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Central Coast’s Miller Family Celebrates 20 Years of Grape Growing at Solomon Hills Vineyard


Santa Maria, CA — The Miller Family, a multi-generational California farming family and owners of the Thornhill Companies, is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their noteworthy Solomon Hills Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley AVA.

Solomon Hills Vineyard was established in 1999 by brothers Bob and Steve Miller, founders of the renowned Bien Nacido Vineyard—both operating under the Millers’ industry-leading umbrella brand, The Thornhill Companies. Wanting to honor the land their family had farmed for several generations, in 1969 the two set out to develop a vineyard that would be acknowledged as among the most elite vineyards in the world, and in 1973, Bien Nacido Vineyard was established in what is now the Santa Maria Valley AVA. Years later, feeling compelled to continue their vision and to further show the quality and strength of the Central Coast, the Millers were drawn to a unique parcel of land nearby, both for its special history and for its significantly different terroir.

In the late 1850s, the bandit Salomon Pico traversed El Camino Real (Kings Highway) and was the inspiration for the character Zorro. It was on this land that the Millers planted their second vineyard, christening it Solomon Hills as an homage to its past. Situated just eleven miles from the ocean on the valley floor—and just eight miles from Bien Nacido—Solomon Hills remains the western-most vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, benefitting from its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. With soils that are primarily ocean-derived sandy loam, providing rapid water drainage and moderate stress to the vines, coupled with the area’s cooling ocean influences, wines from Solomon Hills demonstrate a beautiful balance of crisp acidity, bright fruit and inherent elegance.

Antonio Galloni, respected wine critic and founder of Vinous has said, “. . .there is no question the best sections (of Solomon Hills) are the American equivalents of grand cru sites.” 

Both Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills experience cool climate effects from the Santa Ynez Valley’s transverse mountain range, but the differences in soil composition (shale versus sandy loam) and exposition (hillside versus valley) create distinctly different nuances in each of the wines. “My father and uncle recognized the potential in each of these parcels fairly early on. Yet, despite being only eight miles apart, Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills have incredibly distinct terroirs that impart unique characteristics into the wines,” says Nicholas Miller, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Thornhill Companies.  Marshall Miller, Vice President of Operations adds, “It really speaks to the diversity of the Central Coast as a wine region, but also to these vineyards’ abilities to produce exceptional wines of place.”

Twenty years after Solomon Hills was established, the Miller Family is proud to continue the legacy of producing world-class wines from this esteemed vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley AVA.

About The Thornhill Companies

The Thornhill Companies is the industry-leading umbrella brand of one of California’s premier winegrowing families, the Miller Family, who have been farming California’s Central Coast for five generations. The Thornhill Companies includes the prestigious Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills, Miller Family Wine Company and Thornhill Ranches. Miller Family Wine Company manages national branded wine labels, including J. Wilkes, Ballard Lane, Smashberry and Barrel Burner wines, control label brands for prominent retailers across the U.S., French Camp vineyard in Paso Robles, and the custom crush facilities Central Coast Wine Services and Paso Robles Wine Services.

For more information on The Thornhill Companies, please visit www.thornhillcompanies.com.

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