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Little Vineyards Family Winery

Rooted in History

Little Vineyards Timeline

  • 1542 – The property was a major trading ground for the Miwok, Pomo, and Wappo settlers
  • 1839 – General Vallejo acquired the property by a grant deed from Lazaro Pina.
  • 1846 – General Vallejo gifted the property to Andrew Hoeppner in exchange for 5 years of piano lessons for his children.
  • 1851 – Joseph Hooker took over the ranch and planted a vineyard.
  • 1876 – George Whitman purchased the property and produced wine and brandy. He deeded a portion of the property to the Sonoma and Santa Rosa Railroad for a track to connect Sonoma and Glen Ellen.
  • 1883 – Whitman sold the property to Eli T. Sheppard who retired and sold the property to United States Senator George Hearst. Senator George Hearst lived on the property with his wife, Phoebe Hearst, and continued to make wine until his death in 1891. His vineyards were described as one of the finest in the state and he proudly served his own wines and brandy to his guests in Washington, D.C.
  • 1922 – Louis Engelberg purchased the property and operated the vineyards through prohibition and the great depression.
  • 1958 – The Hanford Family purchased the property and continued growing wines grapes.
  • 1995 – The Little Family purchcased the property including the original home that was built in 1885, the vineyard barn, a ranch building, and guest cottage.
  • 2002 – Joan and Rich Little, and Joan’s brother and winemaker, Ted Coleman, received a bond for a 2,500 case premium winery and tasting room.
  • 2004 – Little Vineyards wins its first Gold Medal with the 2002 Ressonance (Red Wine Blend). Since then, Little has earned over 50 Gold Medals for their wines.
  • 2008 – The Little’s renovated the vineyard barn into a music rehearsal/recording studio, converted the ranch building into a winery and tasting room, and remodeled the historic home.
  • 2008– Little Vineyards wins its first Double Gold/Best of Class Medal with the 2005 Syrah.

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