Five Murphy Brothers
Our story begins in 1862, with the passage of the original Homestead Act. To help develop the American West, Congress promised large acreages of land to anyone who agreed to live on and farm the land. The deal was simple- work the land for five years and you got title to the land.
Five Murphy brothers took advantage of the deal and moved to California to build a better life for themselves and their future families. They chose Tuolumne County- acreage right on the border between the booming gold rush towns of Sonora and Jamestown. While we do not know exactly why they chose Tuolumne County, the discovery of gold in Sonora a decade before certainly played a big part in their decision. Indeed, even today Sonora is still known as the “Queen of the Southern Mines.”
Unfortunately, the early 1960s were not kind to our ranch: the last Murphy brother died and the Great Jamestown Fire burned down the original farmhouse (and numerous other structures). Thereafter, the ranch fell into decades of disuse and neglect.
Beginning in 2015
However, our story does not end there (it would be sad if it did).
Beginning in 2015, the remaining descendants of the Murphy brothers (Bob, Mary, Kelli, and Griffin Mackey) committed to renewing the Murphy brother's mission and rebuilding the Murphy Ranch (now known as the Murphy Family Ranch). Since then, we have replaced most fencing on the ranch (now comprising 435 acres), built an eight-stall Stable, hay barn, roads, wells, pumps, water storage silos, vegetable garden, olive grove, and multiple heirloom fruit tree orchards.
The Murphy Ranch Today
Today, the Murphy Family Ranch and Winery proudly raises White Dorper Sheep, Kiko Goats, Akaushi, Wagyu, and Red Angus Cattle, Quarter Horses, heirloom fruit, olive oil, and (soon) our own estate wines.
We would be remiss in not acknowledging the growing number of Livestock Guarding dogs (Anatolian Shepherds, Maremmas, and Great Pyrenees) who safeguard us and all our animals day and night. Indeed, one is reminded on a nightly basis when our dogs serenade the coyote packs in the neighborhood (and the coyotes serenade back) that we are truly in the country (and in the words that Dorothy made famous “no longer in Kansas anymore.”
Each aspect of our production is more fully described by hitting the tab at the top of the page.