The Santa Ynez Valley’s Loizides Family to Launch Phased Hospitality Venture on Historic Ranch Dating to 1853, Most Recently Home to Mosby Winery & Vineyards
August 30, 2022 – Buellton, CA – Hospitality entrepreneurs, Karen and Jimmy Loizides, have plans in place for a Wednesday, September 28, 2022 opening of the first part in what will be a phased launch of the family’s newest Santa Ynez Valley venture, Vega Vineyard & Farm (www.vegavineyardandfarm.com). The working winery, farm, and event venue, located on historic land most recently home to Mosby Winery & Vineyards, has been renamed “Vega” in honor of the ranch’s initial identity, Rancho La Vega, and its important place in the heart and history of northern Santa Barbara County.
The 212-acre Vega Vineyard and Farm will comprise the previously-Mosby property’s 21 acres of vineyards, currently covered in Italian varietals, as well as the property’s winery and tasting room, both of which have undergone extensive updates and a design overhaul. The tasting room, situated in a barn which was once the land’s circa-1880s carriage house, joins the likes of other historical structures on the ranch including the original adobe home, dating back to 1853, which continues to greet guests with a new garden and VIP area. Sitting atop one of the highest points of the mountainous parcel of land, a 216-square-foot adobe-style chapel, built in 2014 with pews salvaged from an Ohio church. The chapel is adorned with stained-glass windows and an expansive outdoor patio with endless views of the Santa Ynez Valley.
“This property has an incredible, tangible history, and such energy of its own. But it was in need of some love, and we are overjoyed at the chance to be the people who inject new life into this important place,” said Jimmy Loizides, Vega Vineyard and Farm’s new owner.
Phase one of the property’s new life will entail the reopening of the now-family-friendly winery tasting room for bottle sales and tasting experiences. Upon the September 2022 opening, available wines will include the winery’s existing library of inventory, as well as bottles under the Vega Vineyard and Farm label, made with grapes sourced from Santa Barbara County vineyards. Wines currently available for sale and tastings include red wines like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Syrah, Barbera, and Pinot Noir, white wines such as Chardonnay, Bianco (a white blend), Albariño, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, and Viognier, and a Rosato (rosé).
Guests may opt for an al fresco wine tasting experience with multiple seating areas overlooking the vineyards, with live music, lawn games, and other entertainment meant for leisurely, outdoor afternoons. Picnic-perfect spots located on the west side of the property will welcome families.
Leading Vega Vineyard and Farm’s winemaking operations is esteemed Santa Barbara County winemaker, Steve Clifton, known for his decades-long work with Italian grape varieties. Estate-grown Vega Vineyard and Farm bottlings will begin with vintages from harvest of 2022.
Working alongside Clifton as General Manager, is Kara Teel, who worked in the Santa Barbara County wine industry for 23 years and for the Loizides family the past three years, managing K’Syrah Catering and Events, and then Sear Steakhouse. Teel will be managing and leading the team at Vega Vineyard and Farm.
Part of Vega Vineyard and Farm’s initial phase is the opening of a second entrance to the property, leading to a newly-constructed barn and recently-planted organic farm. A newly-erected farm stand will offer produce from Vega Farm as well as other produce and baked goods. The farm’s resident animals include goats, pigs, llamas, chickens, and ducks, available for guests to feed, and all part of the farm’s sustainable system.
The Vega Farm portion of the new venture will soon feature hayrides along the trail system which runs through the property.
“This is an eclectic, somewhat eccentric property, we feel in part, a reflection of the surrounding Valley with its mini-melting pot of cultural origins,” added Jimmy Loizides.
Vega Vineyard & Farm started life as Rancho La Vega in 1853, when Dr. Roman de la Cuesta, the first doctor in the Santa Ynez Valley, and his wife Michaela Cota, the daughter of Francisco Cota of neighboring Rancho Santa Rosa, constructed the property’s original 13-room adobe house along the south bank of the Santa Ynez River. Dr. Roman de la Cuesta, known as Don Roman, was born in Spain and arrived in California in 1849. When he married Micaela Cota, he was gifted Rancho La Vega as part of her dowry (“vega” is a Spanish word which roughly translates to “field” or “meadow”). The couple’s son, Don Eduardo, lived and grew wine grapes on the land for many years with his wife, Eleva Pollard, a granddaughter of Captain William Henry Dana and great-granddaughter of Carlos Antonio Carrillo, patriarch of Santa Barbara’s Carrillo family. Don Eduardo de la Cuesta would become instrumental in getting Highway 101 routed through Buellton in 1927, and a portion of an original Highway 101 bridge still exists on the Vega Vineyard and Farm property.
Demetrios (“Jimmy”) and Karen Loizides, Santa Ynez Valley residents and business owners who relocated to the area in 2011, had always been drawn to the region due to its similarities to Demetrios’s ancestral and grape-growing village of Kathikas, Cyprus, and then his childhood town of the untamed Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The duo has owned and operated several hospitality endeavors in the Santa Ynez Valley, including the fabled Maverick Saloon and K’Syrah Catering and Events. The couple was also the original owner of newer Solvang restaurant, Sear Steakhouse. In early-2022, the Loizides family sold the restaurant to make way for their plans to refurbish and expand Mosby Winery, which they have returned to its nomenclature roots as Vega Vineyard and Farm.
The next phases of Vega Vineyard and Farm include the introduction of an event series, such as outdoor concerts which will be open to the public, as well as the evolution of the property’s private event menus and offerings.
“We have always been enamored by the history of the land in this region of the Central Coast, the historic structures which dot the landscapes, and the area’s agricultural past,” explained Jimmy Loizides. “Purchasing and restoring Vega Vineyard and Farm just takes our plans to learn from that rich history and sustain it for the future, to the next level.”
Vega Vineyard and Farm is located at 9496 Santa Rosa Road (U.S. 101 Exit 139, Santa Rosa Road), Buellton, CA 93427. The farm and tasting room’s initial opening hours will be Thursday through Monday, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (initial opening hours subject to change). To reach Vega Vineyard and Farm directly, please call 805.688.2415. Private event inquiries may be directed to Kara Teel, General Manager, at [email protected].
Information is also available on the Vega Vineyard and Farm website (www.vegavineyardandfarm.com), on Instagram (@vegavineyardandfarm), TikTok (@vegavineyardandfarm), and Facebook (facebook.com/vegavineyardandfarm).