The Tasting Room at
Sebastian's in San Simeon
Long, Long, Ago ... The History of Sebastian's General Store
Sebastian's General Store has carried on through the generations. Built in 1852 at the peak of the whaling industry, the Sebastian Brothers provided goods and services to whalers, fishermen, miners and neighboring ranches. Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room at Sebastians' Brothers General MerchandiseSan Simeon Bay was the significant shipping point for barrels of whale oil, cheese, butter and other commodities on the Central Coast. Old San Simeon Village was flourishing with two hotels, saloons, a blacksmith, a livery stable, a butcher, schools, a depot for a stage travel to Cambria and a telegraph line to San Luis Obispo. In 1878, the Bay View Hotel was built; a first-class hotel with famous guests Thomas A. Edison, Winston Churchill and Calvin Coolidge, to name a few. By 1910, most of the village faded away, but Sebastian's General Store survived. Sebastian's was the first post office in San Simeon until 1905 when it was moved to the pier. It was moved back in 1945, where it remains today. The Sebastian family bought the building in 1914 and operated the store for almost 100 years.
The simplicity of life in Old San Simeon Village is far different from the magnificent opulence of Hearst Castle. Long before William Randolph Hearst began off-loading building material, furniture and the world-famous art collection at the San Simeon Pier, a native Indian population resided on the territory of San Simeon. Later the area was part of a Mexican land grant called the Piedra Blanca Rancho. A small community of Chinese seaweed harvesters also lived on the bay in the 1860s. Portuguese whalers from the Azores operated a whaling station at San Simeon Point. Russian fur traders and Aleut hunters came ashore for goods and services. When the shore-whaling industry came to an end, Japanese settlers started a business drying abalone. The 12 acres of San Simeon Point were excluded when William's father, George Hearst, purchased the Piedra Blanca Rancho. But they were eventually purchased in 1894 by George's widow, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Today little evidence remains of the people from so many cultures who lived and worked on the land of the Point and waters off the Bay.
And Today... The Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room at Sebastian's
While it still serves as a general store and café to tourists, campers and sport fishing enthusiasts, Sebastian's is also the gathering place to sample the wines of Hearst Ranch Winery. Local residents and visitors from all over the world savor the amazing Chardonnay, Rosé, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Late Harvest Zinfandel and our Red Cuvée, White Cuvée and Barrel Select Cuvée Blends in our quaint and inviting tasting room. Historic remnants of the past alongside the inlaid copper bar top and rustic barn wood siding take you back to the turn-of-the-century when Old San Simeon Village was the center of rural commerce.