Cucamonga Valley Wine Making History

Mountain Vista Winery & Vineyards is located in the heart of the original winemaking center of California— the Cucamonga Valley. Long before Napa and Sonoma counties rose to global prominence in winemaking, the communities now known as Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario were considered the nation’s preeminent centers of viticulture. Our winery is designed to honor a historic local tradition that dates back more than 150 years.

Grape cultivation in our region originated in 1839, when the Mexican government granted 13,000 acres once owned by the San Gabriel Mission to Tiburcio Tapia, who obtained grapevines from the mission to plant the region’s first working vineyard. In 1859, rancher John Rains began large vine plantings in Cucamonga, introducing agriculture on a large scale to replace traditional cattle and sheep ranching in the region.

Between the turn of the twentieth century and the advent of Prohibition in 1919, the Cucamonga Valley produced more wine grapes than Napa and Sonoma counties combined, and the Cucamonga-Guasti vineyards spanned more than 5,000 contiguous acres, prompting Secondo Guasti to advertise his vineyard as “The Largest in the World.”

But the end of Prohibition in 1933 did not ease pressure on the local wine industry. At its peak during the 1940s, the Cucamonga Valley was home to more than 60 wineries and 35,000 acres of vineyards. But the agricultural business faced increased pressure from the growing footprint of development from both Los Angeles and Orange counties. By the 1970s, vineyards across the region had been plowed under for housing and business development.

John Rains was a prominent businessman and socialite who opened California's first commercial winery
John Rains was a prominent businessman and socialite who opened California's first commercial winery
View of the area where the grapes arrive at the Guasti winery from the vineyard
View of the area where the grapes arrive at the Guasti winery from the vineyard
Italian Vineyard Company at Guasti
Italian Vineyard Company at Guasti