Milestones
  • 1971 In the Sta. Rita Hills, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard is planted with the first Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County.
     
  • 1976 Handcrafted in a former hay barn, the first Pinot Noir from the Sanford & Benedict vineyard is released to enthusiastic reviews.
     
  • 1981 Sanford Winery establishes a new winery operation in San Luis Obispo.
     
  • 1987 Sanford Winery’s production reaches 25K cases.
     
  • 1993 Sanford Winery’s production reaches 30K cases
                (Chardonnay 20K, SB 5K, PN 4K, PN Vin Gris 1K)
     
  • 1996 La Rinconada vineyards are planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
     
  • 1998 Sanford Winery takes leadership role in petitioning to certify the Sta. Rita Hills as an American Viticultural Area.
     
  • 1999 First vintage of Pinot Noir from La Rinconada vineyard is released and heralded as one of California’s finest examples of the varietal. Work begins on new winery at La Rinconada vineyard site. Using adobe blocks handmade on-site, the energy-efficient facility will also employ an innovative hydraulic racking system to minimize handling.
     
  • 2000 Production reaches 40K cases
                (Chardonnay 22K, SB 7K, PN 10K, PN Vin Gris 1.3K)
     
  • 2001 Sanford Winery makes its first crush at its new winery at La Rinconada Vineyard; the Sta. Rita Hills region gains official recognition as an American Viticultural Area.
     
  • 2002 Terlato representation of Sanford Winery begins and the Terlato family—Anthony and sons Bill and John—take an ownership interest in Sanford.
     
  • 2003 Sideways filmed at Sanford Winery and throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.
     
  • 2004 Sideways brings new attention to Sanford, Pinot Noir and Santa Barbara County wine country.
     
  • 2005 The Terlato family assumes majority ownership interest in Sanford Winery, bringing more than 50 years of experience and an enduring commitment to putting quality first.
     
  • 2006 Steve Fennell joins Sanford as Winemaker and General Manager, bringing innovative sustainable farming practices and a passion for crafting elegant, fruit-forward wines that are the finest expression of the Santa Rita Hills.
     
  • 2007 Sanford Winery and Vineyards officially opens a new tasting room at Rancho La Rinconada, adjacent to its landmark winery in the heart of the acclaimed Sta. Rita Hills. Inspired by the California mission-style, the new Sanford tasting room is a two-story structure built from nature’s finest raw materials, including 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood from Washington State.

    Terlato Wine Group purchases the iconic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard from Robert and Janice Atkin. Located in northern Santa Barbara County, in the significant Sta. Rita Hills viticultural area, it is considered by many to be a ‘gold standard’ vineyard and one of California’s top five vineyards, as reported in Wine Enthusiast magazine.