Appreciating Cinnamon


1980 – December 4th, 2013
Cinnamon was a beloved cow who roamed the historic Santa Margarita Ranch for 3 decades. Cinnamon’s distinctive coloring and oppositional horns made her instantly recognizable. Children were delighted by the sight of her and neighbors came to love her as one of their own. Most commercial cattle ranchers would have removed her from the herd because of her unusual looks and long horn breeding. Here on the Santa Margarita Ranch, she became a part of our family. Every spring she would lead the herd to the hills for grazing and back down to the calving fields in the fall. Even though she is no longer with us, she has become an unofficial mascot in our tasting room – presiding over guests in our VIP area which is what you know as the Cinnamon Room!

Cattle Ranching at Santa Margarita Ranch

At Ancient Peaks, we are ranchers as well as winegrowers. We ride our own horses and rope our own cattle. This is how we roll—and it’s a way of life that we enjoy sharing with you. Much like our vineyard and winery, our ranching operation springs from the earth and is tended by passionate, skillful hands. People come to lend a hand, and we reciprocate when the time comes.

Santa Margarita Ranch is one of California’s oldest continuously operated cattle ranches and is today a commercial cow calf operation. The bulls are turned out at the end of each year, and the calves are born in late summer and early fall of the following year. By the time of the annual December roundup, the calves are old enough to be checked on—yet still young and small enough to be handled without too much trouble.

“This is the way it has been done for nearly two centuries on the ranch,” Amanda says, “So much of our world is about low-touch activities and high-level thinking, but these are the moments when we make the deepest connections, working shoulder to shoulder and doing something together that we all love to do.”

Adds Karl, “Passing on our values and traditions to the next generation is our true legacy, so it has to be something we take seriously. We need to be aware of the fact that our children are watching, because as we do, they will do, too.”