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El Rincón Adobe History

The first thing visitors see when they arrive at Talley Vineyards is the historic El Rincon Adobe.  This is the symbol of the estate and is pictured on the Talley Vineyards wine label.  El Rincón Adobe was built in the early 1860’s by Ramon Branch, son of Francisco Ziba Branch, holder of the 16,955 acre Rancho Santa Manuela Land Grant and one of the original settlers of the Arroyo Grande Valley.  The house is constructed of sun dried mud bricks crafted onsite from soil collected from the area. 

The Branch family spoke of the ranch as “El Rincón,” which means “the corner” in Spanish, referring to the corner of the larger Rancho Santa Manuela.  El Rincón Adobe was likely named to distinguish it from the Casa Santa Manuela, a larger adobe on the main ranch which no longer stands.

During the years that the Branch family resided in the adobe, the driveway leading to the property was bordered by olive trees.  The house itself was surrounded by fruit trees and geranium hedges.  The deep window sills are a distinctive feature of the house where each morning the Branch children stood waiting for their mother to dress them.

Ramon began to settle and establish El Rincón immediately after he and Isabela moved into the adobe.  Along with his older sons and hired help, Ramon worked the flat land to the east of the adobe.  Here he raised wheat, barley, corn, and beans, maintained livestock and operated a dairy.  The Branch family continued to live off the land surrounding the adobe until they moved in 1892. To this day, this is some of the most productive land in the Arroyo Grande Valley.

El Rincón changed hands several times before the Talley family purchased the property in 1974 for its prime vegetable land.  Planting of the Rincon Vineyard began in 1982.  Since Talley Vineyards’ first vintage in 1986, the adobe has been pictured on the winery’s labels.  El Rincón Adobe was restored in 1988 to serve as the Talley Vineyards tasting room and was the oldest continuously inhabited residence in San Luis Obispo County until that time.

Though no longer the home of the Talley Vineyards tasting room (a new tasting room was completed in July 2002), El Rincón Adobe serves as the symbol of Talley Vineyards and the Talley family’s longstanding commitment to the soil and history of the Arroyo Grande Valley.