Driving into Vista Ranch and Cellars for the first time today is an unexpected treat. We were introduced to them by way of Harvest Hosts, who sign up private organic farms, ranches, wineries, distilleries and even cheese makers as locations where their members can overnight for free. We knew Vista Ranch and Cellars was an organic farm and local produce supplier, but we are pleasantly surprised to find out about the delicious “cellars” side of their business.
After parking our RV in the “back forty”, really a large lot along the almond fields, where they offer camping sites with water and electrical hook-ups for the night, we are greeted by one of the two owners in their wine tasting room.
Stephanie Marchini, is warm, personable and passionate about their farming operation and the broad variety of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts lettuces they grow here.
Stephanie should know something about farming too. Her family has been major growers in the Merced California region since the twenties. Today, they are the largest producers of Radicchio lettuce anywhere in the world!
But Vista Ranch and Cellars isn’t just a farm, or winery, it’s the whole package! They provide a scenic venue on the property and cater food and wine in their events center for all sorts of seasonal events, weddings, corporate meetings and other special occasions.
The grounds are full of great photo ops too. Michele was able to speak to Stephanie about their unique business here and she really puts it all into perspective for us. It’s quite an operation!
Guests are welcome to walk around the farm plots and into the almond orchard. It gives the place a sense of balance and connection to nature you rarely find in larger commercial operations. It feels wholesome and personal here. Even the air smells like rich farmland and produce.
There’s a little something for everyone here. We plan to come back again any time we’re in the area. And we’ll steer everyone we know out there looking for a place with genuine charm to drop by and stay a while.
Oh, and don’t forget about the wine! Some days you might run into Tom Jackson pouring in their tasting room. Tom has written books about the history of the surrounding area and especially Yosemite National Park. Say hi to him for us if you meet him.
Thanks for your time and warm hospitality, Stephanie. We hope to see you again soon!