyard, Vogelzang Vineyard, and Estelle Vineyard.
In the meantime, today the ranch is an 850-acre cattle ranch with a winery, and fruit orchards. We have planted at the entrance to the ranch an orchard of five varieties of cherry trees, and are extending the orchard with a variety of Japanese plums. A small blackberry patch also has been established.