About Pepper Tree Ranch
The Pepper Trees
The pepper trees that you see on our property are Schinus molle, native to the Peruvian Andes. Legend has it that the tree got its start in California when a wandering sea-captain repaid the hospitality of the Spanish missions with a gift of seeds.
Prized by Spanish colonials for its strong wood used in saddle-making, its use as a shade-tree, and its beauty, Schinus molle quickly became naturalized to the California environment. In addition, pepper tree is also cultivated as a spice tree (though not true pepper, its pink peppercorns are often added to other blends), has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and is being researched for its anti-depressant properties.
This symbol of health, happiness, and hospitality perfectly expresses our wishes for each and every guest who finds their way to Pepper Tree Ranch and the Edna Valley.
This area of California was first settled by the Chumash people around 13,000 years ago. In 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo was the first Spanish Mission established in Chumash lands. After winning its independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico began the process of reclaiming land granted to the Missions in 1834. As part of the 30,000 acre Corral de Piedra land grant, the area now known as Pepper Tree Ranch was given to Jose Maria Villavicencio by Governor Juan B. Alvarado in 1841. This area of the Central Coast has been in constant agricultural production ever since, beginning with large cattle and dairy operations, and, more recently, extensive viticulture and wine operations.
Known especially for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Edna Valley became an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1982.