Babcock Vineyards was established in 1978 when Mona and Walter Babcock purchased a 110 acre property on Highway 246 between Lompoc and Buellton in the western Santa Ynez Valley. At the time, the Babcocks were in the restaurant business, as they are to this day, being the proprietors of the legendary Walt’s Wharf in Seal Beach California. Over the years Walter practiced a number of crafts, making him a full-fledged Renaissance guy. At the time of establishing the vineyard, he was also a dentist and a commercial fisherman. Shortly after the purchase of their property, the Babcocks planted a modest 20 acres to such varieties as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. In 1983, after building a small garage and purchasing a few wine barrels, they took a whack at their first experimental vintage. That year, they also delivered small batches of fruit to a few of the more notable winemakers in the area. While Rick Longoria and Fred Brander made compelling Sauvignon Blancs, Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat produced a stunning Chardonnay.