Semler Family

Semler Family tradition

A family tradition of growing flavorful wines at Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu evolved into opening tasting rooms for all to enjoy. The Semler family warmly welcomes visitors, guiding them through a captivating exploration of their wines. With each taste, you embark on a journey through the flavors of Malibu – from the crisp, cool notes of coastal Chardonnays to the robust richness of Cabernet Sauvignons nurtured in the sun-drenched vineyards. Each sip transports you to the 1100 acre Saddlerock ranch nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains that the Semler’s call home.

Saddlerock Ranch

After a wildfire in 1978, Ron Semler purchased the land that is now Saddlerock Ranch. Originally purchased for one of his daughters to ride horses, he began purchasing adjacent parcels as a place to settle for himself, his wife Lisa and nine children. The now 1100-acre ranch is home to many farm animals, vineyards, ranch hands and the Semler Family.

Field at Saddlerock Ranch

The Vineyard
The vineyards were born out of the massively destructive freeze in 1992 that ruined so many avocado trees on the property. The million pounds of fruit lost in the first year of the freeze and subsequent dip in production convinced the Semler’s that avocados would continue to be a risky crop. With this in mind, they needed to find something that could handle temperature swings from low double digits all the way up to triple digits. Wine grapes came to the top of the list as they would go dormant in the winter, withstand the strong Santa Ana winds and are incredibly water efficient. Grapes require one-seventh less water than an equivalent volume of avocados. Thus, began the Semler’s journey of growing and producing some of the best wines in California.

Perfectly positioned at the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Saddle-Rock Malibu AVA, the vineyards are quite unique: The rocky terrain and steep south-facing slopes provide the perfect environment for growing premium wine grapes. Planting started in 1997 with 15 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the hillside vineyards comprise approximately 70,000 vines on 70 acres with twelve varietals. Some varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and more.

Tours of the vineyard are available from Malibu Wine Hikes.

Vineyard at Saddlerock Ranch