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The Gold Rush, the first saloon, and the Bear Flag Revolt all have ties to the land now known as Harris Vineyards.
The land now known as Harris Vineyards has a rich history. It all began with James R. Cooper who was born in Scotland and traveled to America as a ship’s carpenter, arriving in Sonoma in 1845. During the Bear Flag Revolt he met his bride, Sarah Bigelow Flint. She had crossed the plains with her first husband and their two young sons but he separated from them during the journey and she was on her own when she arrived in Sonoma.
Sarah Cooper Harris
Cooper partnered with Thomas Spriggs to run the Blue Wing Inn, Sonoma’s first hotel, saloon, and brothel which served as an debarkation point for miners during the Gold Rush.
Cooper purchased a large ranch from General Vallejo where he built a home in 1848 that still stands today. He died in 1856 at 34. A widow with seven kids (two from her first marriage and five from her second), Sarah continued to live and work on the ranch. She married a third time to Sydney Harris who left her when she was pregnant with their only child whom she named Granville Swift Harris after the famous Bear Flagger, Granville P. Swift.
Granville Harris owned and operated the bustling Union Livery Stable and Feed. At its peak, the livery stable had two dozen horses and transported passengers and mail between Sonoma and El Verano. Harris also ran a stage coach to the landing in Lakeville to meet the steamers coming from San Francisco.
The Sangiacomo family has farmed one or more of the parcels for over 75 years. In the early days, the family farmed a variety of fruit trees including pears, prunes, and apples. The fruit trees were slowly replanted to vines beginning in 1974.
Granville Swift Harris and his four kids in a horse and buggy on the old Cooper Bridge.
Union Livery Stable and Feed run by Granville Swift Harris.
Although the Sangiacomo family has farmed the soil since the 1950s, the first grapes were planted in 1974. Today Harris Vineyards is made up of several individual vineyards that the Sangiacomo family either manage or own. The vineyard is bordered by Sonoma Creek on the east and has Zamora silty loam soil.
Certified Sustainable (CSWA)
Planted Acreage: 54
Appellations: Carneros and Sonoma Coast