George & Martha Charles

George & Martha Charles

The Charles family has been farming our property on the far Sonoma Coast since 1860, for 6 generations, located just a mile inland from the ocean. This land was received as part of the Homestead Act of the 1860s in order to raise sheep. It has continued in the family for generations as a sheep ranch. At one point George, Carolyn’s father, had over 1 thousand head of sheep on 2 thousand acres of land. George and Martha would frequently move around Northern California to find the best grasslands for their sheep herds. In 1980, George decided to retire from the sheep ranching business and planted the second vineyard on the far Sonoma Coast. George used his horse the first few years to work the vineyards, instead of a tractor. It’s what he knew and it’s what he had. He planted Chardonnay grapes that are now bottled as our Charles Ranch Chardonnay.