In 2010, Noah and Tamara began searching for a California Central Coast vineyard and ranch property to call home. Both were California natives living in Los Angeles (Pasadena to be specific), and were expecting their first child. Seven years earlier when they first met they talked about the desire to eventually leave the city behind, slow things down, and raise children in a country setting where more down to earth values were shared by a smaller community.
With generational history and a love for the natural beauty and exceptional viticulture within the Santa Ynez Valley communities, the couple decided to focus on this area as a potential place to lay down roots and cultivate their budding family. One of the first places they visited was the Thompson Ranch and Vineyard, and from the first time they wandered through the vines and sat under its ancient oak overlooking the pond, they were smitten. Nestled in the gentle slopes of the indescribably beautiful Alisos Canyon, the couple immediately felt a deep connection with this land that is difficult to put into words, yet an unforgettable experience.
Unfortunately, the Rowles family hadn’t anticipated finding the perfect place so soon, and were not in a position to relocate to the Thompson Vineyard (or anywhere else) at the time. They reluctantly accepted that it would simply end up becoming the one that got away, and to which everything else would be compared.
Synchronicity and Serendipity
In the four years that followed, Noah eventually became a free man after he sold the software company he had founded in 1998, Tamara stepped away from her successful law career, and the couple visited over 60 other ranches in search of an ideal home site. Thankfully (and unbelievably), the Thompson property patiently waited. The Thompson family also graciously allowed a second (and third…and fourth…) visit to sit under that same majestic oak, stare out across the lake and vineyard, and ponder the multitude of enormous life decisions that lay ahead. It took all that time for the pieces of the puzzle to finally fit into place, and in August 2014 the Rowles became the new proprietors of the Thompson Vineyard and Ranch. Words can’t express how fortunate they feel to be entrusted by the Thompson family as the new stewards of this very special place.
Old Partnerships, New Beginnings
Dozens of artisan winemakers depend on the high quality fruit from the Thompson Vineyard. Many have been crafting breathtaking Thompson wines for upwards of to 20 years. Perhaps even more importantly, they have built a reputation with their customers and communities around the Thompson Vineyard name itself, graciously marrying it with their own names on bottles, at tastings, in literature, and in many other ways that tell the important story of where their outstanding wines come from.
These remarkable winemakers focus on ultra-premium, limited production, single-vineyard expressions. They painstakingly select their blocks and rows, observe and tend to the grapes, and trust both the Rowles family and the talented team at Coastal Vineyard Care to custom-farm the vineyard and deliver fruit that they can be proud to pair their names with vintage after vintage.
Going forward, the Rowles family is committed to ensuring that the Thompson Vineyard continues to be experienced as one of the premier vineyards in the industry, both in quality and in name. As time goes by and the roots of their family become inextricably mingled with those of the vines, they will be watching, learning, and listening so as to not only preserve what is truly unique and special about this 140 acres of dirt, but also invest and work to make its excellence of fruit and the wines that are made from it a lastingly honest and pure expression of this place they are so fortunate to call home.