How it Began
Current diversity of the land started in a much more simple form. In the early 1900’s, grandparents Peter and Teresina Bassetti purchased 633 acres just outside the town of Cambria on the central coast of California. These Swiss immigrants (from Tocarno on the Italian border) made their way as dairy farmers. Of their six children, the second eldest son Tilden chose to stay and carry on dairy farming with his wife Rena, adding beef cattle along with hay and grain production.
Susie and I married after graduating from Cal Poly and set up at the old family farm house continuing the path of cattle, hay and grain as well as general contracting. In 1979, Susie launched Green Valley Flowers and Herbs producing a wide range of fresh wreaths and herbs to a quickly developing market.
In 1989, we acquired 60 acres of the original family holding and began to move in a very different direction from our early days of ranching. By 1993, the property boasted water and electricity, so we had an old fashioned barn raising to establish our “homestead” and moved in on December 23 of that year. Today the acreage sustains our vineyard, olive orchard, lavender, herbs, figs, pomegranates, Meyer lemon, blood orange, pear and apple trees. The coastal climate of Cambria offers some challenges to growing grapes, olives and fruit, but those challenges led to interesting choices in what would be grown.