Our Roots

Rancho Carmelo - Carmel Valley's History
CIMA COLLINA is a small family-owned vineyard and winery that takes great pride in its association with the early history of Carmel Valley.

The Cima Collina tasting room, located in a historic Carmel Valley landmark, is one of the original 19th century buildings in Carmel Valley Village. Built in 1890 by one of the area’s early pioneers, William Hatton, the building was originally used as an auxiliary dairy for Hatton’s successful dairy business in the Carmel Valley. One of his modern innovations to the dairy business, a special ventilation tower intended to help rapidly cool the milk, was incorporated in the dairy design. Some of the earliest Monterey Jack cheeses were made on the premises, and it remains the only structure standing today of the original Del Monte Dairy’s auxiliary site. Since the dairy, the “old milk barn” has been home to Carmel Valley’s first post office and stop for the stagecoach on route to Tassajara Hot Springs, an art gallery, and a handful of local favorite restaurants. Much of the original architectural details are still in place today, including the innovative ventilation tower, perched above the roofline. Rustic interior bat and board, exposed ceiling rafters and period glass surround guests while tasting in this historic setting.

Rancho Carmelo - Carmel Valley's History

Cima Collina’s estate vineyard, Hilltop Ranch, is located about one half mile east of the tasting room on historic land that was originally part of a large 26,581 acre 1834 Mexican land grant. Throughout the 19th century, the property served as a cattle ranch, as well as a stop on the stage route from Salinas to Jamesburg and Tassajara. In 1928, the Mathiot family, in search for the “perfect property,” purchased a portion of the land and hosted a summer ranch for girls “Rancho Carmelo” and California’s first Dude Ranch in the 1930’s.

During this early part of the last century, Carmel Valley became a retreat for railroad barons and movie stars seeking to escape the limelight. Los Laureles Lodge, Holman Ranch, Paso Del Robles , Rosie’s Cracker Barrel, and Tassajara Hot Springs were gathering places for celebrities. Commercial development of the Carmel Valley didn’t begin until the late 70’s and early 80’s when the original Hatton dairy at the mouth of the valley was sold to become the Barnyard shopping center.