The Tasting Room at
Sebastian's in San Simeon
442 SLO San Simeon Road, San Simeon, CA 93452
(805) 927.4100 / Map
Open Daily 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
$10/$15 per person tasting fee
Tasting fee waived with bottle purchase
Long, Long, Ago ... The History of Sebastian's General Store
Sebastian's General Store has carried on through the generations. Originally built in 1852 by Captain Joseph Clark at the peak of the whaling industry, the Clarks provided goods and services to whalers, fishermen, miners and neighboring ranches. The store was originally located halfway out on San Simeon Point, and eventually moved by George Hearst (William Randolph’s father) to its present-day location where it was operated by the Thorndyke family until it was purchased by the Sebastian Brothers in 1914. Sebastian’s Brothers General Store in San 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, blacksmith, livery stable, 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 the post office was moved to the pier. The post office was moved back in 1945, where it remains today inside Hearst Ranch Winery’s Sebastian’s General Store.
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
Located off the famed coastal Highway 1, Hearst Ranch Winery’s Sebastian’s General Store is a favorite stopping place for locals and tourists alike. From the deck of the Tasting Room you can hear the waves of the Pacific Ocean crash and catch peek-a-boo views of Hearst Castle atop the hill. Sebastian's is most notably the gathering place to sample the wines of Hearst Ranch Winery. Hearst Ranch Winery produces high-quality grapes from their estate vineyard Saunders Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. Through their excellent winemaking program, the grapes are crafted into award-winning wines. Local residents and visitors from all over the world savor the Historic remnants of the past at Hearst Ranch Winery’s Sebastian’s General Store while enjoying exquisite wine and breathtaking views.